Thank you to Marty Laskaris, The Publican House Brewery; Cam Taylor, OUTDOORsmart; and Peter Lawler, VP of Business Advisory Services, BDC for their knowledge and commitment.
Every business faces the questions around growth. How to grow? When to grow? Why do I want to grow? What is the full spectrum of issues in dealing with growth? What are the needs of the business for capital investment, human resources, marketing, etc? What are my needs?
The following is a summary of the panel discussion that happened at the Peterborough Chamber’s Business Summit 2016.
- Take the time and effort to understand each channel of the industry we were in
- Aspirational growth has to match cash flow
- Businesses need to plan for growth, otherwise they can get
- caught in the cycle of being unable to grow because they can’t keep up yet needing to grow because can’t keep up with demand
- Two main ways a company can grow: 1. As a reaction to demand for your product or service; 2. Through acquisition and
- integration of existing businesses
- Figure out the “who” in your business. What is your mission?
- Find uncontested market space
- Develop a fluid business plan for your year
- Spend money to accelerate
- Know your business and be able to identify the pain points
- Invest in technology and software.
- This helps in several ways: you can collect more data and find ways to be more efficient
- Understand that there could and most likely will be legislation at each level of government that could impact your business
- Get smart about your business
- Have a solid network to support you and take time for yourself
- Business advisory panels are a tremendous resource
- Invest in your people and when hiring look for people with enthusiasm, passion, and initiative
- Find the common mindset and develop core values about the business that all employees share
- Establish guardrails and communicate what the business wants to achieve as a team
- Authenticity and legitimacy are paramount in business success
- Customer service is what will set you apart
- The session wrapped up with a great question from the audience: As a community what can we do to help business?
- Support entrepreneurs
- Share ideas
- If asked, be a part of an advisory board
- Strengthen the thought leadership around the vision of our local business community
- Invest in young people to help build the future workforce e.g. mentoring or internship
- Understand that there is no magic wand to wave to create the perfect city or economy, but at the same time government and business need to limit the disconnect between the two and understand projects in a larger context
Our panelists agreed that Peterborough does have all of the right ingredients for success and our time is now.