12 steps to growth
1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SOUND FINANCIAL SYSTEM.
With a growing business comes a more complex financial situation. Depending on your needs and the complexity of your finances, you can either use online accounting software such as Wave, Xero or QuickBooks or hire a professional accountant to do it for you. There are also several support programs by organisations to help you organise your finances, including Educat (link to page) and Inkomoko (link to page).
Are you up to date on your tax requirements – and how will growth and potential investments affect your taxes? You can get an overview through the 2015 taxation guide - and talk to a tax advisor if you need to. Find more information about taxation in the Doing Business Booklet by Microjustice Rwanda and Spark (link to pdf)
5. GROWTH PLAN
Most potential investors will ask to see a business plan before considering to fund your business. Although it can be tempting to use your business plans for this purpose alone, your business plan should function as a navigation tool for your business throughout its lifespan. A good business plan outlines how you will use the bank loan or investment you are asking for. Make a substantial growth plan in your business plan (link to template?), including growth forecasts. Continue going back to review your business plan and use it as a guideline in your daily work. Find more inspiration here
7. STAY INNOVATIVE
Staying innovative is what will give your business a cutting edge in the market and make you stand out from your competitors. Develop an Innovation strategy (material?) to ensure a continuous development of your core services and/or products.
9. FINANCIAL NEEDS
What are your sales and financial needs? To be eligible for access to finance, you need a clear overview of what you actually need to grow your business further. This includes sales projections, financial projections and an elaborate budget for your growth plans. (link to checklist from BiD network.)
11.THE FINE PRINT
Get your administration procedures up to speed for growth. Do you have sufficient contracts for sales and purchase? Make sure to develop adequate employment contracts and look into the labour law to ensure compliance with laws and requirements when hiring staff. For instance, what are the rules and requirements if you want to hire a consultant or an international staff member? Are you required to provide maternity leave, and how many days of leave can your employers expect?
2. ANALYSE YOUR MARKET AND COMPLETITION
Carry out sufficient market analysis to have a clear picture of where your business fits in to the market; who you are reaching and what kind of market share you can expect. This includes a list of clients, list of suppliers and a thorough due diligence. You should also make a thorough competition analysis to understand what you are up against and how your business can stand out. (link to factsheet from BiD)
4. HAVE A STRONG TEAM.
Do you have a strong management team that are up for the task? You cannot do it by yourself, so it is important that you have people on your team that you trust and who can lift the ask of taking the business to the next level.
6. VAT AND EBM.
Check if you need an EBM machine (electronic billing machine). For those who are subject to paying VAT, look into if you are obliged to have an EBM machine. The machine can be purchased at several spots in town, including AA Uni Rwanda in Kiyovu on KN 16 Avenue. Quick tip: Remember to load at least Rwf 1,000 to your machine every month in order for it to function. For more information about taxes and VAT, see the Doing Business Booklet by Spark and Microjustice Rwanda and Pwc’s taxation guide for Rwanda 2015. (link to pdf’s) For specific questions and inquiries about your business’ VAT obligations, you can call RRA’s helpline by dialing 3004.
8. CONTIUNE TO LEARN
What are your non-financial needs to grow you business further? Look into which particular trainings, coaching sessions, and support programs can benefit you (link to coaching and mentorship) and who are providing it (link to organisations page).
How are you currently marketing your business, and are you reaching the right target group? Make sure to have a marketing plan with concrete steps of action to reach your customers effectively and increase exposure and sales. This includes a target group analysis, development of marketing material, strategy for platforms and key messages as well as concrete action points – for instance a sales campaign or launch event. (link to marketing plan template – from Spark)