If you’re expanding, you’re adding costs — additional headcount, new facilities, upgraded systems, foreign tax codes you may be unfamiliar with, and any number of unexpected expenses. But knowing where you stand financially by focusing on spend visibility and cost control as you plan for growth makes it easier to realize the revenue growth that comes with expansion.
Eight out of 10 businesses agree. According to a survey by Oxford Economics 81% of leaders say they would benefit from concentrating more on efficiency and cost control.
In the study, Oxford also points out that having a clear view into costs across an organization can:
- Boost performance by limiting waste and redundancy before they happen.
- Free up executives and employees to focus on strategy and other critical issues.
- Improve flexibility, speed, and the ability to funnel resources where they’re needed most.
Having this level of cost awareness can greatly impact the success of any expansion. The question is how you get there. The answer lies in these four recommendations:
1. Emphasize cash flow early
The more you factor spending into your expansion, the fewer challenges you’ll face. Businesses that can see what’s going out the door have an easier time growing, and the most successful of those companies have a keen eye on everything from invoices to T&E spend.
2. Facilitate internal collaboration
Silos don’t lead to success. Companies whose finance and IT teams work together to create consistent processes are able to move faster, and those that bring together all their travel, expense, and invoice data are better able to forecast spend and create accurate long-term plans.
3. Focus on cost visibility and efficiency
When spending data is easy to find and use – when you have a single, global, near real-time view of your data — you can make smarter, faster decisions about where and how to expand your organization. You can also drive greater efficiencies, spot trends in the company, and unlock useful new insights about where you stand.
4. Consider automating spend management
Freeing employees from finance tasks allows them to focus on more valuable work, and it helps you handle an expanded workforce without adding to your team. The right solution will also help you manage the tax and regulatory requirements of the countries into which you’re expanding, while steering you around some of the risks associated with high-growth opportunities.
Seeing where you are is crucial to seeing where you can go. You have to know what you’re spending to know where, when, how, and if you can expand. To learn more, download the Oxford Economics article Managing an Expansion: Keys to Successful Business Growth.