The right kind of growth

At Facts & Figures we can provide businesses in the Edinburgh area with assistance and advice on a wide range of business issues. Here are some issues to consider when your business is growing...

In the pursuit of improved profitability you might be forgiven for thinking that any kind of growth is desirable, but in reality there are two types of growth - healthy growth and unhealthy growth.

You can tell whether your growth is healthy or not by looking at your profit and loss statement or at your balance sheet.

From your profit and loss statement, calculate the percentage growth of sales and the percentage growth of earnings. If sales are growing faster than earnings, this is a sign of unhealthy growth. The bigger the gap, the more unhealthy the growth.

Alternatively, from your balance sheet, calculate the percentage growth of key asset categories - debtors, stock, and fixed assets such as equipment. If the percentage growth of these categories combined exceeds the percentage growth of sales, this is an indicator of unhealthy growth. Again, the bigger the gap, the more unhealthy the growth.

The indicators of healthy long-term growth are:

  • The percentage growth in earnings is keeping up with or exceeding the percentage growth in sales
  • The combined percentage increase in the key asset categories is less than the percentage increase in sales

Growth in sales can look impressive but if it is not matched by a corresponding increase in profitability it can conceal underlying problems such as:

  • Inadequate cash flow
  • Unhealthy stock levels
  • Too many debtors

Sooner or later, these problems will surface as dissatisfied customers, demoralised employees, strained systems and controls, and stressed-out owners.

If the root causes are not addressed, what started out simply as a problem of rate of growth can become a question of survival.

If you are in the Edinburgh area and are looking for support and assistance from experienced accountants and business advisers, contact Facts & Figures.

Home | Contact us | Accessibility | Disclaimer | Help | Site map | © 2018 Facts & Figures. All rights reserved.

Registered in Scotland, No. SC149558, Registered office, 4-6 Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh, EH11 1LW. Facts & Figures is the trading name of Facts and Figures (Scotland) Ltd. Regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

We use cookies on this website, you can find more information about cookies here.

Facts & Figures, 4-6 Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh EH11 1LW
Facts & Figures, 46 Craighall Road, Edinburgh EH6 4RU
acca