You’ve hit £1m revenues, but growth is stagnating. Are you ready to take the next step?

Liz McCutcheon, CEO, Inspirent

By Liz McCutcheon, CEO, Inspirent

Most businesses begin life as an entrepreneur’s vision, a passion translated into a product or service. That passion is vital for elevating a start-up business and is often a critical factor in growth success. However, when a business reaches the £1m revenue milestone, this entrepreneurial mindset can become restrictive, making further growth more difficult.

With the success of £1m revenues comes the need to evolve mindsets – moving from an entrepreneur to a CEO is a journey leaders must embark on to effectively break the million pound barrier.

As business growth specialists, we’ve compiled a list of the top areas business leaders should consider in order to re-ignite their growth trajectory. 


When founders start a business, they are often overseeing all aspects of the business, especially in the early days where cash or investment is lacking. When you become a £1million business, that needs to change; you can no longer be all things to all people as well as be an effective leader.

Think about your skills, experience and strengths, identify the gaps, and hire the best talent to fill those roles. You need to hire the right talent in the right places to really drive growth, that means relinquishing control to people better placed or more experienced in specific areas.


What worked for a business pre-£1m won’t necessarily be the best option to secure future growth.  Carry out an audit of your systems and processes and consider if they are still fit for purpose against your business objectives.

Ask yourself questions such as, can they scale as your business does? Do they support larger teams, deeper supply chains, and global reach? Will they meet the demands or needs of the business long-term?


Any business leader will know how important targets are, however, are you focusing too heavily on KPIs? Considering growth factors that don’t come with a tangible KPI is important to ensure you’re taking a 360-degree view of the business.

Checking in on areas beyond the targets, for example HR, strategic direction, financials and cash flow, innovations and R&D, and technologies, arms leaders with knowledge from right across the organisation. This holistic view can often catapult them into the next million pound bracket.

Step outside of your comfort zone

Change doesn’t come from a comfortable place. You may already know your strengths and development areas as a business leader; you may be repeating the same patterns; you may be uncertain about how you move forward. The next vital step for sustained growth is finding different solutions to address these gaps, especially in areas where you lack confidence or expertise. If you’re not outsourcing or hiring into these areas, then the likelihood is you’ll be steering away from the elements of the business that takes you out of your comfort zone.

Whether it’s accounts, HR, or marketing – there are lots of factors that combine to make a business successful, and if you find yourself not acting on certain areas or tasks, and you do not outsource or hire, then growth will stagnate.


With this in mind, consider to what degree you are outsourcing to specialists or consultants. Ask yourself are they still the right fit for you and the business considering your growth objectives? Again, what worked as a pre-£1m might not work for a £1m+ business.

Think about the questions you need to ask to identify the right partner or solution, one that can help you drive success and enable you to reach your goals. For example, do you feel confident enough to trust them with your brand. Answering ‘yes’ to this should be a non-negotiable.

Deep diving

How detailed are you in your business? Do you interrogate the data, trends or insights often enough? Do you have feedback processes in place for your staff, your customers and your suppliers?

Without the detail, you’ll lack the specifics – and it is this level of information that’s required to deliver long-term growth, moving you beyond the £1m mark.

Importance of fresh perspectives

With the best will in the world, the reality is, leaders of £1m+ businesses know when and who to ask for help. They understand that they are only one person, and when challenges arise, they know there is someone who has trodden that path before them that will know how to overcome it. Recognising when a barrier to growth needs a fresh perspective is key.

Inspirent’s business growth clubs are one such place to seek help and support; led by experienced growth consultants, these exclusive groups bring together 12 business leaders to share ideas, innovate with solutions and navigate challenges facing scaling organisations. Our mentors work with leaders to identify specific areas which hamper growth, and provide actionable steps and the changes needed to address and overcome those obstacles.

If you’re an established business in Greater Manchester with an annual turnover of £1-3 million, and are ambitious to grow but are stagnant or lacking direction, then our newly launched Inspirent Business Growth Club could be for you. These small groups work together each month, and our first cohort is now open to applications, with a start date of 24 October.

For more information, or to register your interest, please visit or call 0161 507 6702.