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Easing the Growing Pains. Podcast by Safaraz Ali

Easing the Growing Pains. Podcast by Safaraz Ali –

There is no shortage of business start-ups. But many unfortunately fail. Ninder Johal and Safaraz Ali have both successfully run and grown businesses. They talk about why many do not get beyond the nursery slopes and what qualities are needed to scale up. They discuss the support that is available and the role of consultants, advisers and non-executive directors in successfully moving to the next level.

Ninder Johal started his business career in music, he is founder of the Signature awards that celebrates the best in business in the English West Midlands and is publisher of the Business Influencer magazine. He has been a colleague and friend of Safaraz Ali for many years and joins Saf to talk about a significant barrier for many businesses.

There are many start-ups, but a large proportion will fail and a lot struggle to grow to the next level. It is something of which Saf and Ninder have experience.

Both believe that a crucial first step is to know why a business wants to grow and to recognise that it is not for everyone. If a small business is going well, delivering the lifestyle the owner wants and makes them happy then there is nothing to say that they have to grow.


Saf believes that understanding strengths and weaknesses and having processes in place are essential for growth. He says that scaling a business is often less exciting than founding one. For Ninder, understanding numbers is vital as is ‘sticking with plan A before moving on to plans B, C and D.’ He also believes that a business owner looking to grow also should understand the difference between what advisers, consultants and non-executive directors offer.

An unavoidable part of growing is letting go and giving more control to others. Ninder and Saf acknowledge that this can be a very emotionally difficult thing to do. However, it is essential and Ninder stresses the emotional aspect with the story of the football club that will not appoint supporters to senior roles because of the importance of decision-making being driven by rational thinking not emotion.

The podcasts provides a guide to deciding if to go for growth and then how to go about it.

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