Press Release

Achieving Smart Growth: Bank of the West Report Helps Small and Mid-Sized Manufacturers Navigate Business Expansion
SAN FRANCISCO | Dec 10, 2015

Manufacturing-Focused Paper from Bank of the West Provides Tips for What Small or Mid-Sized Businesses Must Consider Related to Smart Growth Strategies

Bank of the West announced today the publication of Achieving Smart Growth: A Guide for U.S. Manufacturers, a paper by Michelle Di Gangi, executive vice president of small- and medium-size enterprise banking at Bank of the West, and the third in a series addressing challenges and opportunities small and mid-sized manufacturers face. The report highlights tactics that manufacturers should take to ensure that they are growing their businesses strategically at the right moment for the businesses.

Based on Bank of the West research, conversations with manufacturers and insights from other experts, the paper highlights the unique challenges that manufacturers face when pursuing growth, and provides guidance for discerning when and how to achieve healthy growth.

“Small and mid-sized businesses often strive for growth without really evaluating whether or not it is the right time or the right conditions are in place to be successful in that pursuit,” said Di Gangi. “If businesses take the time to assess whether or not growth would be healthy for their company and chart a plan, they will be far less susceptible to risk when they do move forward with expansion.”

For businesses that plan to grow, the paper outlines a simple framework for smart growth:

  • Plan:  Once the decision is made to grow, developing a plan that lays out objectives, provides strategies for achieving growth and identifies potential risks can help position the company for successful scaling.

  • Invest:  Look for opportunities to invest in the business that will increase profitability over time. According to the 2015 Bank of the West Small Business Growth Survey, small and mid-sized businesses clearly understand the value of investing in their companies, with three out of four business owners intending to invest in the year ahead. While investment plans vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, our research and conversations with manufacturers point to a common theme: investing in technology makes a difference.

  • Fund:  Procuring new equipment, investing in the latest technology and purchasing raw materials all require capital investments. Common funding paths—cash flow and credit—have very different implications, and discerning which option is right for your business is critical.

  • For example, relying on cash reserves saves financing costs and may reduce risk. But this may also constrain growth and limit a manufacturer’s flexibility in good times and bad. Alternatively, lines of credit, commercial real estate loans and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans have helped many manufacturers to expand in economic upturns, as well as ride out rough patches.

“Having a well-articulated plan, making strategic investments and deciding how to best smooth out ups and downs are keys to positioning any company for successful expansion,” said Di Gangi. “At Bank of the West, we aim to provide manufacturers–and all small businesses—with the tools necessary to achieve smart growth.”

To read the full whitepaper, Achieving Smart Growth: A Guide for U.S. Manufacturers, visit:  Achieving Smart Growth: A Guide for U.S. Manufacturers

The first two of Bank of the West's manufacturing series papers are also available: Made Here: The Business Outlook for U.S. Manufacturing and Fortifying Your Business: Fraud and Security Measures for U.S. Manufacturers.

For additional guidance and insights, visit the Bank of the West blog at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Bank of the West:

Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $74 billion in assets as of September 31, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels.  Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees.

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1 “Seventh Annual Fiserv Billing Household Survey Gallery,” Fiserv, 2014