How it’s Calculated


Growth Capacity calculation:


$ of Net Profit – ($ of Current assets – $ of Current liabilities)

= ______________________________________  x 100



How it’s Used


This ratio shows whether the business is capable of easily funding a higher turnover base.   A positive result for this calculation indicates that the business should be able to fund its growth from additional profits; a negative result suggests that the business might experience liquidity problems if it grows.


So your result is negative, what can you do?


First, increase the ‘profit’ side of the equation:

  • Promote more of your high-margin products or services – this can flow through into a higher net profit margin;
  • Make your ‘production’ or ‘service’ processes as efficient as possible – this saves both overheads and labour;
  • Focus on cost control through the entire business – what you use; how much you pay for it;  how much you waste, and so on.
  • See if you can reduce the owners’ drawings (whether they take the form of salary, or dividends or drawings, the end-result is still the same) – this keeps more of the profit in the business.


Second, reduce the amount of money tied up in the business:

  • Reduce stock levels, if this can be done without losing sales;  
  • If your business has ‘work-in-progress’, re-design your work methods or policies so that jobs are completed more quickly, or negotiate staged billing of your customers at key stages during the ‘production’ process;
  • Clearly outline your trading terms to customers, and make sure that someone in your business follows-up the slow-payers regularly – bill promptly, and ask for the money!
  • Have enough cash to cover the foreseeable needs, then use the balance to reduce interest-bearing debt;
  • Stretch creditors as far as possible within their trading terms.


The one constraint is to keep a sensible ‘current ratio’ while all this is happening:  long-standing rules of thumb talk about current assets being around 1.5 to 2 times current liabilities, in order to be commercially sound.  Retailers can get away with slightly lower levels, due to the high cash component in their sales.

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