Grow your business successfully
Business growth strategy and planning
Planning is a vital task for any business. It is also integral to creating an effective and meaningful business growth strategy. You should review your business performance regularly and aim to identify:
- your business performance progress
- key growth areas
- the most likely strategy for growth
Planning for business growth
Complacency can be a major threat to a growing business. Assuming that you will remain successful, simply because you have been in the past, is unwise. You should prepare a business plan for growth and outline the exact direction and activities needed for expansion.
You should also regularly review your ongoing business plan. This will help you to identify what action you need to take to change your business and the way it operates. For example, you may need to:
- change suppliers if you've outgrown them
- renegotiate contracts to take account of increased volume
- train and develop employees, as well as your own role
- update to newer technologies that can support your growth
Strategy for business growth
As your business grows, your strategy needs to evolve to suit your new position. For example, you may change your focus from winning new customers to building profitable relationships with existing ones. See how to target your most profitable customers.
On the other hand, there are obvious risks to relying solely on existing customers. Diversifying your customer base or product mix spreads those risks.
Following the same business model, but bigger, is not the only route to growth. There are other strategic growth options that might provide better business growth opportunities. These can include outsourcing or franchising your business.
Minimising the risk of business growth
Your current success doesn't necessarily mean that you will automatically be able to seize new business opportunities. Every major move needs planning in the same way as a new business launch. You should:
- make sure that the new ideas suit your strengths and your vision of where the business is going
- regularly review and manage the risk you face and develop contingency plans
Commit fully to your business strategy, even if it takes you out of your comfort zone. Be prepared to make difficult decisions, if necessary. For example, leaving suppliers you have become friends with. Unless you're prepared to do what it takes, you risk putting your business at a competitive disadvantage.
Help to Grow: Management Scheme
Small and medium-sized businesses looking to grow can access training and mentoring support through the Help to Grow: Management Scheme. The scheme is 90 per cent funded by the government and provides access to 12-weeks of learning, 1:1 support from a business mentor and a chance to develop a bespoke business growth plan to help your business reach its full potential.