Grow your business successfully

Business growth strategy and planning

Guide

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

See how to manage your suppliers and read about business growth: IT systems and processes.

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. Read more about strategic planning for business growth.

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:

  • Make sure that the new ideas suit your strengths and your vision of where the business is going.
  • Regularly review the risks you face and develop contingency plans. See more on risk management.

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.