For many business owners, the aim is to run a ‘lifestyle business’ that funds a certain quality of life. However, for some the aim is rapid business growth. This could be for a multitude of reasons from wanting to work flat out for a few years then selling and retiring young to just enjoying this high risk, high reward strategy.
Whatever your end goal, fast growth needs to be carefully managed and there are certain challenges that need to be mitigated.
What strategies create rapid growth?
Many businesses who grow rapidly focus their attentions on an external growth strategy. While an internal strategy works on areas such as upskilling team members or expanding product lines, external growth looks at areas outside of the business to rapidly scale operations.
External growth includes:
• Mergers and acquisitions Buying another business to access their client base or partnering with a competitor to expand your reach.
• Strategic partnerships A basic example of this is a coffee shop partnership with a bookshop. It is a mutually beneficial agreement that expands both business’s offerings to their customers.
This growth is not considered ‘organic’ and therefore needs careful management and planning to ensure success. As this growth occurs rapidly it means that things can go wrong just as quickly.
Having a clear plan
The main challenge that comes with growing too quickly is not having a plan in place for what happens next. For example, any expansion of your client base needs to be backed up with the resources to meet demand. If the quality of your service falls short you are likely to not only lose your new clients but also your existing ones.
A clear plan needs to be in place for how you are going to manage growth in a particular area of the business, will you hire more staff? Buy more equipment? How will you fund this? All key questions that need to be raised prior to making any changes.
Getting the right systems in place
As your business grows, the information and data you need to be able to store and process will increase with it. As a small business, perhaps a more manual approach to maintaining data worked well but this will very quickly get out of hand.
Before any period of growth, it’s important to review and assess your systems ensuring they are fit for purpose not only for your present size but also for the larger business you aim to be.
The right systems can also help you to maintain your growth trajectory. Being able to access reliable and clear management information allows you to see the full picture of your business and make better decisions accordingly.
A well-planned strategy is the first step to rapidly grow your business. The more ambitious your targets, the more forethought is needed to reach your goals.
Get in touch to discuss your aims and how to achieve sustainable growth.
T: 020 8549 5137