For many owners, growing their business is a key goal. If you want your business to expand and evolve over the long term then defining your core growth strategy is key, but where do you begin?
Setting your objectives
Your strategy hinges on your ambitions for the business, be that rapid growth and exit, a legacy to pass down the generations or to create opportunities and jobs in your local community.
Taking time to define your objective and analyse where your business may face challenges are key places to start. Formalising this plan is also a great way to get your team on board and motivated to reach this shared aim.
This key objective also allows you to explore what kind of growth you hope to achieve. This could range from driving profits to increasing employees or widening your reach across markets.
Defining your plan
Once your key objective is set, you can begin to build your strategy. This is where you’ll analyse the market and define the ‘how’. Take a look at what your key competitors are doing and consider how you currently stack up. This is great starting point to highlight areas of improvement in your own business.
Working with a business advisor who has a line of sight over many businesses and sectors can also be useful. A good advisor will challenge your thinking and act as a sounding board to thrash ideas around. All of this initial thinking can then be refined into your action plan.
Managing your growth effectively means having clear key performance indicators (KPIs) to understand where your business is excelling but also where you may be falling short. Your KPIs will depend largely on your primary objective, defining these KPIs early means you have a clear view of business performance allowing you stay on track for your long-term growth plan.
Many of these KPIs will be financial (cashflow, revenue and your profit margins) but you are also likely to need some non-financial KPIs as well in order to gain a holistic view of your business’s performance. These could include:
• Client relationships – are your clients happy and do you have repeat custom? Do you understand your clients’ needs? This is all important in building sustainability into your business.
• Quality of your products or services – Your business may be growing rapidly but is the quality of your output handling the increase in demand? If not, then your growth is unlikely to last.
• Staff retention – Your people are vital to your long-term success. If they aren’t happy then you will face issues with retention. This will impact not only the bottom line but a high turnover in your team is also likely to have a knock on effect to your other KPIs.
A good growth strategy should be flexible and allow you the space to adapt as your business and the landscape changes. If you want to talk through your strategy for growth, get in touch.