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How to Plan for Business Growth

Now may be the time, the time to take your business to the next level!

Before you do, however, there are some important considerations to make…

Where are you now?

It is good practice to continuously monitor, and regularly review the financial and efficiency performance of any business, but if you are preparing for a phase of growth now may be the time for a deep dive. Setting Key Performance Indicators of where you are today provides a benchmark to review future success against, as well as decide the areas you are aiming to improve within the business.

A full audit should be undertaken to ensure that all of the operational ‘business basics’ are also in order before scaling begins, with any issues remedied before the progression of a growth plan.

Issues such as poorly managed Intellectual Property (IP) could have significant consequences to your business activity once the business has scaled up. The Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire offers a free service to help all small businesses understand how IP will affect them. Find out more here.

What does success look like? How will it be measured?

Growing a business is like crossing a river on stepping stones. Your business is unlikely to jump all the way over the water in one go.

It's important to clearly define each stage of growth from the start and to ensure everyone in the business understands both the short, and long-term objectives they are working towards. The successful progression to the next stepping stone must be quantifiable and able to be tangibly measured.

The motivations for growth must also match the milestones set. Not all business growth is aimed at solely increasing the bottom line – diversification may be undertaken to reduce the reliance on a sole product range (to increase long-term stability during uncertain times) for example.

How will you achieve this?

Most business growth strategies fall into one of the following four categories:

  • Market penetration (sell more of the same thing to the same market)

  • Market expansion (sell the same thing to new customers, or via new channels)

  • Product expansion/ diversification (selling something different or additional)

  • Acquisition (buying another existing business/competitor)

Each strategy will bring its own level of potential risk and reward to the business, although not all businesses will be able to consider all four as viable options.

What resources are needed?

The answer to this starts during the initial review stage – if you don’t know what you have, how can you know what is missing?

Key resources will likely include finance (and the ability to access it), equipment, and the introduction of new systems / standardised working practices.

However, less tangible resources such as existing time/capacity, and the introduction of new skills via recruitment or training are just as critical.

If a business is unable to source all the needed resources at the correct time, even the best laid plans can quickly unravel.

Find out how the Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire can support your business by visiting our 'Services' page.


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