Preparing for Business Growth the Right Way
19 September 18
No matter the type of small business you’re in, growth is a part of business. Preparing for business growth is fundamental to success.
There’s always a lot of questions and discussions about how to prepare for business growth – what you should and should not do. Business growth is specific to each company. Specific to what they offer, their team, revenue stream and goals.
Though it is specific and you have to decide what’s best for your company, there are fundamental ways to set yourself up for success.
No matter the type of growth you want or need to do for your business, pre-planning is not something that should ever change. We have discussed how to incentivise business growth and the process to take during to keep your business running smoothly. But before you leap into business growth, pre-planning is key. So, let’s get started with forming a strategic business growth plan.
Decide on What Type of Growth You Want
You can get growth through multiple means.
If you are a service-based company, you could expand your services or you could sell your current services to past customers.
If you are a product-based company you can expand who you sell your product to or start selling a new one.
You could acquire a new company.
There are a million options of how to grow but each of them is different and involves different goals.
A key to business growth is deciding what kind of growth you want. Once you decide on the type of growth, the plan for execution will look very different for each type. For instance, acquiring a company feeds into extending company culture and integrating processes and could involve moving offices. It also involves more capital upfront and more lawyers. Expanding the location where you sell your product could involve a better e-commerce website and increased location-based campaigns.
The type of growth is different than deciding if your company is ready for growth. When you decide on the type of growth that is right for your company, make sure you’re in the right business stage and stable before you decide to expand.
The first step is deciding how you want to grow, from there the plan can fall into place. And by fall into place we mean you spend hours brainstorming and developing a strategy and timeline with your team.
Prepare Leadership & the Team for the Growth Strategy
Oh, how we wish growth happened overnight. If only they had some red slippers for that.
Growth is a process.
A process that literally takes a team to succeed. After you’ve determined the type of business growth you would like for your business, you need to envelop the team into the strategy.
Part of preparing for business growth is being honest with yourself and your team. That sometimes can be the not so fun part. You need to assess the type of team you need for the type of growth you want.
Are there key aspects missing from your team? Let’s say you’re creative, maybe you need financial help to ensure capital and flow are in order.
We can’t say what you’ll need but you should know. If you don’t, take time to go through everyone’s workload and processes with them, assessing the overall company structure as you go. Every employee has strengths – and weaknesses. To help build your team as you grow, focus on those strengths and play off of them. Then, fill in any skills gaps.
Assess the type of team you have and what you need. Feed any changes or need for new employees into your overall timeline strategy.
They call them growing pains for a reason.
Leadership should be prepared to help guide the team through the growth period. Growth is always exciting and fun but can also get frustrating and difficult when you’re in the weeds of it.
Lift your team up. We’re big advocates of open door policy and not having set hierarchy within an organisation. Having your employees and team members feel comfortable approaching you with concerns, insights or feedback is pivotal to a successful growth phase.
Be prepared for your job role to be flexible and fill in where needed.
Analyse How Your Business Can Scale
Business growth is about adding resources as you add work and increase revenue. Scaling a business is about increasing revenue while incrementally adding resources.
In most cases, to truly grow, you need to decide how to scale your business. Scaling a business is different than growing a business, but scaling can impact how you grow. See how that works?
Scaling comes down to increased efficiencies usually through processes. Repeatable things happen in your office – streamlining the repetitive tasks increases productivity which increases profitability.
For instance, analyse customer’s purchase journey from contact to follow-up. If you’re manually reaching out to customers after they’ve purchased, automating the confirmation and thank you follow-up emails is a way you can scale. You’ve cut the time for a standard process, allowing you to complete other tasks while still caring for your customers. That’s a business scale win.
Develop a Comprehensive Strategy
Don’t look at each one of these parts as separate entities. As you develop your business growth strategy, analyse your company as a whole. What are your end goals? Where is your team now? How can you get from here to those end goals? What processes can be streamlined in the meantime?
The strategy will include team growth and development, content strategy, digital strategy, print campaigns, meetings with finance and accountants as well as potentially lawyers. See what is feasible for your team now and develop how to get to where you want to be.
Remember, even Google didn’t scale and grow their company overnight. They had a plan in place of how to expand into each arena.