You have been doing well, all that hard work appears to be paying off, and now you have a decision to make. Do you stay as you are and enjoy the fruits of your labour, or do you dial it up a notch and take it to the next level? Expanding your business needs careful consideration, and you need to ensure that your business is ready for that next step!
Growing your business, whether in relation to products, services or physical location isn’t something that you can jump straight into – it takes careful planning!
Not all businesses will have a business plan, and those that do often have finance, sales, marketing and operations covered. However, the part of the business plan that focuses on people often leaves a lot to be desired. If you want to grow, now is the time to get your ducks in a row.
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What are the key factors to consider in business growth?
Before you make that next growth step, there are some key things you should consider: Do you have regular customers? Do you have enough people wanting your product regularly? Can you manage additional demand?
It is important to look back over a significant period of time to evaluate this. It is not just about having a successful couple of months, success needs to be something you can maintain for the future.
Do market research to understand what the demands are and to understand your target audience. It is crucial that you continue providing excellent customer service. You don’t want to dilute the service you currently provide by not having the right structure in place.
You should consider how you will attract new customers to ensure continued growth. Are you looking for recommendations from people, and how will you make those recommendations visible?
Are you planning on expanding outside your local area? If so, how are you going to do this? Maybe you are looking to sell online? It might be that you need to look at the most feasible and practical options for you.
Networking is a great way of establishing relationships and selling your product or service. Working with people within your local area enables you to establish business partners who might use your service or buy your products but who will also recommend to you people they know.
Business growth requires fantastic financial planning.
Is your company secure and making a profit? Sometimes when growing, you will need to accept that you will make less profit for a period of time. For example, when you grow your team of people it will take them a while to get to a point where they are contributing to the bottom line at a level you require, but as they become more productive, your profit will increase.
Now is a good time to review prices. What are you competitors charging? Are you staying competitive within the market? There may also be options for grants or funding. You need to know how to invest wisely to get the most out of what is available to you and to enable you to make income as consistent as possible.
You need to stay astute; know what is happening within your industry and keep on top of trends. Consider whether you are in a period of growth or decline and think about whether you can diversify by offering new products and services.
Recognising what is important
Business growth doesn’t always have to be about expansion. Invest in training your current team of people; ensure their skills can deliver what you need within your business.
Keep people motivated and engaged with your vision and values; this helps your team stay aligned with your company culture. Being a good leader means you understand that you are not an expert in everything.
Recognise you need people around you to support you achieve your goals, whether in marketing, HR, IT or finance. Consider finding a business mentor to help you direct the company.
It is important during business growth you don’t lose sight of what is important to you as a business. Continue to instil your company values and culture with those that work with you. Everyone has different skills and experiences but to be successful, you all need to share the same values.
If you push your business growth too soon, you may have a bumpy ride and need to rewind and reset in the future. However, if you have a clear plan, the right resources in place and the mindset to make it happen, then you can experience great growth.
To help you understand whether your business is ready for growth, try our HR capability scorecard. It takes 15 minutes, is completely free, and will provide invaluable information about 7 core areas of business.
If you are a growing business and need some support to get your people plan in place, please contact a member of the MAD-HR team who will be happy to help.
[Featured image: Canva]