Growing your business
Here we’ll take a look at some fundamentals to consider when you wish to grow your business.
It is tempting to think that you can expand your business just by selling more, through a huge email campaign, a big public launch or another ‘splash’ event.
Of course, any sales push may fail, but sometimes success is just as fatal. What if you get 1,000 new orders and suddenly realise you don’t have a distribution network to support it? 1,000 new customers become 1,000 disappointed people who may never buy from you again.
Too busy? Here’s Business Growth in 30 seconds.
- Consolidate FIRST, grow second
- Make sure you have the capacity to deliver
- Train and coach staff to deal with new workloads or styles
- Ensure the whole organisation understands the vision
- Exploit core, adjacent and new business opportunities
- Consider partnerships as a gateway to expansion
Far too many companies fail to achieve their business growth targets in revenue and profits. In fact, studies report failure rates as high as 80%. Yet success is possible with a clear growth strategy and a strong infrastructure.
There are two vital factors in achieving growth:
- Adequate consideration of opportunities within the core business, adjacent to the core business or within new customer sub-segments.
- An organisational infrastructure that can support expansion.
Don’t limit yourself to linear expansion. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to sell more of your product, due to limited customers or a saturated market. This doesn’t mean you can’t move sideways.
If you’re selling cars are you also selling parts? Is there a property nearby you could convert to a mechanics workshop? How about using those second hand cars you can’t shift to start a budget taxi franchise? Or leasing them? Can you sell motorbikes, or partner with a local dealer to sell them until you have the infrastructure to be independent. Could you link with a local driving school and offer the use of your cars?
Sit down with your team and have as many wild ideas as you like, you just might hit on something brilliant that your current structure can support and enables new products or income streams.
When you’re expanding it’s easy to forget that you will need the capacity to handle new sales and new directions. Not only will you need the budget but you need the expertise and management.
What if you made computers for resale and realised there was an opportunity to set-up a shop to sell them yourself. Then you push half your team on to the sales floor only to realise they are engineers with low people skills. They can’t sell and so the venture fails.
Before you take on new products, procedures, customer groups or business directions you will need to ensure you have a staff and management team who can deliver, the budget to support it and premises to operate from. It’s also possible you will need policies in place, there may be new legislation to abide by and regulations to follow, staff may need specific qualifications like first-aid, fire-marshal or care-giver.
Expansion is a process that you need to be meticulous about. You will need to be confident of your market and capacity but more importantly you need to know your new business as well as you know your old one. All of this while still running your existing company.
It’s a very large and challenging undertaking and definitely worth the investment of bringing in some expertise. Consultants, like ourselves, are always watching the business world and keeping up to date on market trends, emerging legislation and potential funding opportunities. What may take you a week to research we may already have on our desk.
Still have questions? Are you thinking of expansion?
Hammond could save you a lot of time in research and help you avoid mistakes when establishing your growth plan.
Make sure your strategy is solid and your organisation ready for the challenges by letting Hammond guide your new venture.