All small businesses start out aiming to grow, but what does business growth mean and how can you achieve it?
Developing a business can be achieved in a range of ways from expanding your team or increasing sales figures, to launching new products or moving to new premises. Growth businesses are in a strong position to attract the best talent, appeal to investors, and innovate to take advantage of new opportunities.
Organic growth is when your business expands without making radical changes. For example, the longer you’re in the same market, your reputation could start to grow and lead to more sales. Recruiting new staff or receiving investment can also lead to organic growth.
If you’re actively looking to grow your business, you’ll need to develop a business development strategy that includes deliberate actions that change the way your business operates. Here are some examples of the most common strategies:
A business growth plan is similar to a standard business plan. The main difference is that it covers a shorter period of time, usually one to two years, rather than three to five years. So, how do you start business development planning?
Firstly, you’ll need to assess what stage your business is currently in and monitor performance. A good way to do this is by completing a SWOT analysis, which is a deep dive into your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Next, you’ll need to create a plan for how you want your business to grow and identify the goals that’ll help you reach the next stage.
It’s important to break your growth plan down into sections, with clear objectives you want to achieve. Areas covered in most growth plans include; growth strategies, marketing, operations, people. It’s also worthwhile to include an overview of your financial information, such as accounts, profit/loss forecasts, and a cashflow forecast.
When reading about business development, you’ll often come across the stages of growth. These stages outline the life cycle of a business so it’s important to know which stage your business is in. We’ve put together an overview of the main stages below:
Growth mindset is an academic term that has become popular in business. It’s a belief that either your professional skills, or your business itself, can be improved through hard work and dedication. It’s the opposite of a ‘fixed’ mindset, where you believe your business is limited by the skills and talents your employees already have.
The aim of having a growth mindset is that by focusing on learning and development, a business can thrive through innovation and new ideas. However, declaring that your business or employees have a growth mindset won’t have an impact. You’ll need to be committed to changing the way your business operates from top to bottom.
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