There are 5.4m small to medium businesses in the UK with a combined annual turnover of 1.8 trillion. This is an impressive figure with many of these businesses demonstrating strong profitability whilst still managing to increase turnover and expand.
So, if you are looking to grow your business where do you start?
Firstly, growing a business requires good planning and execution. Time spent in the planning phase will pay dividends when it comes to the execution and delivery phase and will ultimately help your business succeed.
There are a wide range of tools available to support business growth. The Government website is a great starting point with lots of free information including details about support schemes, grants and initiatives. The website also maps out an easy to follow process detailing the key stages of planned business expansion along with some useful tips on how to achieve each stage.
The eight key stages of business growth can be summarised as:
1. Plan for growth
- How do you increase sales to both new and existing customers?
- How can you improve your product/service?
- Are there new channels to market you’ve not considered?
2. Get extra funding
- How can you invest more in order to realise the growth potential you are looking to achieve?
3. Increase sales to new and existing customers
- Is your pricing strategy right?
- What are your competitors doing?
- How can you sell more to the existing customer base?
4. Attract new customers
- Have you thought about advertising in your local media or marketing online?
5. Improve your products and services
- Have you talked to your existing customers to find out what they value most?
- Can improvements be made to your existing range without incurring significant cost?
6. Develop new products and services
- Have you done any research to find out what your customers need?
- Are you able to develop a quick prototype first before committing to further investment?
7. Hire and train staff
- Does your staff have the right skills to support the projected growth?
- Have you considered additional training of existing staff or apprenticeships?
8. Work with a mentor
- Have you investigated employing the help of a business mentor? There are many who would offer their services free of charge with knowledge and skills relevant to helping businesses grow.
You can find more information and guidance on how to grow your business along with the eight key stages summarised above, by going to Gov.uk