The mere possibility of business growth is one thing that keeps so many companies going in the days of their humble beginning. Growth is the aim of every business, or should be. Putting things right and effectively preparing for business growth is quite a different matter altogether. If you are looking forward to growth for your business, it is important that you understand and take the right steps in preparing for the responsibilities, challenges and success that will come your way when you hit the target. It is not as important that a business grows as it is that the same business prepares for growth. So understanding how to grow your business and stay successful against all odds is vital for growth sustenance.
Business growth if poorly prepared for could become a business’ worse nightmare. So here are some remarkable points to take note of and ensure that you get them right as you look forward to moving your business to the next level.
Understand when the timing is right
As much as you want your business to outgrow its present status and size, you have to understand timing with regards to business growth. Right timing is a vital part of a business expansion plan. Businesses too have seasons and making the right moves in the wrong season would be just as bad if not worse than making no move at all. Knowing what season your business is at and rightly judging if you should take the following steps is vital and closely linked to your understanding of how to grow your business.
If your business is recovering from a big loss for example, it is not right to pull all the strings because you see an opportunity that you have to seize. Do not get into the error of putting more pressure on the business than it is able to hold up under. The company has to be prepared for the best as well as the worse. On the other hand, making the right moves at the right time will definitely turn the tides around for your business and set you on course for a successful ride.
That said, the best time for any business to engage growth actions is when it is financially and materially prepared for the best as well as the worse. You must be that objective. If you judge that the business will cope well in the face of failure or success, then it’s time to set sail. Otherwise, hold your peace. It is possible for any business to become destabilized in the face success which was not rightly prepared for just like failure at the wrong time will have devastating effects. Not that there is a good time for a business to fail in its growth strategy. It should just be a time when it can be contained with minimal losses or negative impact on the business.
If you plan it right you can make it big
The business plan is by far the most sought after aspect when it comes to business growth strategy and preparing for the next big thing that will come your way. Consequently, it is important and imperative that your business comes up with a professional business plan that is able to guide the business through the process of growth. That plan should also be good enough to keep everything on course once you decide to make the move towards business growth. Consequently, you will have to get a clear mind on what makes a good plan.
A good business expansion plan should be able to initiate and sustain growth. When you develop a plan for your business, it should be done with foresight. The plan may have to undergo some slight changes in the face of unforeseen circumstances. Nevertheless, it ought to be so good that it can actually sustain growth for at least a considerable period of time. Any plan that can only be used to kick start the growth process is not worth it. This also means that a good business plan has to be done with the future in mind. Never make a business plan influenced by the market situation at the time. To plan for the future you must have your eyes set on the future.
A good plan may not be easy to make, but it should be easy to comprehend and follow. The best business plans are those that can be understood by every worker in the business such that each person knows exactly what is expected of them to make it work. It has to be as simple as that. It should also be so easy to comprehend that in the face of any eventuality, where a worker or leader cannot execute his or her duties, his or her replacement would be able to understand and follow through just by looking at and following the plan.
Lastly a good business expansion plan should cover all key aspects of the business. Finances, workers and other resources and processes. It should have both long term and short term objectives. Every single objective, down to the least should be covered.
Remember Proper research prevents costly business blunders
When a business decides to launch out to the next level, enough attention and resources should be put into research. The execution of any business growth strategy is only as good as the research that is done to prepare for it. No matter what you already know about your industry, competitors and customers, there is always some vital information you are not aware of. Usually, such information is more important for your business than all what you already know, because so far as business is concerned, market trends change very often and so do customer desire. Consequently, whatever you already know may not be very necessary for the next level you intend to attain. Knowing how to grow your business is a function of proper research.
Proper research helps you understand what your customers’ needs and preferences are. We have already established that these needs and preferences change very often. Research therefore helps you stay informed so that you can know what changes have to be made to your goods and services so that they are able to fulfil customer satisfaction.
Research also gives you an edge over your competitors. It will help you discover areas your competitors are yet to know about as well as their shortcomings so that you can take advantage of it. Business research is mainly about gathering important information. And information is power. In the business world, whoever is more informed has the advantage and can make the best decisions.
Without research, most of your plans for the next level will be executed half blindly. Even making plans hinges on successful research. It is the ground work. You have to plan for research and you also have to research to plan. So both processes are just as important and help each other. So many millions could be wasted in the process of executing wrong plans or executing the right plans wrongly if proper research is not carried out. On the other hand, you could save millions as well as time and other resources if research for the next level accomplishment is properly done. Some of the most interest generating business campaigns will happen because you decided to carry out proper research. Alternatively, some of the costliest business blunders, which could even crumble the entire business will be a result of inadequate research.
Prefer Quality delivery over interests
As a business man or woman, it is usually very easy to be blinded by the need to maximize profits. Every business ought to be making as much profit as they can, but only when they have their priorities right. If you decide to ignore very important issues (customer satisfaction being just one of them) for the sake of maximizing profit, you may be able to make some money out of the blunder, but it will definitely cost you more in the future than you could imagine possible.
Customer satisfaction and all that makes it happen consistently is more important than reaching the highest point in the profit graph. The magical thing about following this logic is that more profit will definitely follow the business that decides to place customer satisfaction above the need to make profit. And of course this does not in any way suggest that customer satisfaction should be realized at a loss. Find a way to make both work, but pay attention to meeting customer satisfaction. When it comes to understanding how to grow your business, customer satisfaction is invaluable achievement.
Let us look at a company like Apple for example. All its products, especially the iPhone is way more expensive than their counterparts in the market. As a matter of fact, the company prides itself in the fact that they are an expensive brand. They surely have a lot of profit coming in, but the truth is, it could only happen successfully because they paid attention to customer satisfaction first. As a result, they have products with such quality and features that are just as difficult for their customers to resist as it is for their competitors to challenge. For the company, innovation and quality are the main things. For Apple, making the next move would not be as difficult an issue as it will be for other brands because they have a very strong customer base built on quality.
Take advantage of the internet
The World Wide Web is, as the name seems to suggest, a world of its own, wide enough to enable and contain your wildest form of growth and connected enough to link you to customers and prospects, no matter how far away they may be geographically. There are endless possibilities when it comes to taking advantage of the internet for your next form of growth. You could even run your business online full time if you decide to. Otherwise it will still be useful in the following ways for growth;
Advertising. Businesses have to constantly keep their customers informed about their progress, especially when it has to do with important developments. The internet makes this possible at a cheaper and easier rate than TV, newspaper or even radio ads. More importantly, with online advertisement, there are many more people who can be reached. People you could not possibly get to in any other way.
As far as preparing for growth is concerned, the internet gives you the opportunity of presenting your business ideas to investors who may be willing to put in their money and sponsor your progress. There are also crowd funding sites where you can get money for business advancements.
Then there is the possibility of selling your goods and services on your website. Something which will enable you save the cost of physically dealing with customers who are far away. On a website for example, research for business growth can be carried out by getting the perceptions of your customers concerning your products as well as their ratings. You can also look forward to getting information on the changes they may want you to make with the next innovation. These all prove that using the internet to your advantage is an important part of developing a business expansion plan.
Mind your competitors
In a very competitive industry, every plan of action has to be done with competitors in mind. It is a painful thing for your competitors to get information on your next move and get ahead of you. You must also ensure that decisions with regards to growth are not negatively influenced by the presence and actions of your competitors. In the corporate world, it is easy to find businesses that launch into another level without proper preparation or planning because of pressure from their competitors. No matter who seems to be going ahead of you, your plans to take the next business step should be strictly judged and guided. There should be sufficient reason for business growth ventures and adequate resources to meet the demands that will arise.
Understand how to grow your business by taking advantage of growth strategies
There are a number of strategies that are worth considering to ensure a smooth transition from one level of growth to the next.
- To merge or not to merge. Merging is one way a company can grow or make it to the next level. There are different types of mergers. That is a different story for a different time. in any case, mergers give a business several advantages which not only prepare it for growth but also sustains growth once the process is started. Merging with your business’ source of raw materials for example will give you the advantage of increasing production. This means you will be expanding the business at a lower cost than you should have done if the business had to bear the normal cost of getting raw materials for production. You cannot always merge with any business of your choice. It also depends on the other business. So you have to choose wisely when you make the decision to merge for the sake of business growth. Some mergers are not profitable. Others may seem promising at the moment but will become a burden in the long run. Higher an expert in evaluating business growth strategies so that you have a better chance of getting things right.
- Create new outlets and reach new market. In more precise business parlance, this is called market expansion or market development. It involves reaching out to new markets with products which are already in existence. The main reason why businesses chose this growth strategy is the presence of so many competitors in the market that there is no place for growth anymore. This means that the business is not able to increase sales or make any more profit than it is already making.
- Upgrade business infrastructure
When a business plans to grow, it has to carefully consider the issue of infrastructure. This includes office space and other building which will need to be in place. If there is not adequate infrastructure, measures should be put in place to see that the matter is taken care of before other things can follow. For example, if a business decides to produce more than usual to sell in new markets, there must be warehouses or at least secure places for the goods to be preserved until they are sold.
There may also be a need for more vehicles for transportation as well as labor force. Increasing the number of workers on its part will mean the company has to make room for new offices and working materials. All these require financing and they have to be done profitably. Since all of these have to be done before the actual business expansion or growth, the business growth plan must be as detailed as possible.
- Diversification. If a business decides to expand through diversification, then it is going to reach out to new markets where it did not operate before and at the same time presenting a product it did not sell before in that market. It is another growth strategy that is used when a business existing in a particular market cannot find any potential for growth because of competition. The down side of this expansion strategy is the fact that the business has no experience in this market. It therefore stands the risk of incurring great losses if the product fails to sell successfully.
- In hiring workers, let the vision determine who comes aboard. In the process of preparing a business for growth or expansion, management has to take the subject of hiring workers very seriously. If a business is going to experience actual growth, it is going to be achieved through the effort of every single employee in the company. Though those who are already in the business may not have to be replaced, those who have to be brought must be capable of playing their role in making sure the business successfully moves from where it is to where it is going to be. Let the vision of growth determine who is going to be employed.
You have to understand the importance of entrusting the right people with the right positions. It is very essential to understanding how to grow your business If there is someone within your team who can better manage a particular position, they should not be kept from it for any reason. The most important thing is competence, and it does not always come with longevity of service as some people think.
If for one reason or the other, you decide it is best to maintain existing workers and refrain from hiring others, you can take the alternative of training those you already have. Career development is sometimes better and more important than hiring new people, even if those people have better qualifications.
To sum it all up, remember that your business and the entire team will have to be ready for all that growth entails. There are so many sacrifices that have to be made to attain and sustain business growth. Consequently, every worker has to be psychologically and physically prepared to make their own fair share of sacrifice. The way the company functions will have to be different. This implies that routines which workers have become familiar with for so long will have to change. There will be more pressure with regards to deadlines and other matters relating to performance. Each worker must have a good understanding of what will be expected of them before the business moves into its next level.
They would therefore have to plan their personal lives more effectively so as to avoid any social problems. Though this is not part of part of the business expansion plan, it is necessary on the individual level.