Recently published data confirms that the UK economy continues to grow.
Here are 5 actions you can take now to make sure your business gets its share of this new growth:
1. Make sure you have a clear plan for your Business Growth strategy
Whether this is a 300 page document or simply written on the inside cover of your notebook, you need to have a plan which as a minimum meets the following objectives:
- The strategy is fully aligned with the current market and economic environment
- The strategy is giving your customers what they want now, not what they have had in the past
- The strategy has been developed with the purpose of achieving sustainable business growth
Here are some issues to look at when developing the plan.
This starts with a review of the market within which the business operates:
- What are your competitors offering?
- What are you offering?
- Does your pricing structure reflect your service?
- Are you using the right distribution channels?
- How do you plan to grow?
- Have you got the right Resources?
- Do you have the necessary finance in place?
- Are your business resources fully co-ordinated?
2. Better Communication gives better results
It is vital to the success of the plan that it is accurately communicated. It is critically important that all staff are fully aware of what the plan is, and most importantly, their part in it!
This increased communication will lead to an enhanced understanding; to all within the organisation and externally to customers and other stakeholders, of what you as a business are seeking to achieve.
This communication should be constantly reinforced by the actions and behaviours of the business’ leaders, and by the brand identity.
As we all know there is nothing worse than receiving mixed messages from your suppliers!
3. Co-ordinate your resources
It’s important to recognise that planning a Growth strategy is NOT just about how to make more sales!
To maximise returns it is critical that all functions of your business are working in tandem and fully co-ordinated. This is the very opposite of the silo mentality we often hear about, where individuals, departments or indeed entire divisions work to achieve their own goals completely disregarding the bigger picture.
A performance management tool or ‘dashboard’, such as the Balanced Scorecard, will be of significant benefit in enabling the whole organisation to better understand how working together leads to sustainable Business Growth.
This high level communication will have the added benefit of encouraging an open culture where everyone understands the big picture and respects co-workers roles, ultimately leading to higher levels of commitment and motivation.
4. Stay Flexible
Keep as much flexibility as possible with your plans. Good plans are regularly reviewed and updated and this will sometimes lead to a change in the level of resource needed. It is vitally important that these changes can be actioned with least cost and disruption.
- Employ and train your staff to be multi-skilled – far better to pay a little more for someone who can cover a number of roles and who has the ability to be trained in new skills when needed.
- Property and asset commitments – Should be kept to a minimum to give that added flexibility when things change.
- Outsourcing – Resources that are not critical to your unique offering, such as payroll or IT, can be easily outsourced to give that increased flexibility.
5. Take the action NOW
A plan is just a plan until it is put into action. It may be that a great plan is consigned to the desk drawer or filing cabinet for its useful life, as it will become less and less relevant to the organisation with every passing day as the business environment continues to change.
It may be that you would like to work with another person on this project, and this would assist in putting these plans into action.
Business coaching will help you get this done!
An experienced coach or mentor will both encourage and challenge your thinking and help you to take an informed but slightly detached view, and provide new insights into both developing and then implementing your new Strategy.
As always, if you have any comments on this article or would like to discuss any aspect of it please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Thompson is Managing Director and founder of Trans Capital Associates
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