Starting and growing a small business is no mean feat. If you’re on your own start-up journey, we salute you!
To ensure success, your business needs to have a solid growth strategy to take it from a start-up to a fully-fledged business, holding a strong position in the market it operates. In this blog, we look at the stages of business growth, what business owners do to hamper growth and how to avoid these pitfalls.
Before setting up a new business, it’s essential to have a strong idea about the stages of growth and a timeframe with key milestones. By doing this, business owners and anyone else involved can gain early insights into the opportunities and challenges that may lay ahead.
So, how do you mature a business from a start-up? One of the key challenges is making the best use of your initial pot of cash, which means every decision needs to be well thought through, particularly in terms of the team you build around you to help fulfil your growth strategy. These people will likely have multiple roles in the early days, before you can recruit for more specific roles like marketing, finance or operations.
Once the start-up phase is well established, the next step is to ensure your business model is solid and your position in the market is continuing to strengthen. Ongoing competitor research is crucial to ensure you stay ahead and spot any emerging trends, and this is where bringing in talented people to join your business could add real value.
Don’t get too caught up on the minutiae yourself!
A good measure of a stable business is one where the owner needs little input into the day-to-day running and can rely on its teams and internal processes. Have you invested enough in the right software and infrastructure to cater to customer demand and support your team?
Sometimes the reason a business is not achieving the level of growth originally predicted could be down to the one person who is the most personally invested: yes, that’s you, the owner!
As a business owner, it can take time to entrust areas of your business to others but remember that’s why you brought them onboard. Make everyone in your team accountable for overall business success. Shifting your focus and resources can be the key to enabling your business to meet its true potential by relying on the expertise of others.
Your team is relying on you to steer the company forward from the top. Your role is to focus on the long-term and create a growth strategy for how you’ll continue to meet customer demand and identify new offerings that will grow your customer base.
Well, that’s an understatement! When business owners were forecasting for 2020, nobody could have foreseen the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected businesses globally. Brexit and the outcome of the general election were the initial worries that were forecast to impact the economy.
In England alone, since March 2020 the country has been locked down twice, with severe consequences for businesses. According to the British Chamber of Commerce, 62 percent of firms have an estimated three months’ cash in reserve or less, with more than 50% making use of the government’s job retention scheme by furloughing staff.
However, “this too shall pass” and it won’t stay like this forever! Now is a prime time for businesses to use the remaining weeks of 2020 to invest time in strategic planning and ensure 2021 is a high-growth year. Let’s hope we can all bounce back, albeit operating with new measures in place.
Now is a great opportunity to ask your employees for their input, insights, and ideas about your business and really listen to them. Your people speak to your customers every day and will likely see your business through a different lens to you.
When your people are passionate about your products or services and focused on achieving success, their roles become more than just jobs – and particularly in smaller teams where every action has an impact. Outsourcing tasks to motivated individuals with a wealth of fresh ideas is a great way to gain useful insights that could well help you become the disruptor that your competitors dread. And help you come back fighting and stronger in 2021.