7 great ways to grow your business
Startup may be complete but the next challenge is here
With startup complete, the tough part may be over but the next stage of your business will define the legacy of the company and could consolidate it for long term success. However, there’s a decision to make: what path do you take? Obviously each business is unique and what is right for one may not be ideal for another but here is a general countdown of the best ways to develop your business to give you the inspiration to decide the strategy for your next move.
While it is an expensive option, it gives you the opportunity to expand into different areas or, if you vertically integrate, it can lead to major increases in the efficiency of your business. Acquisition brings on a new group of clients that you now have a far higher chance of retaining than you would of signing them if they were prospects. Buying a business, be it a supplier, distributor or unrelated to your company, has broad possibilities and enables you to add products, services or capacity that was previously unattainable.
6. Win a Government contract
A government supply contract may require a lot of preparation to gain, but once won, it is safe long-term income that can secure your business’s future with minimal or non-existent competition to threaten you, at least for the period of the contract. Furthermore, winning the contact will be a big benefit for brand awareness as your product or service will receive more exposure. Not to mention it will give you a head start on the competition when it comes to extending to the contract in five or ten years’ time.
5. Expand to another location
At some point during expansion you will need to consider office space. It’s up to you whether that means relocation or expansion to a second location. It will require careful planning to ensure logistics and communication see minimal disturbance but it opens up the opportunity for further expansion, diversification to new areas and specialisation of at least one of your premises.
4. Join a business group
Forming an alliance with businesses in your sector, or other sectors, opens up your networking pool dramatically. While you will have to be careful to agree on a strategy to avoid poaching, an alliance brings more opportunities and can improve your efficiency, through economies of scale if you decide to become a larger buying group. What’s more, hearing contemporaries talk about issues they have overcome may help you to deal with your own concerns.
It’s possibly the simplest option of all but it can’t be overlooked. Recruiting in bulk will take time and a very precise person specification is required in order to ensure that you employ the people that will buy into the company ethos and values, rather than permanently altering them. For large scale recruitment, it may seem tempting to rely on an agency, however running recruitment in-house will help to ensure that your business remains what you dreamt it would be.
A simple but effective option, diversification is a completely new revenue stream. You could use your prior knowledge to enter a market that requires similar technology – Pyrex started out by making diodes for television screens – expand your product range beyond what you currently specialise in, or try something completely new, which while an expensive option in terms of R&D, would be a great opportunity for growth and encourage your business to continue learning and developing.
Finally, the world. Why restrict yourself to the UK when there is a market of seven billion people on offer elsewhere. With the internet overhauling how businesses operate, poor communication and lack of sales channels are no longer an excuse to avoid globalisation. While Brexit may be putting you off, exporting is still an effective option. Furthermore, if you are nervous about the logistics, expand through acquisition in another country, giving you a foothold and an avenue for advice on the sales channels and regulations, including taxing, in your new market.
There you are, our best seven options from seven to one for expanding a business, which will hopefully give you the inspiration to make your next step a giant leap, rather than just dipping your toe in the water. All of the above are feasible and effective, and it depends on the makeup of your business as to what is truly the best option for you. Perhaps you have already expanded beyond startup phase, what path did you choose?
If you would like more specialised advice about the next steps for your business, give us a call. We have experience consulting with companies in a variety of industries and can help you develop a plan for long-term expansion.
7 great ways to grow your business