Business Growth Checklist
Measuring company growth is necessary if you want to determine the success of any company, including your own. There are a number of ways in which you can measure the growth of a company, here are a few.
1. Evaluate current business position
The ultimate goal of any profit making business is to generate as much profit as possible. However, after achieving early stage success there can be the temptation to try to grow and expand too quickly, a key cause of many business failures.
Before considering expansion, evaluate what is working, possible improvements, and potential areas for future growth and development.
- Does the business own any intellectual property?
- Are there any licensing or franchising opportunities?
- Is the business procurement ready?
- Are there any other markets / territories in which the business can operate?
- Is there the potential to collaborate with other businesses?
No matter how rosy the initial picture may look at face value, whilst business growth has the promise of increased turnover, the inherent costs and affect it will have on the workforce, resources, cash flow and profit margins, need taking into account.
Growing a business may mean that an additional layer of management needs to be in place in order to cope with increased work volumes. Sufficient cash flow to purchase equipment or stock for larger orders needs to be in place.
Business owners and managers need to know that the business can absorb the immediate effects of business growth, without compromising stability and sustainability.
2. Stay two steps ahead
Growing a business presents the perfect opportunity to diversify the product or service offering, introduce improved processes for greater efficiency and customer satisfaction, bid for larger contracts and branch out onto new territories / markets.
Use the skills of the existing workforce and knowledge of the competition to help formulate ideas for growth and identify any gaps there may be in the delivery of current products / services. Take into account feedback from existing customers and lessons learned to identify opportunities for future development or improvements.
Create a plan that lays out the next steps and set clear targets for growth. This will enable you to measure performance more accurately and stay two steps ahead of competitors.
Throughout the planning stage, apply due diligence and state what needs to be in place to make potential growth and development a reality.
- Are there any regulations the business must comply with in order to introduce a new product, enter a new territory or market?
- Are the relevant policies and procedures in place?
- What quality assurance is required?
- What additional resources / equipment will be required?
- What are the logistical implications?
- What finance is required?
Timing is crucial, attempting growth at a time when there is insufficient demand, cash flow or resources can lead to failure. In such, business development plans must incorporate seasonal, cultural and other markets trends in addition to resources, logistics and finance. Implemented at a time when the business can afford to grow and associated risks are minimised.
3. Build a strong team
Ensure that the right team members are in place, to ensure that development and change is effective. Create a clear value proposition that enable team members to buy into the business and plans for development.
Encourage accountability and innovation.
Keep team members informed at each stage of planning, set clear targets for each department or team involved in the process. Be transparent about key milestones and / or successes achieved, in addition to new objectives and developments taking place.
4. Have a contingency
Even the best- laid plans need to have room for adjustment. Plan for the best, worst and average case scenario and identify strategies and resources in response to each.
5. Ask for help
Early stage success can be a great endorsement for the overall product or service offering and the skills behind the person that started it all in the first place.
However, growing a business can be a different ball game altogether. Sometimes expert help and advice may be required to establish new contacts, access market intelligence, identify suitable business models and prepare for change, or access finance required for growth.
There a number of free and fee based support services available that assist businesses in all types of industries to achieve their full potential each day. Carry out research and tap into those areas of expertise most required to enable the business to grow.