When it comes to running a business, having a clear growth strategy is key in order to survive and thrive. Around 80% of UK businesses fail within their first year, and the average annual rate of business closures stands at around 10.8%. While these stats seem less than encouraging, they also highlight the need to plan for success from the start. Strategy, foresight, and the ability to foresee future problems are what separates the businesses that thrive from the ones that fail.
The biggest barriers to business growth are typically lack of access to capital, not using best practices, and a business skills gap. A great growth strategy focuses on these three key areas, implementing tactics and actions that make them a priority.
Here we'll show you how to implement best practices, create access to capital, and plug skills gaps to elevate your business to its next level of success.
Have the right systems in place to support growth
Do you need any additional tools and software to support your growth? Are your processes and operations as streamlined as they should be? Are you spending too much time on the same time-consuming tasks each month, when your time could be better spent elsewhere?
Doing things manually wastes valuable time as a business owner that could be spent growing your business. Automating your business processes as much as possible will ensure that everything's repetitive, consistent and more efficient, from bookkeeping to customer queries.
The best businesses are the ones that focus on the high-level stuff and automate the rest. They have the systems in place that enable them to create great experiences and deliver them consistently to every customer.
Take a look at your whole business and hone in on the areas where you could design better systems and processes. Streamline your whole operations, including your product and service delivery right down to how you collect payments, and constantly look to improve your processes. This will ensure you have great systems in place that are robust and adaptable enough to support your business as it grows.
Always look for ways to learn and improve
Too many businesses go through the motions, doing the bare minimum to get by. Don't let a lack of knowledge stifle your business. A good growth strategy is always underpinned by ambition, curiosity, and an eagerness to learn. Look for ways to upskill yourself and your team, to foster innovation, to improve your product and service, and provide more value to customers. Increasing the value you offer will result in happier, more loyal customers, which leads to even more customers further down the line.
Growing an amazing business is all about knowing your strengths and weaknesses. It's about spending your time on the things you're great at, and delegating the rest. When the whole team focuses on their key strengths, this provides the most value to the business. For instance, if finances aren't your strong point, find someone who's amazing with numbers to manage the process for you. They'll do a better job than you ever could, they'll save you time, and your business will be better for it! Too many business owners want to do it all. Their business is their dream, and when they're used to doing everything themselves, giving up even a chunk of that responsibility can be a scary thing. But ultimately, it's what will help your business thrive and grow in the long run.
Create a clear cash flow and funding action plan
Lack of access to capital can massively impact the growth of your business. In fact, it's one of the main reasons that businesses fail.
The best way to avoid this? Implement a cash flow strategy!
What happens when you run into a cash shortage? Do you have a tried and tested method in place for getting access to funding? Worrying about how to keep the lights on or how you're going to pay your staff can massively stifle innovation, and can be a huge source of stress and anxiety as a business owner. Taking a strategic approach to your business's cash flow can help you avoid these pitfalls, and give you the peace of mind that there's money in the bank, freeing up more of your time to focus on growing your business.
Remember, cash is king. A fail-safe cash flow strategy is the backbone of any successful business. Take the time to do some financial planning and forecasting before launching into any growth plans. Consider what areas of the business you want to grow. How could this affect the numbers 3, 6, or even 9 months down the line? Do you need any additional funding to support these goals? Taking a proactive approach to cash flow management will help you make the right decisions to help your business thrive.
Growing with purpose
Business growth doesn't have to be purely financially focused. Any area of development or improvement in your business can be considered growth. You could be looking to grow your customer base, your team, or even expand your product or service offering. This could include rolling out new products or services, or tapping into new markets.
Ultimately, your business should grow to support your wider vision, mission, and goals. Otherwise, you're expanding your business with no clear sense of direction or purpose.
Remember why you started and align your growth plan with your company mission. What is it you set out to achieve by starting your business?
All businesses exist to make money, but that's not their driving purpose. Your purpose is the change you want to make in the world. It's the problem your business is solving. It's how you're making a difference in the lives of your customers. When you have clarity around your wider vision and mission, you'll be able to create a growth strategy that's aligned with your governing purpose, helping you grow with ambition and intention.
We're on a mission to help businesses thrive
At Complete HQ, we love helping businesses grow. Our services are designed to take away the stress and anxiety of running a business, so you can focus on what you love. We can help with cash flow management, funding, accounting, and implementing clever software to streamline your business.
Get in touch to find out more.