Date: 04/03/2015 | By: Liz Painter

Thirteen may be unlucky for some but we’re not superstitious, and we have some great tips for finding new ways to grow your business:

  • 1. Plan to Grow – Have a Strategy

Start with a plan. Successful growth needs long-term focus, commitment and action.  Consider the effects of growth on funding, people, infrastructure, systems and leadership.

  • 2. Ensure Your Business is Under Control

Can you cope with increased demand?  Make sure you can handle customers efficiently from start to finish.  This is key to sustainable growth as losing control can lead to a boom to bust scenario.

  • 3. Look for the Cash

It’s not all about increased sales.  Can you increase your gross margin, reduce your overheads and improve your cash flow?  Then, when you do increase sales, you’ll be much more profitable.

  • 4. Develop Existing and Lapsed Customers

Doing more business with existing customers is cheaper than finding new ones.  Can you extend your range and encourage extra purchases (“would you like fries with that?”)  Re-engaging with lapsed customers is a great way to find extra sales.

  • 5. Growth from New Customers

Start by profiling your ‘ideal’ customer. What are their needs?  Where can you reach them?  What messages will engage them?  Trial different approaches and monitor your successes.

  • 6. Decide what Markets You Want to be In

Sustainable profits come in two ways – through competing in highly profitable markets and/or having an advantage over your competitors.  So are you in the right market?  Is there another market you can enter to provide superior returns?

  • 7. How do you Stand Out from the Crowd?

What’s your competitive advantage?  Is it a better offer or a lower cost?  Ask your customers what they think sets you apart from the competition.

  • 8. Be Realistic

By all means, make plans for global domination, but you also need to identify the risks and plan for them.  Involve people inside and outside your business who will give a balanced view of your plans.  Be pragmatically enthusiastic!

  • 9. Use Outside Help

Businesses who seek outside help and information are 14% more ambitious and 50% more successful than those who don’t.  External advisors will bring expert advice and ongoing support.

  • 10. Measure Everything

Keep track of what you’re doing.  If it’s working, do more of it.  If it isn’t, re-evaluate.  Identify the key value drivers of your business and monitor them.

  • 11. Focus on Value

Create value for the customer, for your staff, for your suppliers and for you and the business.  A value outlook will mean you consider customer needs over time, rather than focusing on short-term profit.

  • 12. Weed out the Waste

Is your business efficient?  There will be things that drain resources – time spent, excess stock, over production and excess documentation.  Weed it out!

  • 13. Check out Your Business

Use our BizSmart Checker to get a free business assessment. Click here to begin the questionnaire, which will take only 5-10 minutes to complete.