Developing a business growth strategy

A clear strategy detailing what you’re going to do and when is essential to any business growth programme. It’s the route map showing how you will take your business from where you are now, to where you want to be in three to five years’ time.

Planning for success

A strong business plan is a key to unlock funding and investment opportunities. Investors will be impressed by a plan that gives evidence-backed information on how you will develop your business, the track record of the management team driving this growth, and how you will handle financial management.

Evaluate where you stand in the market

Get a clear perspective of your position in the market. Look at your suppliers and ask yourself if you can negotiate better terms? Identify your competitors and objectively compare their strengths to yours. And consider the dynamics of your sector – is the market open to all-comers, or are you protected by high barriers to entry? If the answers are favourable, growth is a realistic prospect.

Increasing market share

Evaluate your product or service and establish how effectively you are meeting your customers’ needs. If you are losing customers, do some research to see why this is happening – and fix it. The same applies if you are gaining customers. Find out why and focus resources on developing this success.

Entering fresh markets

Exporting is a highly effective way of growing your business by selling to new markets. First time exporters can start off close to home in counties such as the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark. The government’s advisory organisation UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is a great place to begin your research and get free help.