When you’re running a business a time will come when your initial ambitions are fulfilled: you’ve reached a level of stability, the business is turning a profit and you’re reliably serving a core of loyal customers. At this point, you can either settle, or you can look for growth opportunities to take your business to the next level.
Standing still in business can often mean falling behind – if you ignore all opportunities for growth you’ll soon be outcompeted by other businesses who are hungrier and more competitive. If you want to remain at your current level, you have to make some growth plans. And if you are ambitious, hungry and looking for transformational growth? You need to devote serious time to identifying and pursuing the right opportunities.
Today we’re looking at some of the ways you can take your business to the next level, and optimise your chances of success!
Looking at the Competition
When you’re planning radical growth for your company, you need to know where you stand with regard to your competition: who are you going to be newly shoulder-to-shoulder with as you add more products, pour money into marketing or open new branches across the country? Competitor benchmarking identifies the most significant business that you’re in direct competition with and their capabilities, so you can plan around them and establish your own success in the market’s white space.
Learning what your customers want is one of the most important steps you can take when you’re planning for a dramatic expansion of your business. If you don’t know what they’re looking for, and what they value about your business, then you risk expanding in ways that aren’t attractive to your core customer group: you might add products they have no interest in, open a branch in a location where your customers aren’t waiting for you, or spend money advertising in the wrong places.
Market research is a big help here. Market research firms have the reach to survey a cross section of all your potential customers – not just the ones who have already chosen you, giving you actionable insights into what the customers waiting out there for you want.
Before you commit to a resource heavy, next-level expansion of your business, you need to ensure you are not only financially stable as you are, but ready for your core business to endure the increased pressure.
If you can, talk with a business growth consultant about your strategy, and how you can achieve your aims sustainably for your business.