Running a business is a naturally complex endeavour, being necessarily multifarious a role. But business ownership in the UK is on a steep rise, despite growing economic pressures resulting from rising inflation; according to recent statistics, up to 90 businesses were being instituted per hour in the first half of 2022.
The vast majority of these businesses are helmed by owners new to the discipline of business ownership and growth. As such, many do not have the proper tools to effectively manage their own business’ growth and success. Some businesses take off, simply due to being at the right place at the right time. But those with the most meteoric rise also risk unsustainable expansion, and near-inevitable failure.
With around one in seven businesses risking imminent closure in 2021, before the present inflation crisis impacting the country, it is especially important that a robust and sustainable growth strategy is necessary to ensure a future for your business. But how should you go about managing your growth?
Setting clear and actionable objectives should be the very first step in your growth strategy. Many businesses make the mistake of promoting growth for growth’s sake, without setting specific targets and milestones for that growth. This can lead to unfocused expansion and unnecessary expenditure, not to mention poor long-term outcomes.
Start with some essential ambitions for your business. What does success look like after 12 months? Is it a certain percentage of user or client growth, or is it expansion into a new branch or geographic region? And what does success look like in five years? Objectives do not just provide direction, but also structure.
Alongside your main growth objectives comes a need for financial responsibility. Cashflow is an extremely important thing to manage at all times, demonstrating as it does your business’ ability to weather short-term shocks. Without proper economic care, you run the risk of insolvency and the tough decisions that come along with it.
Keeping a budget is simple enough if enough structure is given. Ensuring that funding is ringfenced, and that specific projects or growth aims are provided with relatively strict funding pools, are strong ways to get started.
Mergers, Partnerships, Acquisition
Lastly, there comes a point in many business’ lifespans where growth begins to plateau. This no-man’s land can often spell the end for growth-hungry CEOs, but often illustrates a simple – if large – limitation. Your product might reach maximum saturation in your region or country, or your profits might not longer justify staff expansion.
At times like these, the way forward into new regions and new echelons of business involve liaison and partnership with other businesses. This is a strong leaping-off point for the business owner content with their lot, but also a powerful place from which to make a lasting impact on an international stage. By merging or partnering with another business, you can ensure your brand endures.