Different business models require different approaches to growth. Brick and mortar business would have an entirely different growth strategy than a tech company. Here are five ideas for a growth strategy, pick the one that resonates with your business model and then investigate it further.
#1 Replicate your Business
If you own a retail store, or a physical services location, consider replicating your success and open another branch. Research potential areas regionally, or nationally to see what opportunities are on offer. Remember to be as thorough in your demographic research as you were with your first business. The second company will require just as much effort to build, however; you will be able to avoid the learning curve by applying what you learned with founding your first location.
#2 Expand Online
Does your company have a website? Are you using it to its full potential? This growth strategy has to be the most cost-effective growth strategy to grow your brand. Social media marketing, SEO tactics, and influencer collaborations can expose your brand to millions of potential new clients all around the world.
#3 License your Tech
This growth idea is an ideal strategy for companies that have information-based products, or technologies such as apps and software. License your product to businesses and take on resellers to do the work for you. Licensees will pay you royalties and licensing fees on every sale.
#4 The Benefit of Acquisitions, Partnerships, and Mergers
Does your company have a large pile of cash? Why not leverage it to buy out your competitors and strengthen your weaknesses with the best parts of their firm?
#5 Expand Internationally
Take your product and brand into foreign markets with the help of international trade consultants that can assist you in testing international territories.
Update the Business Plan
Once you have settled on your growth strategy, it’s time to break out the business plan and update it with your new strategy. Most business owners create their business plan during the initial phase of the start-up process and then never look at it again. Your business plan should act as a guide for your firm’s growth, and it will begin to play a larger role in your vision and company direction in the coming years ahead. Plan your growth strategy with the same attention to detail and care that you used with your first draft. Update your financials, marketing plan, and make notes on the goals that you have achieved in the start-up phase as well.
Funding for Your Growth Strategy
Small businesses need capital to grow. If you have decided to avoid taking on debt in the initial phase, it will mean that your credit score is probably non-existent at this moment. Large financial institutions will not loan money to small businesses that have no credit record, or a poor credit score. However, other financial services providers will be able to arrange a small business loan for your company. Microlenders have structured their businesses to allow them to take on the risk of lending to small businesses. Speak to one of their consultants, as well as your accountant, to inquire about the terms involved with a possible loan agreement.
Never overstretch your cash flow with a loan repayment and never lend any amount that you feel you will not be able to afford to repay. Defaulting on a loan agreement could be the death knell for your company, so make sure that you loan funds responsibly.
The Final Thought
Growing your business will require the same dedication and commitment required from you in the start-up phase. Define your growth strategy, update your plan, find the funding you need and then execute as quickly as you can.