Growing Your Business: Plans, Challenges and Pitfalls
When you’re running a business, growth is something you always need to keep an eye on. Not every opportunity for growth is the right one for your business, but unless you’re actively monitoring those opportunities you run the risk of missing out when the right one does come along.
Today we’re taking a look at some of the ways you can grow your business safely – and what can go wrong when you don’t.
Risk: Unsupportable Growth
Opportunities to grow always look like opportunities to reap a big reward in the future – but before that future arrives you need to finance that growth and oversee. That means investing time and money, which means taking resources away from your existing business, and potentially taking on additional risk or commitments in the form of debt or oversight from additional investors.
It takes time for expansion of any kind to pay off and if you can’t keep the books balanced before that point, your business could be in trouble.
One way to avoid growth that you’re not ready for is to get professional help to make a business growth plan. Expert consultations can help you make plans and set tests to tell when you (and the market) are ready for your next push by identifying key targets like revenue or footfall, capital saved and so on. These all help you sort the safe opportunities from the risky ones, and ensure you can grow in a way that gives you the best chance of long term prosperity and success. If you’re looking for strategy consultants London agencies can give you an immediate shot of insight and expertise to help you plan for the years ahead.
Risk: Brand Dilution
Your brand is your most valuable asset: it’s your public perception, the image constructed in the eyes of the public that tells them who you are, what you’re like and most importantly, why you’re the right choice for them. Growth – adding to your offering, opening in new locations or offering new services – can reinforce that brand perception, making it stronger and more persuasive or, if the additions don’t make sense in the context of the brand you’ve already built, they can undermine that work, and make your brand a less coherent, less effective tool for bringing in customers.
You can’t just leap on opportunities for growth because they’re available: they have to make sense within the context of the brand you’re building. If you’re running a website selling mountain bikes, bike accessories and supplies, adding a line of cupcakes because you can source them cheaply confuses your brand (at best, they’re not an asset, at worst, such an eccentric move damages your reputation). Adding a line of sports drinks or trail snacks reinforces your brand and makes you more attractive.
To avoid moves like that and ensure you’re protecting and strengthening your brand, you need to know what customers value about your business. Engage in regular market research to see how you rank alongside similar brands, what your strengths are and why people are choosing your brand.
With data and expert insights, you can ensure you’re making better choices when you’re looking at growth opportunities.