Once your business is ticking along nicely the next challenge is to look at opportunities to grow.  It’s important before you light the match that causes your business growth explosion that you look over your business to ensure it is in the right shape to move forward.  Here are some key areas of your business you should healthcheck when planning for growth

Image result for growing a business

Branding and Marketing Mix
When you start to grow your business your brand suddenly comes under scrutiny again.  Is your name to local?  Is the colour palette suitable for the new markets you are looking to reach, and have you got the right marketing mix?
Review the analytics of your marketing, perhaps put your brand out to some focus groups and under some market research spotlights to get some impartial opinion on whether it will work for your next phase.

Capacity Planning
Growing a business isn’t just about bringing in a mass of new customers and skipping all the way to the bank.  You have to think realisticly about what you have the capacity to do.  If you have a staff team you need to review how much of their time each new customer costs, and how much needs to be dedicated to customer retention.  If you are manufacturing then how much can your current operation cope with in terms of capacity.  This will help to inform the costs of growth and how and when you will need to expand your team or operation

Customer Care
Often when you run a smaller operation, keeping an eye on customer care comes more naturally as you tend to have more direct contact with them.  It’s important to look at how your organisation currently offers a good standard of customer care, or ask if it does.  From there you can start to strategise how you will manage the transition as you expand and exnsure customers don’t feel like they are missing a part of the service that has made them buy from you before.

Getting Finances in Order
If you’ve happily plodded along with a haphazard book keeping system and a drawer full of receipts you will get back to later, you need to stop and get organised.  You need to evaluate if you are in a financial position to grow.  Especially if you are going to be looking for investment, you need to ensure you have robust and comprehensive accounts that demonstrate a solid baseline that will encourage banks and other funders to want to invest. 

There is so much to think about when planning for growth.  If you are a business in a B2B sector operating in Greater Manchester, why not meet with one of our ExcelerateLabs team to find out how you can get free support to guide you through the process. Contact exceleratelabs@thewo.org.uk 

Excelerate Labs is part funded by European Regional Development Fund to offer Greater Manchester Businesses support to grow.