Is your business operationally ill ? What can you do about it ?

For many businesses, the biggest barrier to growth isn’t poor sales, financing or tough competition; it’s often the business itself!

Before you decide your growth strategy, take a look at some key business indicators to help you decide whether you are actually ready for growth! Are you successful in your current market? Do you want to open a new location? Are you about to sign a big sales contract? Is your sales pipeline full?
Is product development success opening the door to new opportunities?

These are important indicators that will drive growth and should be constantly monitored to ensure you are able to effectively prepare for that growth.

Underpinning any growth strategy should be a deep knowledge of where you stand against your competition. A SWOT analysis, reviewed quarterly, can help you determine where you fit in relation to your competitors and areas of opportunity to exploit your strengths and their weaknesses. Also, it will give you a good view of any threats to your growth and guide you towards developing a plan to fix or compensate for these.

Do some market analysis to find out how your customers view your business and what they see in the competition that would make them buy from them instead of you.

Find ways to differentiate yourself. How does your competition position itself in the marketplace relative to your business? How does your business/product/service contrast with theirs? Why would a customer buy from you and not them? The answers to these questions will help you see your strengths, exploit market opportunities, and execute a tactical plan to get ahead in areas that you don’t measure up to the competition.

Constantly assess risk. If there’s one thing being a manager or business owner teaches us all, it’s that we must always anticipate and manage risk. What variables could occur that might damage your growth plans? Supply chain issues, competitive activity, cash flow, patents or retaining of staff? Include these in your SWOT analysis and develop a plan to prevent or manage any issues.

You must always be prepared. Never embark on a growth strategy without a plan.


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