Map your Business Growth Strategy
It is always necessary to re-evaluate and refocus your business growth plans. Refresh your business model and increase your profit margin – and you’ll want to do this with as little cost as possible.
We sometimes forget that our businesses are affected by external factors – things that are out of our control. It’s a good idea to prepare, with these factors in mind, as you start to grow your business – and a good approach is the PESTLE approach.
It’s important to take an overview of how Government policy affects your business by looking at the sector you operate in. The current Government has put an emphasis on the ‘Big Society’ with a budget provision for this too. They’re also working with business clubs to assist small businesses with procurement in the public sector. Look at opportunities here and elsewhere.
Government department BIS is the engine of the Government’s commitment to small businesses, with the Small Business: GREAT Ambition report a framework for business growth. For example, take a look at the Start Up Loans scheme and the British Business Bank initiative.
The Chancellor’s recent Autumn Statement may affect your business, so do look out for the summary, and talk with your accountant about next steps.
Take a step back and look at your social media strategy and try to connect this with your business benefits. For instance, let’s say you’ve made a new LinkedIn connection – try to meet that person at some forum or event they have an interest in. And vice-versa – at networking (offline) events always ask which social network is appropriate for a connection, e.g. Facebook. Twitter, etc.
Aside from using the ‘Cloud’ to work in virtual teams, it’s essential that you realise the business benefits of ensuring your services work across various platforms. Take out an IT audit and ensure you can actually benchmark and measure cost benefits. Also look at how an e-commerce platform can help your business grow and Go Global.
Since you’re either a sole trader or a limited company, you’ll need to look at the issue of business liability and insurance cover. Some companies, after having disruptions, found they were under-insured, which forced the close of business. Do an asset/stock take and review your insurance cover.
Most bid and tender submissions are now impacted by the need for your company to have a Health & Safety and Environmental policy, which comply with EU directives. Best to get ready and apply for grant-supported training to help you here.