Your growth strategy can be the path for your business to achieve long-term success. It maps out how you can grow your revenue in a way that increases your gross profit, while also expanding your margins.
Like a lot of things in life, business growth can be a question of timing.
Some of the key questions you might ask include:
- How do you know when you are ready to grow?
- What can be the pitfalls of growing too early?
Don't rush. Ask questions.
It's important not to rush into a growth stage before you're ready. But how do you know when that time has come?
The key is to ask the people that matter the most: your customers will tell you if you're ready to grow.
Before you start increasing production or expanding your business into new segments, you need to test the water – and start out with one foot, not both.
Expansion is not about 'pushing a product', rather it's about understanding and responding to your customer needs. Pick up the phone, or talk to your customers face-to-face. Ask them about your current products and what additional product or service they might want.
Is there demand for an expansion of your range? If you have an idea of how to expand your range, send your customers incentivised surveys so you can assess demand for each of the new products, then prioritise the most popular.
Your goal is to make sure there is customer demand for expansion, before you expand. Your customers are the best ones to help clarify this for you.
Test the water before diving in
Some of the best technology companies in the world operate on what's called a 'sprint' basis. They run multiple concurrent experiments producing different variations of the final product, so that they can better understand the customer and get data as they develop their offerings.
Maybe you are unable to develop a range of different products, but you can certainly talk about it with your customer and find out what they like and don't like about your products.
Most of the pitfalls can be avoided if you ask lots of questions of your marketplace and your customers.
Make sure you invest in scalable infrastructure
Growing too early can lead to a common mistake – not investing in infrastructure that can scale as your business expands .
It comes down to planning. If you forecast an increase in sales, then make sure you take a close look at your logistics, transport and warehousing. As you think through your expansion approach, ensure you account for any bottlenecks that may constrain your business and plan accordingly.