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All small businesses start out aiming to experience growth. But what does business growth mean and how can you achieve it?
Read our in-depth guide to business development to find out more about growth strategies, how to develop a business growth plan, and the different stages of business growth.
Developing a business can be achieved in a range of ways – from expanding your team or increasing sales figures, to launching new products or moving to new premises.
Organic growth is when your business expands without making radical changes.
For example, the longer you’re in the same market, your reputation could start to grow and lead to more sales. Recruiting new staff or receiving investment can also lead to organic growth.
Growth businesses are in a strong position to attract the best talent, appeal to investors, and innovate to take advantage of new opportunities.
And with a focus on small business growth, you’ll be quick to identify what’s not working and how to improve your operations. Whether that’s improving customer retention or evolving your products, with the right strategy you could boost your profits.
If you’re actively looking to grow your business, you’ll need to develop a business development strategy.
An example of a growth strategy in business is when a range of deliberate actions are taken to change the way your business operates.
Here are some examples of the most common strategies:
A business growth and development growth is similar to a standard business plan.
The main difference is that it covers a shorter period of time, usually one to two years, rather than three to five years.
So, how do you start business development planning? Firstly, you’ll need to assess what stage your business is currently in (see below) and monitor performance. A good way to do this is by completing a SWOT analysis, which is a deep dive into your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Next, you’ll need to create a plan for how you want your business to grow and identify the goals that’ll help you reach the next stage.
It’s important to break your growth plan down into sections, with clear objectives you want to achieve. Here are some of the key areas covered in most growth plans:
When reading about business development, you’ll often come across the stages of growth. These stages outline the life cycle of a business so it’s important to know which stage your business is in.
We’ve put together an overview of the main stages below. It’s important to note that you’ll often see the stages described in slightly different ways with different names.
A business growth grant is a cash injection that doesn’t need to be paid back.
In the UK, there are a range of growth grants available for small businesses, as well as grants for young business people, and businesses that take on apprentices.
Read our guide to small business grants for everything you need to know.
If you’re looking for another type of investment, read the following guides to get started:
The Business Growth Fund invests in small and medium-sized businesses across the UK and Ireland. It was set up in 2011 by a range of banks, including Lloyds, Barclays, and HSBC.
The fund has invested more than £2.5 billion in around 300 companies. It usually becomes a minority, non-controlling stakeholder in the businesses it invests in.
Growth mindset is an academic term that has become popular in business. It’s a belief that either your professional skills, or your business itself, can be improved through hard work and dedication.
It’s the opposite of a ‘fixed’ mindset, where you believe your business is limited by the skills and talents your employees already have.
The aim of having a growth mindset is that by focusing on learning and development, a business can thrive through innovation and new ideas.
However, declaring that your business or employees have a growth mindset won’t have an impact. You’ll need to be committed to changing the way your business operates from top to bottom.
Here are some of the qualities of a growth mindset in business:
Read more guides on developing a strategy for growth in business:
What are your top tips for developing a business? Let us know in the comments below.
Conor Shilling is a Copywriter at Simply Business with over two years’ experience in the insurance industry. A trained journalist, Conor has worked as a professional writer for 10 years. His previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor specialises in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.
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