If 2020 was a journey, it was a frustrating one for many businesses! The stop/start nature of successive lockdowns made planning for future growth very tricky. Into 2021 and the wider narrative has been dominated by talk of a roadmap, a more positive journey out of lockdown and back to growth and recovery.
So as the country begins to step towards a more positive future, we thought we would take a look at four key growth strategies for businesses for 2021 and beyond.
When was the last time you felt confident in any plan you had made? The shifting sands of the economic, business and social landscape of the last 12 months has made planning for growth very difficult. But now, we suggest, it is time to remember the old adage – if you fail to plan then you plan to fail.
I don’t have time to go into the details of good planning here – and there is no shortage of excellent material out there in any case. But for now, it is worth highlighting a few important considerations.
- Make sure you have a clear idea of where you are now – what is the natural trajectory from your existing activity?
- Where do you want to be, and what is the gap between that and your current trajectory?
- How can we address that gap?
- What are the implications on staff and resources of actually achieving that growth?
What this looks like will differ depending on your business and your market – but let me take an example from our own business to illustrate the point. There are, broadly speaking, two ways to market a business for sale. The first is a passive approach, list it for sale in the trade press or public domain and wait for interested parties to get in touch. The second is a much more effective, proactive approach – we identify and approach likely acquirers directly.
The way this works will look different, depending on how your market works, but the principle is the same. In this increasingly online and competitive world, growth will come from going out there and winning new business.
2020 was a year of innovating and adapting. Different ways of working, different markets and for many, different ways of selling your goods/services. The most obvious example of this is in the retail and hospitality market which has embraced the take-away, click-and-collect, and home delivery channels to survive.
But it’s not just about survival, opening up new markets and new channels for your business can add new customers and drive growth. It’s definitely worth looking at your options to see if there are any new channels open to you.
As mentioned before, growth needs resources to support it and having the right team is crucial to making growth sustainable. But your team can also drive growth. There is currently a significant talent pool available due to furlough and redundancies. Some strategic additions to your team at this point could lead to significant growth in the months to come.
Look out for individuals who have been on furlough and are keen to get back out there, doing what they do best – winning new business. There may also be individuals with experience in your market and some useful contacts.
But don’t discount the large number of individuals out there looking for a completely new challenge and a new industry where theirs has let them down or changed beyond all recognition. Their hunger to prove themselves in a new career just might make up for any lack of experience they have.
Do you need help in considering any of these options, or building a growth strategy that will work for your business? Then do get in touch, we’d be delighted to offer you a free and confidential initial consultation.