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Created on 17.12.2018

Business growth can be planned

Do you want to achieve growth with your company? Then take the reins in your hands. Plan your growth strategically. We explain what you need to consider to generate growth in your company and outline what it entails to implement a successful business growth strategy.

Why is growth necessary anyway? From a business perspective, growth is required to maintain the current level of prosperity in future. There are various reasons why a company may need to grow: the competition in the market may force you to develop, for example. This requires resources, which, in turn, means growth. Most people also find working in a successful and growing company inspiring.That’s why you should plan your company’s growth by defining a growth strategy. 

You’d like to grow your company but how can this be done?

Find out what growth opportunities are available to your company. Is there much potential in your sector? Then aim to generate internal company growth, which is also known as organic growth. Here developments are produced from inside, in other words using existing resources.Organic growth is often based on innovation: for example, the development of cost-saving processes or new products. You may also be able to successfully develop existing products.Organic growth takes time but is reasonably secure and entails less risk than other growth strategies.

If your market is saturated and development is stagnating, then focus on inorganic growth, which is also referred to as external growth. As the name suggests, growth here occurs, when you take over or merge with a competitor, for instance. Such a strategy can enable you to make more radical or even disruptive leaps in innovation – without first having to launch innovations internally.

Expansion into other countries offers great potential. If you have an exportable product, you could expand from your existing market into new ones. Seek advice on this: The link will open in a new window Switzerland Global Enterprise provides support for companies seeking to expand their business to new countries. Always consider your customers when working out your growth strategy – regardless of which direction it is heading in: what feedback and improvement suggestions are you getting?

Before planning your growth, you should first consider how you wish to achieve it. You need to answer the following questions:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your company? Where do you see opportunities and risks? Draw up a SWOT analysis.
  • In which areas do you generate lots of revenue and in which not so much? 
  • How are your sector and competitors performing?
  • What might your customers require in future? What feedback are you receiving?
  • What goals do you wish to achieve?

What makes up a growth strategy?

Once you have identified your company’s growth potential and defined your objectives by answering the questions above, you should set out a strategy. This requires detailed planning. Without it you are unlikely to succeed. You need to work out the levels of financial resources, personnel and materials required to implement your strategy. Also decide how quickly you wish to grow and how to communicate your growth plans both internally and externally. Your growth strategy should include the following points:

  • Set out objectives
  • Draw up a business plan
  • Define resources
  • Determine milestones
  • Map out timeframe
  • Anticipate changes in the staff structure (for example, do you need employees with new profiles?)
  • Define internal/external communication
  • Plan marketing activities

Remember that rapid growth, in particular, has far-reaching consequences. Are you and your staff properly equipped? To ensure you enjoy long-term success and your strategy is effective, good management and process controlling is vital. 

Why strategy is not everything

Your corporate culture plays an important role which should not be underestimated. Your employees are ultimately the most important resource at your disposal for achieving growth.Successful companies get their staff on board when introducing changes.Keep a close eye on the following issues to ensure your well-defined growth strategy becomes more than just a paper tiger. 

  • Does your corporate culture foster or hamper innovation and growth?
  • How willing to perform, motivated and innovative are your employees?
  • How tolerant of errors is the company management? 
  • What values do you live by as an entrepreneur? What is your management style?
  • How does the management communicate?

The management should always involve employees in changes taking place in the company. Employees on the front line, for example in purchasing or sales, often provide the most valuable information about growth opportunities. Notify your employees at an early stage and give them the opportunity to play a part in the growth strategy before implementing it. In this way, you’ll also establish a solid foundation for growth internally. Don’t forget that growth changes a company. This may also mean the management structure needs to be modified. Transparent internal communication provides the basis for this.

Growth has many consequences. With good preparation, a sophisticated strategy and well-motivated employees, you increase your chances of success significantly.

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