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10 steps to business growth


Following on from his previous article, Chris Sowerby, local Business Doctor, takes us through the remaining 5 steps of the Business Doctors’ 10-step plan for developing a strategy for breakthrough growth in a business. 

6. Identify opportunities – recognise that there are opportunities everywhere, but don’t overlook the easy wins with existing customers. As well as looking deeply at the business’s immediate market this step also requires a STEP analysis of the wider environment.

7. Look in the mirror – this step asks the business owner to conduct a GIVES analysis. Where is the business Great, where can it Improve, where is it Vulnerable and where does it get its Edge? Then ask if the business offering passes the “So what” test? Are you offering what customers want, when they want, where they want and how they want?

8. Find your edge – whilst most SME’s do not have the buying power or economies of scale to compete purely on cost, they can identify areas of differentiation for their product or service and/or a niche market for their output. Having an edge, a sustainable competitive advantage, is essential to keeping out of the “killing fields”.

9. Surround yourself with the right people – as businesses grow the structure often evolves in a chaotic manner and ends up with “square pegs in round holes”. This step involves taking a blank piece of paper and drawing up the ideal structure for the business as it is today and comparing that to the current structure to identify gaps. The owner needs to acknowledge their own limitations and what complementary skills are required in the business.

10. Press the reset button – having identified the ideal structure it’s time to follow the 4R’s – retain, retrain, release, recruit. Restructuring the workforce to reflect the ideal structure identified in step nine is easier if the staff have been taken on the whole strategy review journey and been consulted and kept updated on what is happening and why.

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