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Growth Strategy: Advice For SME’s

Did you know that out of every 100 start-ups, only 30 will make it to five years and only 15 will survive to 10 years?

They all had a strategy. The only difference is that only a few had the right growth strategy. Here are a few facts about growth:

  • Growth strategy is dynamic. It needs to be updated frequently depending on which stage of life cycle your business is in.
  • Revenue should not be the only indicator of growth.
  • Growth looks different to different people, such as the owner, investors and employees.

Now, let’s look at how growth strategy should look like at every stage of your business.

Pre-launch: ‘Idea’ stage

At this stage, both time and money are critical. So it’s important not to spend them on a long-term, detailed growth-strategy plan. Instead, create a brief growth plan which focuses on:

  • Monthly goals 
  • Finding different revenue channels
  • Projected income and expenses for the first year

Although it’s tempting to think about the long-term strategy, it’s important to also focus on the short-term strategy as the time between pre-launch and launch is the most volatile stage and goals and plans can change often. This does not mean that you are not looking at the big picture. Short-term strategy just allows you to be flexible to accommodate the frequent changes.

Launch: Survival Stage

Having the right strategy during the launch stage can make or break your company. 

Your growth strategy should have a warning system that allows you to discard strategies that are not valuable at an early stage.

Testing should be the most important factor in the success of your growth strategy. Frequent testing to figure out which alternative strategies are providing you with the most value and then being flexible enough to quickly implement these changes is vital. It will also be prudent to establish business processes that align with future plans and goals. 

Post-launch Stage

This is the time to solve the day-to-day issues, focus more on administration and solving issues. As an owner you may need to step away from the day-to-day and delegate responsibilities to other people, which is why hiring the right employees should be a major part of your growth strategy.

Stable Stage

At this stage, your processes are smoothed out, the pressure has lessened, and customers/clients are steadily increasing. At this point, most people make the critical mistake of focusing on getting more conversions without maintaining the already-acquired customers. 

Customer loyalty is the most important factor in the long-term success of any business. 

So, along with the plan for increasing future conversions, you should include in your growth strategy formula for retaining clients and a system for maintaining client relationships.

The strategy should also focus on solving recurring problems, keeping everything up to date such as employee skills, and ways to keep an eye on the market to check for any major changes.

Wrap-up

Growth strategy is a complicated process that needs to evolve frequently, otherwise it will be more harmful than helpful to your business.

To analyse whether you are using the right strategy, figure out at which stage of business you are in, your future goals and current processes. There are multiple free tools available such as Social ROI calculator, Google Analytics, website optimisation tool, HotJar, and my favourite CRM tool: HubSpot to help you be on the right track. We’ll share all of my teams favourite tools in an upcoming blog.

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