Growth is the sign of a healthy business. Growth means life and it generates energy. It’s often demanding and sometimes difficult, but it can also be massively rewarding.
A well-run business should grow organically, meaning an increase in year-on-year revenue and profits. But organic growth is usually quite slow. To enjoy faster growth means pursuing it proactively.
It also means putting money into your business. Growing faster demands more working capital to invest in new opportunities.
Here are four ways you can invest in growing your business.
As a business owner it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that everyone knows what you do. The reality is that, unless your brand is recognised globally (think Coca-Cola, Apple or Tesla), there will be a lot of potential customers who don’t know about the products or services you provide.
Even people who know about your business don’t know about everything you do. A customer who buys a specific product from you may not be aware of what else you supply.
A marketing campaign can raise awareness significantly and bring in more sales, from both existing and new customers.
To be effective, your campaign needs a clear objective, a clear target audience and clear messages. This demands planning.
Setting up and launching such a campaign demands investment. You may need to hire a marketing agency or strengthen your marketing team. You’ll need time to research your market and develop your marketing materials.
All these activities will need funding in advance, which will be repaid by the future sales that your campaign delivers.
If your business serves customers in a specific geographical area, you can grow by expanding that area.
This could mean opening a new office or branch in new territory, or promoting your products and services to potential customers in different regions.
Most businesses draw their customers from a particular area. Even online businesses, with products that could be shipped and used anywhere in the world, tend to have a geographical bias.
Breaking out of your geography doesn’t usually just happen. It requires research and planning, as you identify the most appropriate area to move into and the resources needed to achieve that.
Another route to growth is to widen the scope of what you do, by starting to offer new products and services.
If you’re not sure how to expand in this way, just listen to your customers. What problems do they ask you to help with which you currently can’t do anything about?
Maybe you could expand from being a supplier of a product to also installing it. Or offering ongoing maintenance and support. Is there another product or service that complements what you already supply, which your customers currently source from elsewhere?
Growing in this way will probably mean investing in expanding your team’s knowledge, and also buying new products. You may need to hire new staff or implement new processes.
A quick route to growth is to buy or merge with another business. This could be another firm that operates in the same industry as you, allowing you to add new customers and capacity overnight.
Alternatively, you could buy a business that complements your own. If you run a printing business you might decide to buy a graphic design agency. You might want to add a plumbing business to your electrical firm. Your restaurant business could expand by buying an operation that offers a different cuisine.
Another route could be to move up or down your supply chain. You could buy one of your suppliers or one of your customers.
Buying another business usually requires significant investment and careful financial planning. You’ll probably need specialist advice to ensure the arrangement gives you the best value, and the best chances of success.
You’ll need more finance, whatever route you choose for business growth. You’ll need funds for purchasing new assets, hiring more staff and investing in marketing and processes. A bigger business also demands more working capital simply to keep the day-to-day cashflow ticking over.
There are many different ways to raise finance and not all will be appropriate for your growth plans.
We work with a panel of over 250 lenders who between them offer a wide range of funding options. From these, we can help you find a cost-effective method of raising the finance you need.
To explore your opportunities for funding your business growth plans, helping you to expand successfully, get in touch with us today.