Sustaining profits and growth is not a guarantee in today’s business environment. To be successful you need to be constantly innovating and looking for opportunities to grow your business. So when you want to move from start up to scale up where do you begin?
Listen to your customers.
Reach out to your customers and ask for feedback. By learning more about your customers and what about your product or service they like and more importantly, what they don’t like, there’s the potential to identify new opportunities while also improving your current offering. Once you know who your customers are and why they chose your business over others, you can use this information to expand your market reach and develop new products or services.
Look at what your competitors are doing
By doing competitive analysis you can find out what it is about your competitors that attracts customers. What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? You can use this information to find out what you can do to convince their customers to switch to your product or service. If you are planning on growing your current market share or moving into a new market entirely, it’s always a good idea to know the existing market players before you evaluate opportunities. Once you know what they’re doing you can work on your competitive edge.
Look further afield
If you want to scale your business into a foreign country, it’s important to do research into the market into which you’re expanding. Foreign markets grow at different rates for various reasons - from economic development to local tastes or habits. Having information on the customer base and competitors in a foreign country can help you to estimate the business potential.
Knowing where you want to go helps you to plan how to get there. Look at companies that are occupying the space you want to be in- how did they get there? What are they doing to maintain their position? If they’re not in direct competition with you they may be happy to offer some advice on how to scale up your business. The right strategic advice can speed up your learning curve and be a shortcut to growth.
Once you know where you’re going the next step is to determine how to get there. Putting together a business plan will add structure to your growth aspirations and give you measurable and achievable goals.
The information contained in this article is has been prepared by Bank of Ireland (“BOI”) for information purposes only. BOI believes any information contained in the article to be accurate and correct at the time of publishing.