Why a business would want to pursue long-term, sustainable growth and the first step in the journey.
Why pursue sustainable growth?
Most business owners are problem solvers. They focus energy on fixing or developing solutions to their most pressing business needs. This short-term approach can be seen as positive, particularly in the start-up phase when the market for the product or service is being explored.
However, as a business moves through the start-up and initial growth phases, a continuation of this short-term focus of working only ‘in’ the business will have a down-side. When leaders devote little time or energy to working ‘on’ the business to make strategic decisions on the future, the business is likely to experience sporadic or flat growth or maybe even decline. This short-term approach explains why, in a survey conducted by Barclays, that over half (53%) of the UK’s small businesses don’t have a formal business plan.
The alternative is to pursue sustainable growth, whereby the business produces positive revenue and profit growth year after year. To achieve this desirable outcome, a systematic approach is required, encompassing over time the whole organisation.
How to make a start on pursuing sustainable growth?
What growth options are open to a business pursuing long-term, sustainable growth and how this can be achieved, are themes that will be returned to in future blogs. However, the first step on this journey is to assess the current position, in order to build market and business knowledge that creates a strategic foundation for future phases.
This fact-based foundation consists of three sections:
- External: review of the market and competitors to assess opportunities and threats.
- Internal: review of how value is created to determine strengths and weaknesses.
- Conclusions: summarise key insights (often using a SWOT) to enable prioritisation.
Where can you get help on the first step to sustainable growth?
The HEART of business team have developed a series of adaptable programmes to support ambitious businesses who want to pursue sustainable growth. The first programme is called the ‘Business Review’, the purpose of which is to align business leaders on where they are now, where they want to get to and what to do next about it.
Through a combination of pre-work and a half-day workshop, a report is created and presented in a follow-up meeting which includes:
- Finance: 3-year P&L, balance sheet, customer & revenue analysis and current & future indicative valuation.
- Organisation: Purpose & goals, organisation chart, HR audit and future business shape.
- Marketing: Market definition, segmentation, competitive landscape and proposition summary.
- Recommendation: Business SWOT and future considerations.
The ‘Business Review’ is uniquely co-delivered by an experienced finance director and strategic marketer, to ensure high quality, rigorous analysis and recommendations. The outcome will deliver the knowledge your business needs for future business development.
Some testimonials from previous clients:
“Connected the dots on what needs to be changed to realise our ambitions”
“This work has given us a real sense of direction”
“A breath of fresh air”
If you’d like to discuss the ‘Business Review’ or anything else in this post, please contact me via email at Nathan.King@heart-of-business.co.uk.
About the Author:
Nathan King is a business growth coach and portfolio marketing director, specialising in business & marketing strategy and growth enablement, who brings a fresh perspective to support help ambitious, open-minded businesses connect strategy with successful execution. Nathan has a proven track record in making a real commercial impact, having worked both for large multinationals (including GSK and PepsiCo) and with SME clients across multiple sectors (including financial, food, healthcare, IT services, technology and telecoms).
The HEART of business team consists of around 35 members from across numerous professional disciplines including accountants, HR specialists, sales & marketing specialists and business growth coaches. Between us we’ve helped hundreds of businesses within Thames Valley and West London to overcome numerous challenges – such as finding new customers; accessing cash to fund growth; recruiting, retaining and motivating staff; improving productivity and ways of working and business coaching – to achieve their desired breakthrough results.
Make the Journey from Average to Amazing!