Knowing when to make growth moves as a business owner is less about intuition and more about copious amounts of legal preparation, professional and staff development, and hours upon hours of in-depth market research. For local business owners looking to establish operations interstate or perhaps become a brand with a national or even an international presence, there are a plethora of considerations that must be made, ranging from finding additional store or office locations, filing for any necessary permits or licences, and securing public liability insurance in Australia and any other countries where you’re hoping to commence trade.
Preparing for business growth requires business owners to develop an understanding of the unique challenges you’ll be likely to face during this exciting period of time for your organisation. We’ll be outlining some of the more hidden or unseen elements of business growth strategising to help ambitious business owners illuminate their own pathway that lies ahead.
Planning to grow your staff
For business owners looking to build for the future, the question of whether to recruit new staff proactively or reactively can help shape the nature of your company’s growth strategising. More often than not, small business owners are inclined to maintain a reactive approach to staff recruitment, which involves hiring new staff only once a discernible workload has been developed for them. Whilst this approach may save resources on wages in the long run, it does run the risk of new staff being ‘thrown into the deep end’ with adequate time for dedicated staff training. A reactive approach to recruitment may also place the burden of managing a growing workload on your existing staff, which may in turn affect your business’ turnover rate.
And although there are undeniable benefits to hiring proactively, including ensuring that your business is prepared for increasing workloads as your growth strategy is put into effect, the added pressure of new staff wages can limit business owners from making more confident growth investments elsewhere. As there are pros and cons for both approaches, it’s really up to business owners and their wider management team to identify the most effective recruitment strategy to fit the unique needs of their organisation.
Budgeting for digital transformation
With our transition from the information age into the digital age still arguably underway, business owners of today are presented with a great opportunity to jump into the digital transformation of their own industries on the ground floor. If you’re able to make confident investments in your company’s own technological and digital development, chances are you may find yourself manning the helm of a forward-thinking organisation, and perhaps even a future leader in your market niche.
Of course, knowing just what tech and innovation to invest in is where the complexities of this particular business growth conundrum truly lie. Industry technologies and even the development of digital platforms like websites or business apps, are by no means simplistic investments to make. In fact, like staff recruitment, tech investments require a consistently high financial responsibility from business owners, as websites, apps, and other technological advancements for your company naturally demand a certain level of upkeep alongside staff training.
The solution here is to determine which tech investments are likely to yield a strong ROI as soon as possible. By determining this, you can plan out your tech investments to be self-funding, ensuring that your organisation’s technological transformation maintains a staggered yet undeniably steady rollout. A good rule of thumb here is to place investments that are best positioned to increase your company’s revenue.
For example, developing a website with an online store for retailers is guaranteed to provide another stream of revenue alongside any brick and mortar stores you manage. And with strong trends in online shopping in Australia, it only makes sense for retailers to start investing in web stores as a lucrative digital asset.
A common strategy for business owners who are hoping to expand their enterprise is to diversify the products or services that they’re able to offer their client base. On paper, diversification can feel like a natural next step, as it can help you maintain a dynamic revenue stream, alongside strengthening the likelihood of your organisation consistently offering value that may not be matched by your competitors. But even with all the innate benefits of diversification, actually implementing this growth strategy can require business owners to surpass a number of obstacles first.
For businesses looking to diversify their product range, business owners are advised to conduct market research in order to gauge demand for prospective new products. From there, sourcing additional suppliers and manufacturers to produce or provide these products on an ongoing basis is highly important. A failure to consolidate relationships with this additional supplier can potentially result in your business wasting resources promoting a product that may in the end, not be feasible for your company to provide to its client base in the long term.
Evolving from a survivalist to a growth mindset
Finally, regardless of whether you’re seeking to grow your small business from one store to two, or expand on a franchise that’s already experienced success in other states or territories, the single most important shift to experience when seeking to map out the future growth of your business, is evolving from maintaining a survivalist mindset to adopting a growth mindset.
Naturally, surviving in your business landscape is going to look quite different to thriving, and so business owners who are looking to grow should feel confident in taking definitive steps towards that goal. A growth mindset in business is usually characterised by an ability to set professional and organisational goals, alongside encouraging innovation and collaboration between staff members and departments.
Contrastingly, an organisation that’s still maintaining a survivalist mindset may find themselves with inadequate time or space for goal-setting, and with a rigidity in their workday and organisational processes that inhibits staff members from being able to think outside the box. Business owners are advised to assess the flexibility of their organisational processes and their workplace culture in order to ascertain whether or not they’re contending with a focus on survival rather than a dedication to flourishing.
Be sure to also keep in mind that the process of business growth strategising does not occur in a vacuum. Strategies can be revisited if needed, and business owners are encouraged to develop strategies with insights from their management team, stakeholders, industry experts, and any reputable business consultants or advisers.