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The first 5 steps to business growth

The first 5 steps to business growth
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Business Doctors have devised a 10-step framework for developing a strategy for breakthrough growth in a business. In this article Chris Sowerby, local Business Doctor, takes us through the first 5 steps.

1. Ditch the business plan – although business plans have a place, the first step in our plan is to create a strategy, something that is living and breathing, and inspiring to everyone in the business. Whereas business plans are primarily number-based, the strategy should start with the words, tell the story.

2. What’s in it for me? – this step asks the business owner to get selfish for once and question what they want out of the business. Setting these shareholder aspirations is the cornerstone to building a strategy that delivers the desired results.

3. Build on firm foundations – what are your values? Why are they important to you? Your values should be the DNA of the whole business, what it is, what it stands for and how it operates. Knowing your values is crucial to making the right decision when recruiting staff, as building a team with a common sense of purpose will pay dividends many times over.

4. What business are you in? – this may sound simple but really understanding what your customers buy and why is pivotal in a successful business. Take the example of Black and Decker, they sell power tools etc. – but when a customer purchases a drill they are actually buying a hole in a wall. On the other hand, HMV failed to realise that customers bought the music not the CD and subsequently fell foul of the digital download revolution.

5. Are you ready to Break Big? – This step is about stepping out of the “now” and visualising how big the opportunity in your market really is. Not what you’re comfortable with, but what could really be achieved. Setting this visionary goal helps you start to think like a bigger business and make decisions accordingly. Even if you only achieve 50-60% of this visionary goal you will still be significantly further forward than if you continued to follow the pedestrian 10% year-on-year growth target that many businesses still adopt.

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