FCS Associates

How to grow your business

July 19, 2016

One of the most common questions I get asked, particularly in times of uncertainty (which we certainty are in at the moment) is what a company should do to grow. Should they secure more clients and then get more staff or get more staff and task them with looking for new clients or go into new markets, or develop new products. The answer I often give, is all of the above and more. The reason for this is that what I often find most helpful when supporting a company to grow is for the business owner to take some time out to ‘work on their business’ as well as working ‘in the business’.

It’s all in the planning
So by thinking these aspects through and creating a plan, rather than reacting to endless new possibilities on a whim, is a much more effective growth strategy. That is not to say you that you shouldn’t take advantage of new opportunities or be agile in your approach, today in business all these things are a given, but by having a clear vision of where you want to get to and some strategies of how this will be achieved will be much more effective than reacting to each new idea afresh.

Business Improvement and being tender ready
One area where this is particularly important is in the area of public sector tendering. I often say to clients that the process in itself can almost feel like a business improvement process, in that you have to meet specific standards, have information available and have a clear approach to delivery before you can successfully tender for work. Therefore, by taking time to plan and become ‘tender ready’ will allow you can react quickly and bid for new opportunities which in turn will support future business growth.

Choosing Opportunities Wisely
Choosing the best opportunities to go for is also essential as you can waste a lot of time bidding for contracts which others are more experienced in or can deliver more cheaply. Therefore, choose carefully and really ask yourself, ‘are we the best company to deliver this?’. If you feel that you are, invest the resources needed to deliver a quality bid. If you are successful great, if not learn from the experience and also use the information you have gathered to support future business growth. For example, can you use the case studies and testimonials in new marketing material or identify a new gap in the market and use your service or product idea as a spring board to future growth?.

So to answer my own questions, how to grow your business? Don’t be scared to take risks, but ensure that you really understand what risk you are taking, whether it be dedicating time to bidding for a tender or planning for the future; strong foundations, committed and talented staff and an obsession with delighting your customer all contribute to success.

By Rachel Fletcher, Managing Director, FCS Associates

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