You’ve achieved a record of steady growth, which is no small feat. Now you have the opportunity to step up the pace and achieve greater market penetration and gain a bigger customer base. What will it take to transform that opportunity into a foundation for accelerated growth?
To begin, define your terms and identify their impact on your organization. Does your strategy for accelerated growth involve doing more of the same–extending your existing products and services into new geographic or vertical markets–or are you launching ancillary services that will take the company in new directions?
In either case, do you have the back office infrastructure in place to support those plans, or do you need to retool that area of the business before you can proceed with your growth strategies? Similarly, you need to think about the level of formality (or informality) that characterizes your current operations and assess whether it’s necessary to develop that aspect of your operations before you move ahead with your expansion plans.
Don’t just think about whether everything is working well now. The key question is whether your systems and processes will hold up under the stress of accelerated expansion, says Anna Kennedy, CEO of Rainmakers (U.S.), Inc. and author of Business Development for Dummies (Wiley 2015). “It could be that some of what you’ve got in place is just going to fall apart if you double the size of it.”
She recommends conducting a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis to identify the areas that cause problems today, “because they’re probably going to be the source of much bigger problems if you get bigger.” At the same time, you also need to consider how you may need to modify the things that are working, whether that means procedures, recruitment strategies, or staffing structure. Will you need to bring in new talent? Are you in a position to attract the new employees that you’ll need or to establish outsourcing or strategic alliance relationships to fill in the gaps? What will your expansion plans require of existing employees, and how will you ensure that they remain committed to and invested in your plans for growth?
Read morea at INC.