What growth strategy to employ?

So, here we are waiting for lockdown to end and the recovery to start to enable us to grow our businesses again. But how do we know which growth strategy to employ? 

Of course, there is the ride the wave option, which is simply to let the macro economic trends dictate how well we do as businesses re-open, footfall returns and the level of activity generally increases.  

Personally, I’d rather have some strategies and action plans in place so that I can focus my resources in an effort to outperform those macro influencing factors. 

So how do we know what strategies are open to us and which ones to adopt? What order should we put them in and which are priority? 

Understand your market

The 1st step is to understand your market and where your business sits. If we assume a £100m market the diagram below explains what I mean by understanding your market. 

What the labels mean: 

  • Not addressable – we currently don’t have a product / service or commercial leverage to compete in this part of our marketplace. 
  • Won – these are our current customers, our market share. 
  • Lost – this is the business we quoted or tendered for but lost. 
  • Unseen – these are the prospects that we know about, but we never seem to be able to quote them or they are unaware of us. 
  • Unknown – These are new niche sectors or prospects that we don’t know about. They may be potential customers, but we‘re unaware of them because they are new entrants, new adopters of our offering or being driven to consider our offering due to macro factors such as legislation, technology changes, economic factors etc. 

Its only when we understand the size of the pie slices that we can effectively decide upon strategies for growth and the order in which to apply them. 

Possible growth strategies

If we decide that the Unseen slice is the priority for us, what strategies could we adopt to win here? 

  • A channel strategy – improve our reach by using distributors & resellers.  
  • Digital Marketing Strategy – raise awareness of reputation creating market pull for us. 
  • A Mergers & Acquisition strategy – buy someone who already has access to these customers. 
  • Feet on the street – recruitment to increase coverage. 

If we choose to focus on the Lost slice as our priority, our strategies could involve: 

  • Pricing & discounting – leverage financials to take market share. 
  • New product or service introduction – add breadth and depth to win against our competition. 
  • Value adding strategies – developing unique value that differentiates from competitors e.g., providing data and insight back to the customer from IOT. 

Looking at the Not addressable part of the market we have to consider different strategies which could include: 

  • New product Introduction – adding a new product to complete here. 
  • Acquisition – buying someone who has the product already. 
  • Supply chain – take cost out to compete commercially, can we change suppliers? 
  • Leveraging buying consortiums or groups – better discount / rebates providing the commercial strength to compete. 

Finally, the Unknown part of the market is where we need business development and marketing strategies such as: 

  • Canvassing strategies – direct mail, telemarketing, digital prospecting. 
  • PR strategies – case studies, advertising, social media, exhibitions.  
  • Routes to these markets – channel strategy, recruitment of specialists.  

Why it’s important to plan 

With all these options open to us, it’s important to prioritise and plan. As you can see, each strategy requires resource, tactical planning, research and time bound actions with metrics and deliverables to monitor progress. 

Without this level of thought, the danger is that we become a butterfly, moving from one initiative to the next, getting frustrated that we are not realising our growth potential and failing to understand why the business has plateaued or even declined. 

It takes some effort upfront, but until you have strategic priorities how can you understand the following important factors that will move your business forward? 

If you need support to help define your path to successful growth, feel free to contact us via the form below for more information.


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