• Free Guide How To Grow Your Business

    Business growth guide with ideas about growing your business.We are heavily involved with fast growing companies so we have a wealth of experience about achieving and funding expansion. There are a lot of business growth related resources on our site, so in this post I have pulled together this free business growth guide to summarise all the links, help and support into one place.

    Business Growth Guide

    If you are seeking ideas about how to grow and expand your business, this free business expansion guide may be be helpful in giving you some ideas about how you can achieve business growth.

    With some 47% of SMEs expecting to grow this year, there is some degree of confidence within the UK, despite all the uncertainties. These resources may give you some helpful ideas for strategies or campaigns that you can implement within your own business, and how to finance that growth.

    Ideas To Help Grow Your Business

    We have just published a list of possible strategies for growth that fit within a number of simple categories. This article sets out all the possible options available to a business that wants to expand, both at a strategic level and a tactical level. For example, growth strategies might include selling more product to your existing customers, or finding new customers. Tactics could include developing a third party seller network, or changing your pricing approach. The article sets out all the various approaches.

    Previously we also put forward some marketing ideas to Grow The Success Of Your Business. This article sets out how we approach our own marketing, and how you can apply the same type of thinking to your own situation.

    We have also published some further marketing ideas about keeping in touch with prospects and using social media. This includes how to maintain an ongoing contact programme with your customers, and how you can leverage social media to keep in touch with your customer base, and new potential customers.

    As part of our guide to setting up a new startup business, we put together a guide to marketing for startups which includes some helpful thoughts about how you should go about developing a marketing plan. It covers market segmentation, defining your value proposition and analysing your competitors. It goes on to set out a full range of marketing approaches so that you can pick those that are likely to be the most effective for your situation.

    We also produced some material for entrepreneurs that might be helpful, and which includes some thoughts about how to develop strategic ideas and strategic thinking. It is based on a presentation that I gave to a group of students that were interested in how entrepreneurs think.

    Funding Business Growth

    Once you have planned how you want to expand your business, you will need to decide how you are going to fund the journey towards your goals and objectives. There are a wide range of methods of funding a business, and we have previously looked at the types of funding that growing businesses tend to use.

    Growth Finance

    One funding method that is closely linked to fast growth is the use of invoice or receivables financing. This is often called "growth finance" as it is closely allied to fast growing companies that need to smooth out their cash flow in order to maintain their expansion. In fact our research has identified that there is a high correlation between fast growing businesses, and the use of invoice finance. In addition, some 68% of existing users said that they would recommend receivables finance to fast growing businesses.

    If you are contemplating accepting a large order, this type of funding can be particularly useful in enabling you to fund a large order, or project. Being able to take on a large order is one way of achieving "step change" style growth. This means a significant upscaling of your company, rather than slow organic, natural expansion.

    The graphic below shows some of the key facts about the linkage between the use of this type of funding and increasing your trading volumes:

    The link between fast business growth and the use of invoice finance.

    Acquisition Finance

    Acquisitions are another way of growing your business, acquiring the trade, debts or business of another entity and amalgamating that into your own business. This can be one way of achieving a quick step change in terms of growth.

    The funding of acquisitions is something that receivables finance can play a part in. Our post about leverage assets to enable acquisitions could present an interesting way of raising the price of a business acquisition, utilising the assets of the target company.

    Growth Funding Research

    The following infographic summarises the finding of our research amongst high growth companies:

    Finding from our survey of fast growth companies

    Customer Finance

    One aspect of funding is how you can sell more by offering finance to your customers. In an article from an external contributor, the idea of extending third party finance to your customers, in order to sell more products, is explored.

    How To Grow Your Business

    We hope that this summary guide will help you decide how to grow your business, and also help you consider how you can finance that expansion. An important part of your planning is the setting out and defining: goals, strategies, objectives and tactics that will help you know where you are aiming to get to, and when you have achieved what you set out to achieve.

    Goals - Strategies - Objectives - Tactics

    These can be defined as follows:

    • Goals - a broad aspiration e.g. "to become the biggest UK supplier of".

    • Strategies - the approaches that will get you to achieve your goals. For example: "develop our third party introducer network".

    • Objectives - are the measurable steps on your path e.g. "recruit 50 introducers in year one".

    • Tactics - are the steps to achieve your objectives e.g. "attending the local networking event each month".

    Whilst defining these is important, the most important thing is providing products and services that are in demand, in a way that achieves customer statisfaction (we can help you measure customer satisfaction) and a profitable outcome for your business.

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Examples of just a few of our finance partners:

funding invoice
bibby
inksmoor
woodsford tradebridge
marketfinance
igf