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Guide to Business Growth and Business Planning

Hayvenhursts Guide to Business Growth and Business Planning

BDO Warns Businesses ‘Lacking Confidence’ To Plan Ahead

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BDO or Binder Dijker Otte is an international network of public accounting, tax, consulting and business advisory firms that perform professional services under the name of BDO.

Specifically, the BDO report examines barriers to growth for UK entrepreneurial businesses in the UK. The survey reveals that only two-fifths of the companies are planning six months ahead.

The report shows that 70% of companies have revealed they are only planning nine months ahead, with three quarters “lacking confidence” that their strategy is “future-proof”, according to BDO’s The Ambitious Entrepreneur: Tackling Your Barriers to Growth report.

Meanwhile, more than three-quarters of companies surveyed said that “to some degree” they were likely to test out new business ideas, but 21% recognised a “lack of planning will prohibit” this innovation.

Mark Sykes, head of entrepreneurial business, BDO, said: “The last 20 months have demonstrated that plans need to be flexible. For this type of business, it is often their agility that gives them a competitive advantage.

“We’re already seeing businesses work hard to attract and retain talent to support their growth against a challenging backdrop. Taking a long-term view rather than reactive hiring will support future growth and ensure a business is truly scalable.”

He added: “I’d urge entrepreneurial businesses not to get in the way of their own potential by taking a short-term or inward view and seeking the support they need to build a longer-term strategy that will allow them to innovate and to maintain a competitive advantage.”

Hayvenhurst Accountancy Services can help you with your business plans for both the short and long term. Our experts will help you understand the areas you should focus on now and in the future for business growth and business survival. 

What Are The Four Basics Of Business Growth?

To grow you have to plan and to plan you should review your business regularly looking at how you are performing operationally and financially. 

The Four Basics of Business Growth

  • Increasing your number of profitable customers 
  • Increasing how often they spend with you
  • Increasing how much they spend with you
  • Improving your own business efficiencies

These 4 basics will focus you and your teams on what they should do and what they can change, whether that’s for internal or external customers.

Business Planning Focus Areas

  • What can you measure within your business and how does the information help you make decisions
  • What are the unique differences and your unique selling points (USP’s) to your offerings compared to your competitors – focus on these internally and externally
  • Increasing the value of your product to a customer, this doesn’t always mean increasing the price of your product or service. It can be to ensure they see the true value they are getting from your product or service
  • Make it easier for people to do business with you – this will make them want to stay and continue doing business with you 
  • Ensure you have the systems in place to enable you to monitor, measure and improve
  • Ensure you have the processes in place to ensure your business is efficient
  • Work with your team and empower them to make changes to enhance your product and customer service
  • Work with your team to make plans and then review and amend them regularly as you progress

1. Engage Your Team

Having an engaged team who feel supported and empowered will always contribute massively to your business growth. That’s not just your direct reports but your teams’ direct reports and so on and then everyone is focused on how you can make your business better and your growth plans. 

An engaged workforce will feel they are valued, listened to, you have their best interests at heart and their working environment is good. Having the right people in your business who have brought into the values of your business ensures you have a positive and engaged culture that everyone wants to contribute to. This doesn’t always mean pay rises, it can be improved working environments, training and development, fruit being provided, tea and coffee, staff forums, fun days and so much more. All of these things won’t cost you a huge amount and you will see positive returns from anything you do spend.

Establishing a positive value-driven culture and a team of engaged employees will pay off in the long run.

Always take time to review business plans with your team quarterly at least and ask them to do the same with their team. Review your actions and successes and re-plan on areas that need refocus or attention. These reviews mean good consistent communication throughout your organisation. Communication is a key contributor to successful business growth

2. Invest in Systems

Business systems can be a process or system which makes something easier and, or more efficient for you. It could be a system that provides you with data you can measure or a process that simplifies and reduces the time it takes to do something and much more. 

A business with useful and effective systems will have the information to make effective decisions, plan and grow. 

As an example, an ‘off the shelf, bespoke CRM or powerful e-commerce system can help you focus on the important parts of your growth and focus on areas with potential growth possibilities. 

Take time to regularly review your operational processes and see if there can be improvements made to increase quality or decrease the time it takes or the cost of doing it, review if any processes can be automated utilising a system. 

3. Review Your Online Presence & Plans

Whether your website has recently been built or it has been up and running for a while make sure you regularly review its content and effectiveness for existing and potential new customers. 

Sometimes it’s the small detail that counts, ask yourself how does it look and feel for staff, suppliers and customers? Is it easy to navigate and find what you want or need? Is the imagery good quality and professional?

If you’re not doing so already review if SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media will help your business grow and use an experienced Digital Marketing Agency with experience in your industry to review this with you. A good agency will know and understand how to increase your lead generation, as well as improve your call-to-action. They will provide you with analytics for your website and social media and form a plan to improve your traffic and conversions.

4. Focus On Your Business Analytics

It has been proven that good sound data will benefit any businesses profitability and growth. 

Looking at your businesses data will help you measure and improve your performance and customer experience. If you don’t have analytics find out what you can change or implement to get this. 

5. Regularly Review Business Plans

There are many ways to grow your business and the start of this is investing time in your Business Panning and Reviews. Have quarterly review meetings with your teams and ask them to do the same. Review actions that have been agreed and documented, successes and achievements and the areas you now need to focus on in the next quarter. 

Wherever you can, put measures in place as this helps you and your team to see the successes and areas of focus. Engaging them in plans will empower them to make changes and improvements and be brought into the success of your business. Quarterly plans should feed into 6,9 and 12 months plans and an end of year review is a great way to refocus and engage so your team feel ready for the year ahead. 

6. Take Calculated Risks in your Plans and Actions

There can be risks in all types of business but by taking calculated risks you can assess your statistics to help you make a decision, look at what the impact would be if it doesn’t go the way you planned and put actions in place to mitigate them. Having a sound financial awareness of your business can help you calculate your risks and make sound judgements to push for growth. Hayvenhursts are experts in business planning and can help you in this area. 

To grow your business you sometimes need to move outside your comfort zone and look at all aspects of your business in a different way and from a customers viewpoint. Businesses don’t tend to grow without plans and calculated risks are taken. 

7. Forecast Growth

Sometimes business growth can take you by surprise and you won’t be prepared for it or be able to deliver against it. If this happens it can be quite stressful trying to deliver against it. By reviewing your plans and business performance monthly and quarterly you will see increases and decreases and you can plan for your business growth with enough time to be ahead of the game.

Always remember in business you should be proactive rather than reactive. 

8. Focus on Retaining your Existing Customers

Don’t just focus your business growth on new customers, think about your existing customers, how you can keep them as well as encourage them to want to spend more with you. It is far more expensive to acquire a new customer compared to keeping an existing one so always keep a focus on them and make them feel valued so they want to continue doing business with you.

9. Focus on Your Strengths as a Business

Your strengths will differentiate you from your competitors so you should always keep focused on these in your business plans and your marketing. Your strengths can be anything fron your staff, your customer service, your product, your suppliers, your materials, your approach and much more. Spend time in a planning meeting to think about what your strengths are and ask all of your teams to do the same. You can even ask some existing customers and suppliers what they think as well.

10. Be Financially Aware

Every business, however successful they are needs an understanding of their bottom line, where the revenue is being driven from, what their costs are and profitability as a whole and broken down. Having a good understanding of your financials enables you to make sound decisions and plans to reduce your costs, increase revenue and much more. 

When you are making plans for growth you should project your revenue, costs and profit against your growth targets as scaling your business can sometimes take you by surprise, so being fully aware of what is and what could happen is important. 

Again, our experts at Hayvenhusrts can help you understand your business financials and support you to analyse and break them down to fully understand them. They can help you project for your next quarter, half and full-year and 5 years ahead in line with your growth target and highlight any areas of key financial risk. 

Even the most successful business need to watch their bottom line and you should always leave a bit more in your bottom line to support your growth. 

Always remember, even small things can impact your budget. If you have a desire to grow your business then strategic and financial planning is a must. 

In business, to grow you have to plan and to plan you should review your business regularly looking at how you are performing operationally and financially. 

Always Remember The Four Basics of Business Growth

  • Increasing your number of profitable customers 
  • Increasing how often they spend with you
  • Increasing how much they spend with you
  • Improving your own business efficiencies

These 4 basics will focus you and your teams on what they should do and what they can change, whether that’s for internal or external customers.

From our offices in Cardiff, Hayvenhursts offer a personal and professional service focused on the needs of each individual customer, business or family across South Wales and the whole of the UK.

Our service and reputation are built on our ability to understand your business plans for the short, medium and long term to ensure we are by your side and can support you when you need us. 

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your Business Growth and Business Planning and we will be happy to help. 

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