As you seek to grow your business – whether it’s opening additional sites, expanding overseas, beginning to export, etc., it’s likely that you’ll hear a lot of different advice. Before you get overwhelmed with all the different opinions or lost down the rabbit hole of the internet, take a deep breath and recognise that just a few basic steps can ensure that your growth plan has a much higher chance of success.

Here are some top tips for growing your business:

6848823919_724f516a05_b

Have a plan

It is crucial to develop an in-depth plan that goes into detail about how you’ll tackle the challenges ahead of you. Your plan will need to define the opportunities that you’ve already identified, state your mission, establish goals that are measurable and reachable, and ensure that there are deadlines and milestones along the way.

Get the money sorted

The statistics are grim, and we all know that the majority of new businesses will fail within their first five years. A lot of this is due to problems with money, so you need to ensure you have a lending institution that works with entrepreneurs and is willing to work with you and be flexible.

OakNorth Bank is the place to go for debt finance once you’ve moved beyond start-up stage and are now in growth mode. It provides entrepreneurs and businesses in the UK with loans of between £1m-£20m but takes a flexible approach when it comes to collateral. Be sure to check them out when looking into how you’re going to finance the next stage of your growth.

Work with the right people

While you probably already know that you’ll need to surround yourself with the right strategic partners and mentors, it’s equally important that you’re surrounded with a great team. Your staff should be talented, smart, driven people who share your vision for your business and are willing to work hard to ensure everything goes to plan. Ensure that you hire positive employees and foster a teamwork-based culture where everyone is encouraged to be innovative and provide the best possible service to customers. As you grow, you will require different skills and experience – people who may have been perfect for leading the business through start-up stage, may need some additional support as it moves into growth stage. It is important to be completely transparent with your team and ensure they have the resources they need to implement a successful growth strategy.

Look to the future

You can’t afford to only be thinking about the present and focused on each day if you’re growing your business. It’s critical that you’re keeping an eye on the future and staying ahead of the curve so you can see any upcoming movement within your industry. Successful business owners are always studying trends, anticipating what’s coming, and keeping an eye out for the next big thing so they can adapt and evolve.

Read websites and trade magazines within your field, keep in touch with customers and business contacts, and ensure that as your industry changes, your business will also change.