Key Components for Growing a Business

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Key Components for Growing a Business. Growing a business is not an easy task. It takes time, commitment, resilience, focus and vision.

Thousands of businesses are started every day. For example in the UK, taken regionally, in London 55.5% of people want to start a business in 2024, West Midlands it’s 39.20%, North West it’s 35.00%, Northern Ireland it’s 34.55%, Scotland 34.52%, Wales 26.60% (Source: Start-up Statistics 2024).

This culminates in 5.51 million small businesses in the UK. This indicates that the market is now extremely competitive. Anyone starting a business in this climate must plan and execute their business carefully.

To have a successful business the person starting the business (often known as a start-up founder) must know what they want, why they want it, and how to go about getting it.

Every business starts with an idea that is subject to several iterations (new additions and revisions) throughout the life of the business.

There are a number of components required to run a viable and profitable business, whatever its size, product or service.

Running a business is about mindset – this defines the path you’ll take

One of the critical components to have when starting a business is the mindset that one brings to the table.

Here are the mindsets that a start-up business-owner must chose in order to start their business:

Mindset 1 – Preparation and Tasks for setting up

  • Decide who you are going to serve, based on your business idea.
  • Having undertaken the necessary research, to clarify your business idea, and to check that you’re not the only one in the marketplace;
  • Having written a business plan, that will help you to nail down your idea, and creating the plan of how to execute your it;
  • Having done your budgeting and financial forecasting, to run some numbers on your business idea;
  • Having created your pricing strategies and costs of the goods you are going to sell, so that you are charging competitively, and forecasting your profits;
  • Having structured your business so that the tax you pay is reflective of that business;
  • Having familiarise yourself with small business accounting basics;
  • Having registered your business, and familiarise and attend to the paperwork involved;
  • Having created your business website (your online storefront) – the first impression for your customers/clients;
  • Having obtained the necessary resources (accounting guides, tools, and equipment) for the operation of your business;
  • You’re almost ready to start working on your business.

Mindset 2 – Running a business

Running a business is predicated on the type of business you want to have. This requires taking short, medium, and long-term decisions of the path you want to take.

The type of business you run is closely allied to you – the type of person you are, and inherently the changes/adjustments you will be required to make along the way. For example, you may be of a quiet personality, and like to lean into the flow, or, you may be of a personality that likes to take decisions that are not the ‘order of the day’/more robust/more risky endeavour, so opening up other possibilities not generally seen, or yet to be discovered on the business start-up landscape.

Whatever your mindset, learning to run a business will present unexpected challenges. The statistics to date about the desire to run a business and what business owners think about it show:

– 35% want to grow their business

– 40% want to be more profitable

– 15% would like more time away from the business

Source: (Hearts and Minds, 2017 – What business ownership is like in the UK).

Thinking about operating outside the box

You may want to develop an exceptional way to start, and grow, your business.

You may want to begin by developing an entrepreneurial mindset – a set of skills, attitudes, and approaches that enables you (the entrepreneur) to identify and make the most of opportunities, overcome and learn from setbacks, and succeed in a variety of ways. This means a mindset that is driven to solve problems, and create value through resilience, and adaptability.

This concept of ‘innovation’ will become a strong part of your mindset, because you want to bring new ideas to life inside the marketplace. Your resourcefulness and determination to execute your ideas and bring them to life will become the greater part of your vision.

Why is this important?

In growing your business you will face many challenges. It is important to be able to anticipate some of those challenges before they come up, in order to overcome them. One of the ways to overcome those challenges is to seek out and gain the skillset that will assist you on your journey to overcoming obstacles.

Thinking outside the box will become your mainstay, as you develop your creativity and become adept at breaking free of the established norms/status quo. As a result of developing this mindset your become an agent of transformation inside and outside the business community, where you will become a source of inspiration and influence.

What will follow this course of action and decision is that you will become self-aware and have control/take charge over your ideas, your goals and vision of where and what you want your business to be. You will know your purpose, strengths and the areas where you need growth. Identifying these and other traits will build your self-confidence, and increase your ability to grow and run your business, and by extension increase the ability of everyone that is part of your business, such as employees, suppliers, and stakeholders.

The key things to understand when starting a business is that the moment you decided on innovating your business ideas, you have become the CEO, the leader in your business, and that developing some key characteristics become crucial.

These include: innovation, risk-taking, proactive – taking the initiative to seize opportunities,  resilient, and visionary/clarity – possessing a clear vision of what you want to achieve; you will be adding to this your adaptability, and your ability to withstand challenges and uncertainties while you continue to grow your business.

Leadership inside your business

Strong leadership in business is one of the more important ingredients. It is essential for building and managing high-worth organisations and the people inside them, i.e. teams, but this is equally important for your newly created business (your start-up). 

It is therefore the same for people who are starting a business, because their vision must extend here and much further, in order to reach their goal/fulfil their vision for the long-term.

These practices will greatly assist you in running a viable and profitable business.

Starting a business as an Outside-the-box-thinker

Who you will become is pivotal for your business.

Having the courage to keep going, even when things get tough, is a defining characteristic of a outside-the-box-thinker. This is a decision such a leader will take because their vision is to make a difference by stepping out of their ‘comfort/uncomfortable’ zone, in order to get ahead in their business.

It means not adhering to the status quo, taking risks, and not allowing the risk inherent in that decision to stop them moving forward with their plans. This is the side of a start-up founder/entrepreneur that wants to accomplish great things, change ways of thinking, and thereby bring about transformation in the world.

These tendencies are often displayed by people who start and grow viable and profitable businesses, as without them they would soon give up. Examples of some of these people are Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos.

There are some critical activities that are bedrock of any new business.

How to start!

Marketing

The importance that you become visible and accessible to your customer cannot be overstated. Successful business owners became so because they got their marketing started in the right way, resulting in their brands becoming world class, and easily recognisable.

These entrepreneurs’ brands are well known, easily identified, and their customers and clients are quickly drawn to them.

This is what every start-up founder must aspire to.Captivating and serving your customers will be ‘everything’ for your business.

Your activities will include increased visibility through your brand and product. You can get this via advertising, and there are numerous platforms such as Google ads, Amazon ads, or such as social media, on which you can do this.

The most important marketing strategy/decision you must make, whichever ways you go about it, is building customer relationships. This may or may not be obvious but it is critical to recognise that your customers are the live-blood of your business. Without them doing businesses would not exist or cease operation.

Creating a marketing plan is highly recommended. However, you can start marketing your business in small ways. Tell others, friends and relatives about your business. Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways of marketing. The potential customers it generatesare known as ‘warm leads’ – the person who recommends them is known to them, and in most cases are trusted by them. This experience is transferred to you from the one who referred the customer.

A marketing plan will help you to create a roadmap that you will use to organise, execute, and track your strategy over a set period of time.  It will help you to get clarity on your business goals. 

Using a marketing plan will not only help you to organise your strategies, but it will help you to measure the results of your marketing campaign(s), and to organise each segment of your marketing campaign’s purpose – your buyer/customer persona (also known as customer avatar), your budget for the campaign, the tactics you will utilise to increase the number of customers you have, and how you will deliver your service, all in one place, making it easier to track (progress) what works and what doesn’t work.

Starting a plan from scratch can be overwhelming. You can get free templates that you can curate for your own business, from sites such as HubSpot.com.

Your next step is to focus on is the growth of your business, and for this you must have a plan of the strategies and tactics you will use for growth.

Here are four common growth strategies and the effect they have on business:

  • Increasing your presence in an already existing market, i.e. market penetration. There are two main ways of doing this: a) getting your name (your brand) widely known (as mentioned above) linking it to other products, increase advertising, or create a better product, and b) increase production (of goods or service, offer more options to clients) or, create new products or services. Examples of companies who have implemented market penetration successfully are Apple and McDonalds – they undertake constant innovation.

Now you might be thinking but my business is only just starting and I’m not in these categories. It is important to develop your vision for where you want your business to be three to four years forward. This will bring about a mindset that will want to constantly innovate and create over the lifetime of your business.

  • Focusing on discovering or developing new opportunities in the marketplace to ensure that there are continuous opportunities for growth is crucial. Doing this through researching new customers, developing brand awareness, and understanding the value of your product or service; building relationships with suppliers (trade partners), considering and deciding on what your customers needs are in order to develop a strategic plan (also known as a market development strategy), that will assist your actions. 
  • One of the most effective ways to increase sales and grow your business is by creating a product development strategy. You will use the strategy to create and add new products and services, so that you can attract customers who may now know about you yet. Introducing new products (or diversifying your product line) will help you extend the length of time you can stay competitive in your industry. This is also known as product differentiation, and it is an effective method of market penetration because it allows your business to distinguish itself from other businesses in the same industry.
  • A fourth way to increase sales is by expanding your customer base known as diversification. This strategy includes going into new markets or introducing products or service in a related but new area of business, so you can attract customers who may not necessarily be familiar with your business. Developing this strategy is very useful when you can see that a slowdown or downturn in your main market/product or service is about to happen. One of the great advantages of tracking the activities in your business.

You will find that these strategies are helpful while growing your business, but also useful for when you have decided to scale your business, that is, being in a position that will allow growth to happen (naturally) without interference or restrictions.

In conclusion, there are many ‘moving pieces’ to manage and control when starting and running a business. However, management of these will contribute to your personal growth, your increased leadership skills on the entrepreneurial landscape, and that is why who you will become will be pivotal for the success of your business.

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