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The statistics are grim. An even more microscopic group, just 0. In other words, most businesses start small and stay there. But if that's not good enough for you—or if you recognize that staying small doesn't necessarily guarantee your business's survival— there are examples of companies out there that have successfully made the transition from start-up to small business to fully-thriving large business.
That's the premise behind the search Keith McFarland, an entrepreneur and former Inc. So I studied the companies who had done it to learn their lessons. Developing a Growth Strategy: Intensive Growth Part of getting from A to B, then, is to put together a growth strategy that, McFarland says, "brings you the most results from the least amount of risk and effort.
The bottom line for small businesses, especially start-ups, is to focus on those strategies that are at the lowest rungs of the ladder and then gradually move your way up as needed. As you go about developing your growth strategy, you should first consider the lower rungs of what are known as Intensive Growth Strategies.
Each new rung brings more opportunities for fast growth, but also more risk. The least risky growth strategy for any business is to simply sell more of its current product to its current customers—a strategy perfected by large consumer goods companies, says McFarland.
Think of how you might buy a six-pack of beverages, then a pack, and then a case. Finding new ways for your customers to use your product—like turning baking soda into a deodorizer for your refrigerator—is another form of market penetration. The next rung up the ladder is to devise a way to sell more of your current product to an adjacent market—offering your product or service to customers in another city or state, for example.
McFarland points out that many of the great fast-growing companies of the past few decades relied on Market Development as their main growth strategy. For example, Express Personnel now called Express Employment Professionalsa staffing business that began in Oklahoma City quickly opened offices around the country via a franchising model.
Eventually, the company offered employment staffing services in some different locations, and the company became the fifth-largest staffing business in the U.
This growth strategy involves pursuing customers in a different way such as, for example, selling your products online. When Apple added its retail division, it was also adopting an Alternative Channel strategy.
Using the Internet as a means for your customers to access your products or services in a new way, such as by adopting a rental model or software as a service, is another Alternative Channel strategy.
A classic strategy, it involves developing new products to sell to your existing customers as well as to new ones.
If you have a choice, you would ideally like to sell your new products to existing customers. That's because selling products to your existing customers is far less risky than "having to learn a new product and market at the same time," McFarland says.
New Products for New Customers. Sometimes, market conditions dictate that you must create new products for new customers, as Polaristhe recreational vehicle manufacturer in Minneapolis found out.
For years, the company produced only snowmobiles.Business planning, strategy consulting, and investment banking services.
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MOOT CORP ® Competition “The Super Bowl of Business Plan Competition.” Business Week. The MOOT CORP ® Competition simulates entrepreneurs asking investors for funding.
MBAs from the best business schools in the world present their business plans to panels of investors. Turning a small business into a big one is never easy. The statistics are grim. Research suggests that only one-tenth of 1 percent of companies will .
The least risky growth strategy for any business is to simply sell more of its current product to its current customers—a strategy perfected by large consumer goods companies, says McFarland.
Find the latest business news on Wall Street, jobs and the economy, the housing market, personal finance and money investments and much more on ABC News. Based on research and interviews with leaders at family firms this book will help you evaluate what stage of growth you are in; how to begin your strategic and corporate plans; when to begin implementing growth plans and how to .