ORGANIC GROWTH STRATEGIES

ORGANIC GROWTH STRATEGIES.

Most businesses want to grow, but with less bank finance available these days it’s not easy to just buy out a competitor. If you can’t grow by “mergers and acquisitions”, you need to develop a strategy to grow your business organically which can prove a much slower process.

Organic growth is especially prevalent during the early stages of a company’s commercial establishment, but opportunities continuously present themselves if you listen to the market. So, if your firm is committed to meeting the needs of its customers and is commercially driven with a good control over costs, you can use the following strategies to drive business growth.

ansoff-matrix

Market Penetration

Also known as the “Protect and Build” strategy, this conservative approach sees a company consolidate and stabilise its position in the market by selling more existing products to existing customers. To make this cross-selling approach work, your firm will need to leverage existing resources and capabilities; this will allow your business to capture a larger share of existing markets. This strategy is low risk as you wont need to launch new products or services – instead, just focus on selling more to existing clients and contacts.

 Product Development

A product development strategy focuses on creating new products or services and introducing them to existing customers. If your business is good at creating new innovations then it is probably well positioned to use this strategy. The key is utilising market research in order to identify a need or gap in the market for a new product or service. If there is potential demand and you launch the right product or service, then you stand a reasonable chance of success. There is an element of risk inherent in this strategy, as developing new products requires investment from the business.

Market Development

This approach involves the promotion of existing products into new markets. These could be industry sectors or geographical territories. This approach requires the firm to invest in market research to define which markets are best to target. There is an element of risk to this strategy, as it requires both time and money in order to conduct the research and to develop appropriate marketing campaigns.

 Diversification

This can be a risky growth strategy because to diversify means creating new products or services and selling them into new markets at the same time. There are a lot of “unknown unknowns” involved, such as the competitor landscape and the needs / requirements of customers in that market. There is also risk inherent in the fact that the company is somewhat reliant on the strength of its brand in a market that is not necessarily familiar with. However, diversifying can give the company an opportunity to really grow if the new product / service is well received and the new target market is big enough.

 

SETTING EFFECTIVE KPIs

SETTING EFFECTIVE KPIs.

 Setting goals and a strategy for your business is important. However you then need to measure how the business is performing in order to understand if the firm is moving forward and is on track to achieve its goals. As such it is necessary to set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). However many business owners and managers find this difficult to do and see the establishment of KPIs as a pen-pushing exercise and don’t dedicate time to do this.

KPIs however, form a vital element of the business’s sales strategy, both for individuals and for the team itself. In order to create a shared vision, commitment and firm-wide motivation, it is vital that the KPIs are discussed with and agreed by each member of the team from the outset. KPIs should cover:

KPIs

 

  • Team targets (i.e. convert 75% of all leads during the first quarter of 2015)
  • Individual targets (i.e. 80% of chargeable time billed each month in 2015)
  • Key tasks

 

 

The nature and specific tasks of your KPIs will depend very much on variations including the market sector and geographical area in which you operate. However, managers must ensure that they follow the SMART principal – that is, ensuring that objectives are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Depending on your business, it can be useful to adopt a traffic light approach for each client account, so areas of strength and weakness can be easily and quickly identified. This data can be fed into charts which can also be very useful when preparing KPIs, giving specific objectives and demonstrating how the results have a direct impact on the overall sales and business objectives.

Once set, KPIs should then be reviewed on a regular basis, both with the team as a whole and with individual team members. Any variance in performance can then be identified and flagged appropriately, with remedial actions put in place before any aspect of the traffic light chart turns to amber. Bear in mind that KPIs should always be dynamic. For example, even if a KPI target hasn’t been met, the individual or team performance may still be on course to achieve the overall sales objective, and the KPI target may need to be lowered. Similarly, if a target has been met, then it may need to be increased at intervals, to maintain drive and motivation.