Getting ready to grow

Assessing the current performance of your business will help you to decide whether you are ready to grow, and where any growth will come from. We recommend that you regularly assess how well your business is operating. Any growth is more likely to be successful if your business is already operating efficiently.

Analyse your business

Answer these key questions before you grow:

  • Is your business improving over time?
  • How can you improve your performance?
  • Can you reduce expenses?
  • How will expanding affect current operations?
  • Is your product priced right?
  • Do you have a reliable supply chain?
  • Are staff sufficiently skilled?
  • Are you performing better or worse than your competitors?
  • Is there anything holding you back?

You can carry out a resource audit to take stock of your financial, staffing, physical and intangible resources.

As part of your overall business plan, you can conduct a SWOT analysis to consider the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business.

You can use our market research kit to analyse your market, competitors and customers.

Compare goals with results

To understand where your business is right now, compare your plans and budgets with actual results. Review your business plan and marketing plan to see if you have met, or are likely to meet, your goals. Inspect your financial records and compare them to your budget. Your business adviser and accountant can help you to analyse your business.

When comparing your goals with your performance, ask yourself:

  • What did the business do well?
  • What didn't go as expected?
  • Where can the business improve?
  • What changes are needed to achieve the growth you desire?

Record your answers so you can evaluate your business now and in the future. Keep a record of significant events to assess how they affect your business. For example, did your sales increase after a competing business closed down?

You could also benchmark your business against other similar-sized companies in the same industry to compare your performance.

Also consider...