Sustainable growth is a critical part of a healthy business. As a business owner you will always view growth as an indicator that everything is working as it should and that your hard work is paying off. However, be wary if it seems like you’re in a bubble that may burst or are relying on inconsistent surges of revenue to stay afloat. Remember, sustainable does not always mean fast, but it means that growth is maintained and consistent which is far more valuable in the long run.

Create a business plan

A business plan is vital for long-term success. By creating a realistic and thorough forecast you can understand what you’ll need to do to achieve sustainable growth. A good business plan should include – but by no means be limited to – an assessment of your cashflow, competitor research, an understanding of how you will fit into the current market, and your business’ priorities. Once you have your plan, make sure you are doing everything required to execute it and meet your goals. This might include making some alterations to your initial vision for the business if the numbers are not adding up. These changes will be worth it, however. Long-term forecasting and understanding the market will ultimately be vital to helping you grow your business at a steady and manageable rate.

Business networking

Finding new business can be a challenge – it can take as long as eight hours to secure a client. That’s an entire working day for most, and for someone running their own business that can mean pushing other responsibilities into the evenings and weekends. Your time is valuable, so instead of spending hours securing a lead, consider business networking. Local networking groups can help you get your name out there to secure work from likeminded business owners. It is far more time efficient and ensures that the rate of enquiries you receive is more regular. This is a tendency among new business-owners to take on every job that comes their way, which is completely understandable. However, it can lead you to take on too much leaving you overwhelmed and unable to manage all the work effectively. A regular flow of enquiries from networking contacts ensures that you are growing at a manageable rate without having to spend whole days at a time securing new business.

Capturing repeatable sales and retainers

Creating a system in which you receive consistent income from regular services is a great way to build reliable income. Repeat business will build your relationships with your customers each time. Knowing how they work and what they want will enable you to streamline your process to deliver your sale or service more effectively and quickly each time. Alternatively you could encourage your customers to try a retainer model which will deliver you a predictable income each month. These retainers will become an excellent foundation from which you begin further growth. Being able to forecast your cashflow into the future with regular retainers will save you planning time and help ensure further success.

Focus on customer satisfaction

Ensure that you treat each of your customers as more than just a sale. With great service you create the possibility of repeat business that will increase the lifetime value of each customer. Even if your line of work doesn’t always necessitate someone to return often, the fact that they had a good experience means they are far more likely to return for a different product or service or recommend you. You might even consider factoring marketing for new business from old customers into your business plan. Try to integrate feedback questionnaires and surveys into your service so that you can gain an overview of how satisfied customers are with your business. This will give you a consistent stream of data that you can use to continually improve to deliver amazing service.

Clearly defined objectives

Create a framework of goals from the big picture that cascades down to increasingly granular objectives for different teams and employees. Start with the overall direction from the company. Consider what milestones you want to hit. This can include turnover, moving to a new premises, the completion of a major project, or any other big win for the company. This will ensure that everyone on your team understands what they are working towards and creating a sense of accomplishment as they complete each stage. Making sure your team understands their place in the plan and what they are expected to do will keep them on track and help you adjust as needed.

Be willing to review your strategies

As important as long-term plans and objectives are if circumstances change, they may end up working against you. Events outside of your control can adversely affect your business and you’ll need to be able to adjust in order to sustain your growth. This could be as major as a recession or as simple as a shift in the habits of your customer base. You’ll need to be willing to revise your business plan and re-assess your goals and plans to make sure your business can continue to grow and thrive.

Make sure that your business is growing sustainably and manageably with professional financial help. Bells Accountants are a team of highly qualified accountants with years of experience helping business owners thrive. We provide a full suite of accountancy services including bookkeeping so you can be assured your business is always moving in the right direction. To find out more about how we can help call 020 8468 1087 or send an email to .