Many forward thinking UK Tech Startups & SME's are now emulating the highly successful formula of Silicon Valley Tech Startups and engaging specialist "Business Growth" experts on a contracted basis to help accelerate & future-proof their business growth and success.
According to the most recent survey by the Federation of Small Business of its 200,000 members, growth is firmly on the minds of two-thirds (67%) of SMEs for the next 12 months.
But how simple is growth to achieve?
According to the survey results, almost three quarters are intending to achieve growth by expanding their client base, and a fifth are looking to engage in international trade.
The problem is, that these are tactical manoeuvres, and so while they may deliver short-term results, they’re unlikely to ensure long-term success. Enabling growth to future-proof your organisation requires in-depth strategic planning, but this too can prove problematic for many SMEs.
As the founder of your company, you probably have more passion and more product knowledge than the rest of your workforce combined. As such, it means you’re best placed on the front line, engaging new customers and nurturing new opportunities to enhance your business. But your business needs to continue operating on a day-to-day basis, which means that either you have to dedicate more time to other operational areas, such as admin, marketing and finance etc, or employ dedicated managers/directors, which can prove incredibly costly. This results in your growth potential being compromised even before you’ve even begun, as your business risks begin to increase and operational areas continue to get over stretched in terms of time, expert professional resource and skilled personnel.
So what's the answer...how can you overcome these barriers to growth more cost effectively?
In an increasingly competitive environment, achieving growth and successfully maintaining it, is difficult. That is why we believe there’s a new breed of manager emerging that everyone should have: Head of Business Growth, who interfaces with ALL business critical areas and functions to help drive business growth.
It’s a role that until now has only been embraced in the heart of the technology universe, Silicon Valley. Here, many start-ups are seeing the value of appointing a dedicated person to overseeing their business growth, by pulling all areas of the business into one cohesive operation, rather than allowing them to remain as siloed functions.
By contracting or hiring this single experienced and talented individual, your business benefits by:
However, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an easy position. Consider that the Head of Business Growth needs to align all the business functions and achieve an ambitious growth objective, without having direct authority, and while often trying to implement cultural changes, and you’ll appreciate that it’s a specialist role, and few people possess the skills to take on the challenge.
To be successful, your Head of Business Growth needs to be creative, strategic and demonstrate leadership. Sitting in a privileged position, they must have a deep understanding of all areas of the business, so they are competent to work cross-functionally with finance, operations, marketing and sales. And furthermore, they must possess the ability to communicate the information each function wants/needs, in the language they understand. For example, finance will be focussed on the bottom line, while sales is looking at pipeline and operations on resourcing.
With the sole remit of growing the business, this single person is responsible for helping you define your company’s growth objectives. It means gaining a deep understanding of your overall business goals, and aligning the growth objectives accordingly. For example, if you’re looking to exit the business within five years, or want to be acquired, you need to build your business up to appear an attractive investment to prospective buyers. Having achieved a high turnover will NOT necessarily secure you the highest value or even a sale, as many other factors need to be taken into consideration.
Next, the Head of Business Growth needs to create a robust strategy for growth. As well as clearly defining how your business will achieve the growth objectives, it’s their responsibility to quantify and communicate progress against goals, using established key performance indicators (KPIs). Furthermore, if/when you encounter challenges, it’s their responsibility to answer why the problems have occurred, and provide recommendations on how to overcome them, using customer, market and product/technology insights.
Finally, your Head of Business Growth should bring together all the elements you need in order to ensure your future success. Reporting directly to you, they will have oversight of your entire organisation and create a cross-functional team that is tasked with implementing a framework to help prioritise initiatives that will ensure you realise your growth targets and secure your future success.
However, the big problem still remains – how do you find this single individual? It’s rare that one person would possess in-depth skills across all areas of the business, so finding one talented person can prove challenging.
Unlike other consultancies that tend to focus on one business function, our team is specifically chosen because they possess the lucrative skills and experience across all business critical areas, and can demonstrate their success across a range of growing SMEs.
Our comprehensive solution, delivered by a ‘Head of Business Growth’, addresses all business-critical areas, developing strategies to ensure that the barriers to your growth are fully removed and all your operational areas are fully aligned to your specific business goals.
Schedule an exploratory call with our Managing Director (Viren Pandya) in complete confidence to assess how we can help you achieve your 2017 Business Growth Objectives
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