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Preparing to grow

Understanding how your business is performing

These different measures can show you how your business is performing:

  • financial - how much profit are you making, how much cash flow you have
  • customers - how many you have, how often they use you and how many you have lost or gained
  • customer service - waiting times and complaints
  • market share - whether your share of the market has increased or decreased
  • staff - satisfaction, work quality and attendance records

Business Gateway has a measuring performance guide.

These performance measures can be used in a business plan

Business planning

It can be helpful to create a business plan for growth. As well as including how the business is performing, you can use it to:

  • assess where you can grow
  • set targets and check that you're meeting them
  • point out where things are going wrong

Many businesses choose to check performance against a business plan every 3 - 6 months.

Business Gateway has a template business plan.

Is your business ready to grow?

A SWOT analysis can help with when and how to grow by focusing on your:

  • strengths
  • weaknesses
  • opportunities
  • threats

Your SWOT analysis can be used to plan strategically for your business growth by helping you to think about:

  • what research you might need to do
  • developing products or services for growth
  • whether to grow the home market or export
  • your competitors
  • marketing your products or services

Understanding the competition

Understanding how your competitors do business can:

  • help you spot gaps in the market
  • identify areas for improvement
  • set prices competitively

Business Gateway has guidance on market and customer research.

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