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
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:
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 competitor analysis.