By Colin Wilson | Director / Business Improvement Specialist / Certified Chair Business Improvement

Celebrations are over, the new year has commenced and it’s now game on for 2018. My big question is, are you in the driver’s seat of your business for the year ahead?

If you’re like a lot of businesses out there, you’re probably time poor, working on your business and not giving a thought to future succession planning. For many businesses, 2017 was a very challenging year, and unless you are on your game plan for your business for 2018, this year could be even harder. As we all head towards 2020, business pressure will either make or break current business owners. Competition and disruption are creating more and more confusion and pressure on many business owners, and it’s not going to get any easier.

So, my question is, what are you doing about this, what are you trying to achieve for 2018? Are you looking for growth or expansion, or maybe both?

  • A growth plan is all about improving what you currently do. About how to become more efficient and effective – and of course, increasing your bottom line.
  • An expansion plan is about looking at other ways to bring in new services, ideas, different products into your business; adding another income stream or acquiring more outlets. Expansion means higher investment and risk overall – so make sure you get it right.

Time to really knuckle down and think about survival in 2018 and beyond! If growth is on your agenda, then what is your strategy? Here are some pointers to start putting your plan together:

Growth:

  • What is your strategy to stay ahead of the market?
  • How are you going to produce more sales with better efficiencies?
  • Is your business customer driven, to keep and grow your clientele?
  • Do you have the right people on the bus to achieve the goals of your business?
  • Is your structure right, or do you need to change in order to move with the market?
  • Are your operational competencies working, to minimise risk and errors?
  • Are you empowered to empower others to achieve great results?

Take these points on board and answer each one carefully. Thinking about where you are going is paramount in getting you there. Drill it down and you will see a plan for 2018 starting to take shape.

Planning your future, staying ahead, having a successful business takes forethought. Will some sort of diversity help? Can you break into new markets/ opportunities, giving your business a competitive advantage by disrupting others? One thing we know for sure is that if you keep doing the same thing, then you will keep getting pretty much the same results. You need to diversify to bring in other income streams.

What about expansion? If you want to expand in 2018 then you need a solid plan. Ask yourself these questions:

Expansion:

  • What is your strategy to expand your business to create a higher impact for opportunities?
  • How much are you willing to invest?
  • Are you looking to buy out some of your competition, or take them head-on?
  • Do you have the right people on the bus to achieve the goals of your business?
  • Could your current business structure cope with this type of expansion, or will it create disruption in your own business with your current staff?
  • Have you sourced outside help and advice for this expansion where you are 100% satisfied with your decision, knowing how this will affect current operations?
  • Are you ready to expand, and empowered to do so?

One thing I know is that you cannot expand if your growth plan is not working. If you have a dysfunctional team and you invest to expand then this will create more pressure on the whole business. You need to be proactive in your decision-making process. Surround yourself by talent – top professionals in their field. Having the best people to help implement your strategy is going to put you on the right road to success. Get your current team on board to be 100% behind the decisions made.

As we move into 2018 and beyond, businesses need to think about how to create better growth. If expansion is part of your strategy – then do it right by seeking out a Business Improvement Specialist. You are not meant to know everything! You could even consider an Advisory Board to help steer you on the correct path for growth or expansion.

Our market is rapidly changing and we need to keep up. I find that many business owners are too close to their business. Even I use an external consultant to help with better decisions in my businesses, and we are coming up to 10 years in operation.

It’s a new year with new opportunities. A great time to make a new start for growth and expansion.

I hope the above has helped you with a few ideas to consider?

If you need help in building your business then contact us at Key Business Advisors on 1300 4 ADVICE.

About The Author

Colin Wilson
Colin Wilson

Linking businesses to profit is what Colin Wilson, director and founder of Key Business Advisors loves to do best.

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