As part of the Growth Company, we have been supporting people with flexible finance to build their own businesses for over 15 years, through publicly backed schemes such as the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, Start Up Loans and our GC Angel investment service.
We’ve worked with thousands of incredible entrepreneurs and have put together a few of their top business growth tips here to get your 2019 off to a great start.
1. Review your business plan regularly
One of the key things holding businesses back can be spending too much time working in the business and not on it. Hold planning meetings every 3-6 months that involve key members of staff where you can analyse key areas that will help you to grow such as recruitment, marketing or looking to get mentoring advice.
2. Consider seeking investment
Alternative finance has opened so many more doors to people and the coming together of the public and private sectors to support new businesses is something that Greater Manchester has championed for years. We partner with a number of banks to ensure that anyone that the bank can’t lend money to has an opportunity to work with us to use our support networks and business planning to give them the best possible chance of success. We pride ourselves on closing the ‘finance gap’ to ensure that businesses have access to the finance and support they need to grow, create jobs, export or diversify.
3. Embrace digital
Traditionally digital or IT was part of the operational side of a business but today, digital should sit at the heart of every enterprise and business model. Digital resources have also really levelled the playing field for ambitious companies by reducing barriers to entry, creating better distribution and communication channels and by cutting business overheads. The new sharing economy, smartphones and apps have also put millions of new businesses literally into the palm of people’s hands, from where they can build relationships, track sales and absorb feedback to adapt, grow and improve the business every day.
4. Access the community
The business community in Greater Manchester is a hugely supportive one with many public and private networks on hand to help new businesses with networking, business planning and the practical side of running and growing a business. A central service like the Business Growth Hub for example can point you in the direction of specialist training, export advice, mentoring, networking and much more. And entrepreneurs like to help each other too, by expanding their network, recommending partners and referring business; something we see time and again when we introduce like-minded business owners to one another.
5. Help your customers to help you
With the explosion in online reviews and referrals, asking your customers to rate, review and refer you can be a highly effective way of building your client base. It’s also a great way to track where your leads and new business prospects are coming from, giving you invaluable insight into how to plan to develop that market. Actively requesting feedback from customers and responding to their interaction with you is a great way to keep people engaged with you and to let them know about your new products or services.Back