We’ve all seen it before. South Africa is no stranger to the economic boom and bust phenomenon, from frozen yoghurt franchises that become big fads or construction companies that grow to billions over night and disappear within months. Achieving sustainable business growth in an unsettled economy is no mean feat. Beating the business cycle to stay in the black means more than just a pipeline of projects or new trade options, it requires lasting fundamentals that make your business unique and relevant to overcome the tough times while building a lasting future you can be proud of.
With this in mind, the business advisory team from Gestalt Consult have come up with 2 principles that could help your business grow sustainably, even when the chips are economically “down” so to speak.
1# New Business Versus Current Business – Find Your Balance
A key step to achieving sustainable business growth is to carefully balance your hunt for new opportunities against keeping your current clients happy. If you focus only on your current customers, you may risk “putting all your eggs in one basket”. If they all choose to head for the door at the same time, you may be out of business sooner than you think. Likewise, if you focus too heavily on new business, you may risk “dropping the ball” on your bread and butter – those clients that have already decided to walk the journey with you. This can be a tricky juxtaposition to manage, so keep in mind all the factors that link to your business targets to keep afloat while looking at the horizon for shores that can lead to new growth opportunities.
Sitting down with your staff weekly to identify the current challenges and especially new opportunities with your current clients is key to managing and growing your current client trade. Looking to grow the pipeline of work or trade opportunities can incrementally get you where you want to be over time. However, this may not be fast enough for your needs. So you should always be on the lookout for new client opportunities. Remember that lasting relationships are built face-to-face, so get out there and have quality time with prospects, these may take time but remember that saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, at least touch base with new prospects on a weekly basis.
2# Understanding The Current Dynamics Of Your Market Place
We all know that in South Africa it can be tough to navigate the ever-changing rules and regulations germane to operating a business. One of the key operational considerations in growing your company is keeping abreast of these changes. The BBB-EE codes of good practice are one of the key areas you should always be aware of. Transforming the dynamics of current business activity has been a key priority of our government since 2003. While some may view these as burdensome, we can all agree that change is needed to ensure a sustainable future for our country. So if you are classified as a Micro Business these concerns may not be top of mind. But, as you grow to above R10million turnover there are some steps you should take to ensure you do your bit for building a dynamic and versatile ecosystem of suppliers, develop your staff to ensure they are representative and filled with mixed views. Remember, your business is wants to grow and growth is premised on the idea of “more not less” so having a range of views built into your staff means you have more eyes on opportunities you may never have imagined building sustainability into your business by design.
For more advice on achieving sustainable business growth through transformation, give the experts at Gestalt a call to arrange a consultation.