We are all interested in ways to grow our businesses. This article has been written to give some food for thought about your and where it is heading. Whilst most business initially grow organically, competition, market forces and changes on consumer thinking, need a different approach. In basic terms, there are three main defined types of growth. These are:

  • Operational Growth
  • Innovative Growth
  • Strategic Growth

In this article we are going to take an introductory snapshot of all three types and we’ll leave you with some questions to ask yourself, about your business!

Operational Growth is taking what you have currently and seeking improvements. So you might want to try out new pricing, a new product to complement your range, a new distribution channel, such as selling online, or even targeting new customers. As an example, a card shop may diversify into selling postage stamps, balloons, party-ware, or three-for-two cards.

It is about doing more of what you do.

Innovative Growth takes it a step further by looking at doing things differently.

So a business may look at moving into new applications of a product, or developing new concepts, or that you may want to tap into the exporting market. Innovative growth may mean that new processes or new structures have to be put into place to support developing that difference.

Finally Strategic Growth, will need the greatest investment of thinking, planning, preparation and finances in order to realise the benefits. This may mean merger, acquisition, or new partnership deals. Taking advantage of technology advancements, emerging markets may provide opportunities for developing new categories, or finding an insider to help you as a partner, in a developing country, is another example. However, the ideas need to be sustainable. Apple, and Google have been around for a while, whilst eBay have seen off competitors and have a stronghold in the online auction world. Their ability to adapt, transform and take advantage of new opportunities have been key strengths.

In order to achieve any type of sustainable growth it is necessary to consider:

  • How do you create whatever it is you are thinking?
  • Who needs to be involved?
  • What are the benefits?
  • How will consumers be emotionally connected to what you are offering?
  • How do you manage integration with other parts of the business?
  • How does this impact on your current business model?
  • Do you have the necessary resources to make this happen?
  • How do you stabilise your new processes and new ideas once they are bearing fruit?

There are lots of other questions and answers involved in creating growth. If you can grow operationally and sustain that growth, that is a great starting point!