Is there a secret to successful business expansion?
What is it that drives, creates and sustains great business growth? Four leaders with business growth in common share what lies behind their success.
Include your whole life in your goals
Thirteen years ago, I moved from the city to regional Leeton in New South Wales. What started as a one-woman band is now a fully-fledged agency with clients all round the country.
Every year on New Year’s Day I set goals for myself. Some focus on commercial metrics and business growth, others are as simple as creating opportunities for special moments between my two little boys and my extended family back in New Zealand. I consciously include goals for every facet of my life, because my natural inclination is to focus on business growth first. That’s because that thrill of seeing our business and those we work with thrive is a huge driver for me as an entrepreneur.
I’m unashamedly proud of what we’ve created in rural NSW, but my own personal growth involves focusing on the big picture and those small but important moments. That’s what keeps me grounded, focused on the future and ready to embrace whatever it may hold.
Founder and Director, Sauce Communications
Build on your connection with your customers
Camplify is like Airbnb but for caravans, motorhomes, campervans and camper trailers. I wanted to build a platform that gave people like me access to these RVs [recreational vehicles], without having to invest in ownership, so they could recapture the fun and adventure of their childhood.
We want to build the best platform in the world for RV rental – and our growth projections suggest we’re on track. In the past two years we’ve seen massive growth in customers, revenue, profits and the team. In fact, we’ve recorded tenfold growth in almost all areas. Recently we launched in the UK and we’ve also achieved excellent growth there very quickly.
For me, successful business expansion is about having a good understanding of the market and what your customers are looking for. That’s what enables you to keep improving the service you provide and create strong market demand.
Weigh the gains against the losses
I launched my own wine label by selling directly to customers so our margin was 100 per cent. As we grew we knew that working with a distributor would help us boost our production, output and sales – but it would also shrink our margin. We lose 30 per cent when we sell to a bottle shop and another 30 per cent when that sale is through a distributor.
But there’s another important upside, in that both these steps increase the visibility of our brand. That’s important because, like most small businesses, we don’t have a lot to spend on advertising and promotion.
So, for me, growth is about finding a very strategic route to market and choosing your partners carefully. You need to be sure that, at every step of the way, what you’re losing in margin you’re gaining in advocacy for your product and your brand.
Managing Director, David Franz
Lead from the heart
As the population continues to age and more people need care, the problem we’re grappling with is how is the country going to fund the increased demand? How can we make aged care sustainable over the long haul?
In my work, business growth is therefore about finding the balance between operational excellence and strong financial performance in order to care for those who can’t afford to make a contribution to their aged care. That’s very much the focus of our organisation, with more than half our residents and clients falling into this category. We currently operate 16 residential aged care centres, a dedicated respite and day centre, seven retirement villages and a range of home and community care programs to support older Australians in their own home.
Into the future, Australia needs a sustainable system to care for all people, including the vulnerable.
CEO, The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus
This article was first published in Business View magazine (Issue 24).