WHERE LOCAL BUSINESS GROWS

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Growing Your Business



Overview
 

Once your business is established and you’re making a profit on the products and services you sell to customers, you may want to start thinking about how to grow.

Many businesses think of growth in terms of increased sales, but it’s also important to focus on how to maintain or improve your profitability.

Things you can do to help grow your business include:

  • looking into ways of increasing your sales, both to existing customers and new customers
  • improving your products and services by researching and testing changes with your customers
  • developing new products and services, and selling them to new or existing markets
  • taking on staff or training your current staff, including working with apprentices and mentors
  • looking for additional sources of funding, such as bringing in new investors
  • thinking about selling your products or services online
  • work with a business mentor, who can help you think about how to do all of these things
As your business grows

You must register for VAT if your VAT taxable turnover reaches more than £83,000.

You may also find that a different legal structure is more suitable as your business grows.

Get Extra Funding
 

Growing your business, whether through increased sales or improved profitability, often means you need to invest more. You can do this by:

  • investing previous profits back into your business
  • taking out a loan
  • selling shares to outside investors
  • looking for other sources of finance, including government-backed schemes
Find out which types of finance might work for your business.

Professional advisers such as accountants can help you to work out whether it makes financial sense to take on loans or investment. You should take legal advice before taking on new investment in your business.

Find a chartered accountant on the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) website, or a solicitor on the Law Society website.

Taking out a loan

You should make sure that your business will be able to pay back the debt before you take out a loan. Repayments are often made in instalments over a number of years, and you’ll need to pay off any interest on outstanding debts.

If you’re a sole trader looking for a loan, a lender might ask you to provide a personal guarantee or promise to hand over assets like your house or car if you can’t repay the loan.

Selling shares

If you’re thinking of bringing in new investors, they’ll want to know how much your business could increase in value if they buy shares. To work this out, they’ll need to know how much their investment will increase your sales and profitability.

You’ll need to provide potential lenders and investors with a financial model showing:

  • how your business will spend the extra money to increase sales and profitability
  • how initial costs and increased ongoing costs will affect your cash flow
Increases in sales usually only happen after taking on additional costs like employing more staff, moving to larger premises or putting in bigger orders for raw materials. You’ll need to take all of these into account in your financial planning.

Increasing Sales to Existing Customers
 

How you go about increasing sales depends on your circumstances and how your business is performing. You might choose to focus on customers who’ve already bought from you, or you could try to win new customers in your local area, nationally or overseas.

Target your existing customers

The simplest way to increase your sales is to sell more of the products or services you’re selling at the moment to the customers who are already buying them. For most businesses this involves:

• persuading one-off customers to become repeat customers
• finding customers who’ve stopped buying from you and trying to win them back
• selling more of the same products or services to your regular customers

By keeping a record of who your customers are and what you sold to them, you can work out who’s stopped buying from you, and who might consider buying more. Targeting these customers is often a cheaper and more effective way to increase sales than trying to find new ones.

Review your prices


Regularly reviewing your prices and checking them against your competitors can be an effective way of increasing your sales, profits or both.

You should try to estimate the likely effect of different price changes on the sales, cash flow and profitability of your business before making any changes. To do this successfully, you need to understand:

• the ‘cost structure’ of your business (including regular ‘fixed’ costs, and ‘variable’ costs that change according to your business’ activity)
• the value your customers place on your products and services

It’s worth bearing in mind that offering a discount can sometimes reduce your overall profitability, even if your sales go up. Equally, you might be able to make more profit overall by increasing prices, even if you’re selling fewer items.

Small changes to pricing like providing loyalty schemes or bulk discounts can increase sales to both existing and former customers.

Example

A car wash offers free cleaning every tenth visit if customers opt for the deluxe service. Even though they’re giving something away for free, the value of repeat business from loyal customers means that profits go up.

It’s likely that it would’ve cost significantly more to generate the same amount of sales with new customers, resulting in less profit.

You should also regularly check the price you’re selling products and services at against competitors. This will help you find out if you’re:

• losing customers who get the same product or service elsewhere for less money
• sacrificing profitability, because customers are willing to pay more than you're charging them

Attracting New Customers
 

Increasing awareness

One way of finding new customers for your products and services is by increasing awareness in your local area. You can do this by:

• asking your customers to recommend you to their friends and colleagues
• advertising in local media
• using other forms of marketing, including online

You could also talk to potential customers who don’t use your business at the moment and find out what it would take for them to switch from your competition.

Expanding outside your local area

If you want to sell your product or service through new sales channels or markets elsewhere in the UK, there are different organisations you’ll need to work with, including:

• wholesalers
• retailers, including online retailers
• distributors

You could also try using direct marketing to find new customers.

Expanding outside the UK

You might decide to find new customers outside the UK by exporting your products. UK Trade and Investment offers help and resources on successfully selling your products and services to customers in other countries.

Make sure that you’re aware of your legal responsibilities around the sale of goods and services, and data protection.

Improving Your Products and Services
 

If you’re looking to grow your business, start by focusing on your existing customers and their needs. Talk to them and use their feedback to improve your products and services.

Talk to your Customers

Find out your customers’ views on:

• what they’re buying from you, and what they value most about it
• what you could do to make it more useful and valuable to them
• what would encourage them to buy more

Make changes based on feedback

Getting customer feedback should help you to identify ways to improve what you're offering to your current customers. It may also allow you to:

• increase the price you charge to your existing customers
• attract new customers whose needs you weren’t meeting before

Try to ensure that any changes you make will increase your sales and profitability enough to make the time and money you’ll need to invest worthwhile.

If possible, you should test out prototypes of improved products or services with a few existing customers. By doing this, you can get their feedback and avoid making unpopular changes that could harm your business.

Doing this is equally important for all businesses, whether you’re starting up or established, improving an existing product or service, or bringing something new to market.

Think about selling online

Selling your products or services on the internet can:

• help improve efficiency and productivity
• reduce costs
• help you communicate better with customers and suppliers

You can use analytics software to help you understand how customers use your site and show you ways to improve it.

The digitalskills.com guide can help you find out more about selling your product online.

You’ll need to make sure you understand all the costs involved (eg hardware, software, hosting, training, services, maintenance and support, upgrades etc). You must also provide your customers with certain information.

If you’re going to sell online, protect your customers and business with measures to keep systems and data safe from theft or hackers.

Developing New Products and Services
 

If you’re planning to develop new products and services, you should test them with your customers with just as much care and attention as a new business going to market for the first time. 

Is there a demand?

By making sure theres real demand for what you’re planning to sell, you can find out about any problems and fix them before you’ve wasted too much time, effort and money.

1. Talk to existing and potential customers and find out about their needs.
2. If you can, develop a prototype as quickly and cheaply as possible. Work out the minimum investment that lets you find out if you’re meeting a real need.
3. Test it with customers and get feedback. Find out what they’d be willing to pay for it. Try out different prices with different customers in a consistent, realistic way to see what people will really pay. Can you make enough money for a return on the investment you’d need to develop your new product or service?
4. If there are are other businesses competing for your market, think about what will make you different. Can you provide something better than what’s already available? And is it significantly different or better to what you’re already offering?

Benefits of development

By developing new products and services, you can:

• sell more to existing customers (making the most of existing relationships is cheaper than finding new customers)
• spread fixed costs like premises or machinery across a range of products
• diversify the products you offer so you’re less reliant on certain customers or markets

Another way of expanding your product range is by importing goods from overseas to sell in the UK. Make sure you know the rules on things like tax and commodity codes if you’re planning to import.

Business ideas and intellectual property

If you’ve invented something or come up with an original idea that you want to turn into a product or service, you should register it to make sure nobody copies it without your permission. Find out about trademarks, copyright and intellectual property.

You can find local support in England for coming up with business ideas and developing them on the National Enterprise Network website.

Other sources of advice and support include:

• the Design Council’s business resources
• the British Library business and intellectual property centre

You may be able to benefit from developing your idea in partnership with experts in academic institutions through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

Hiring and Training Staff
 

As your business expands, you’ll need more capacity to produce or provide your product or service, and a wider range of skills. The easiest ways of achieving this are usually by taking on new staff, or training your existing workforce.

Employing people

By taking on new people you can spread your workload, expand production and take advantage of new and different skills and expertise.

This applies whether you already have employees, or you started your business on your own as a sole trader and are thinking about taking on staff for the first time. Find out about your responsibilities when employing someone.

Apprenticeships


Taking on an apprentice allows you to grow your capacity by investing in people who want to learn. Your business benefits from the skills they develop as they train both on and off the job.

Training your staff

You can improve the range and level of skills in your business by training up existing staff. Giving staff training opportunities can increase their loyalty to your company and their productivity - as well as your profits.

Schemes and organisations that can help you to grow your business through training include:

  • finding training courses specific to your business area through the National Careers Service or Business Events Finder
  • using a business improvement framework, like Investors in People

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News

23 results found, page 1 of 3.  
Netpoint now servicing SME's with Corporate level Voice & Data Solutions

Friday 18 August 2017

We are pleased to announce the launch of our Voice & Data solutions. Netpoint Solutions can now offer a full range of telecoms and data products. We offer a full range of competitive VOIP, SIP, ISDN and traditional products. In addition, we offer data connections from broadband, 4G to leased lines. Whatever your data requirements we have a solution to fit your budget. Finally, we also have a full range of mobile voice and data packages from the leading providers such as Vodafone, O2 and EE. With the convergence of IT and Telecoms services, telecoms are becoming an integral part of the IT infrastructure within your company and these products complement our IT services so we can now offer a complete range of solutions. Please feel free to contact us to discuss how we can save you money on your telecoms requirements Telephone 01484 506966 for further details.
Posted by Netpoint Solutions Ltd
Access North’s MD shortlisted for Forward Ladies award

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Berenice Northcott, managing director of Access North Structures, has been revealed as a finalist in the Forward Ladies 2017 awards for the Yorkshire, North East and Scotland region. Holding the role of MD at the work at height specialist firm since 2011, Berenice has played a pivotal part in growing the company and building its profile around four key provisions – rope access, ETFE, tensile fabrics and fall protection. Having been shortlisted for the SME Emerging category, her fellow competitors hail from a wide range of sectors – from accountancy to digital services and recruitment, to name just a few. With a total of 67 high-achieving female business leaders announced as area finalists across the twelve categories, Berenice will be in good entrepreneurial company at the regional awards ceremony – set to take place at the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle on 22 September. The winners from the night will be invited to appear before a live panel of independent judges in November, with the overall victors finally being announced at the national ceremony in Leeds on 1 December. Commenting on her nomination, Berenice said: “I’m delighted to have been shortlisted for the SME Emerging award, especially as it’s alongside such inspiring women. And no matter the outcome on the night, it will undoubtedly be an exciting event. “Working within a driven team who are committed to doing a great job and growing the business is reward enough. But it’s still humbling and thrilling to receive such recognition from outside the company too.” Based in Huddersfield, Access North Structures conducts complex work at height projects at sites across the UK, with particular expertise in rope access techniques and the installation and maintenance of ETFE, tensile fabrics and fall protection systems.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
What you need to know when rebranding a business

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Darren Evans, Director of award-winning brand consultancy The Engine Room, guides marketers and business owners through how to maximise the return from a rebrand project. 1. Plan. Ensure you have a clear strategic reason for rebranding and tie it to the commercial objectives of the organisation. If you don’t, you’ll end up confusing yourselves and the customers you’re trying to attract. At that point your investment starts to become a cost. 2. Understand Brand v Branding. They are different. Your brand IS your business and branding is how you communicate that. This means a rebrand should be lead from the top of the organisation and not just the marketing department. 3. Find your purpose and wear it on your sleeve like a creative badge. Brands with a clear purpose are easier to understand. 4. Know your customers. If you’ve never done it, spend a day in their world to obtain user insight that will go on to shape the entire project. 5. Don’t make assumptions. Understand the true commercial needs of your market and tailor your messaging to evoke the behaviour you hope to drive. 6. Think message before logo. Logos can make brands famous but this is only a small part of your identity. Branding goes so much deeper and conveys the real personality of your business – make sure you find your tone of voice first. 7. Set realistic expectations for your brand. As brand guru Marty Neumeier says: “Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what your customers say it is.” It’s therefore crucial to deliver the experience you’ve promised, as customer feedback will ultimately shape your brand in the long term. 8. Exclude employees at your peril. Make sure you launch your new brand internally before it goes external. It’s essential that you involve your team in the actual development work. They need to understand the purpose of the rebrand if they’re to communicate it well externally, so make sure they’re 100% behind you. 9. Keep it simple stupid. Even complex brands rely on simple ideas. We have enough information to take in everyday without more clutter to add to it. 10. Be creative. True differentiation comes from being brave, being visionary, being people-centred and not following the herd. Return on investment is sure to follow if you look after the detail.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Momentum bring innovation to companies that are frustrated with the high cost of sales training.

Saturday 05 August 2017

As part of our partnership with global sales development Sales Star, based in New Zealand. we have developed an innovative and on-demand sales training product. This is ideal for businesses which are frustrated with the high cost of sales training which invaribly results in only short term increase in revenue and improvement in the skills of the people who have received training. The Sales Star on demand product delivered by Momentum to businesses throughtout the UK will help business owners and CEO's who are frustrated because they want to grow sales but.... Can't find a cost or time effective way of doing this. Cannot take the team off the road to get the growth required. Aren't sure what the right solution is or which provider to use. Find training fees prohibitive Are nervous about committing significant funds to training they cannot control. Sales Star on Demand provides business owners and sales managers the tools they need. Pete Evans, MD of Momentum comments " We are excited to be able to bring this product to businesses in the UK. It uses the latest technology and research so that we can support sales managers and business owners who have to manage and lead sales people. We are able to provide them with relevant tools which are fun and innovative. The other benefit is that businesses can grow their sales and revenues without the high cost which is typically associated with sales training" For further information please contact Pete Evans, pete@momentumss.com
Posted by Momentum Sales Solutions Limited
TH Electrical confirmed as Competition Winner

Wednesday 19 July 2017

TH Electrical has certainly stepped up its social media use over the past year and since that, the benefits are clearly showing. The Electrical Contracting business based in Holmfirth, has recently been announced as the competition winner for Ansell Lighting which has awarded the company a brand new Dewalt drill set. To enter the competition, owner Thomas Hall, submitted a video showing how he would install one of their down light products – following a short video, the install was done safety and timely which speaks volumes for the company and the supplier, who can see the owner in action. It’s been quoted that we don’t have a choice on whether we do social media or not, the question is how well we do it. TH Electrical's highly regarded reputation is built on customer recommendations and pride themselves on being honest and trustworthy, which is just as natural as installing a double socket. NICEIC approved contractors and Part P accredited which means all of our work is guaranteed up to the highest standard. They are part of the BNI network and cover the West Yorkshire area and others on request. It’s clear to see why TH Electrical is your number one electrical contractor. Please feel free to contact us about for a free no obligation quote or free advice on 01484 982452 or 07787 557078 or email thelectrical@live.com, whether it's 0.3 miles away or 300 miles away, they are happy to help you with all of your electrical needs.
Posted by TH Electrical
New Partnership for Momentum

Wednesday 05 July 2017

As a business we specialise in working with businesses to help them improve sales performance. We put the science behind selling by providing predictive tools which are based on extensive research. We have been a UK partner of Objective Management Group for nearly 2 years and during this time we have been able to bring their knowledge and expertise to a range of businesses in the UK that are looking to improve their sales performance. We are delighted to annouce a new partnership with a company called Sales Star, who are based in New Zealand. We will be using Sales Star's proven sales training and methodolgy to help businesses and sales teams to further improve their sales performance. For further information about Sales Star, then go to www.salesstar.com As a result of this partnership, we are delighted to offer a complimentary 2 hour sales audit to any business within Kirklees which has sales people. For further information please contact me at pete@momentumss.com
Posted by Momentum Sales Solutions Limited
Huddersfield house developer snaps up former fire station

Wednesday 28 June 2017

A Huddersfield-based house developer has purchased a former fire station in the town, which was marketed at an asking price of £250,000. SB Homes has acquired the Old Fire Station on Manchester Road in Marsden from West Yorkshire Fire Service. The developer hopes to turn the brownfield land into a residential rental development, primarily for people aged over 50. The 108-year old property has been empty since 2005 when part-time firefighters moved to the adjacent building, Emergency House. Managing director Stephen Byram is also set to purchase adjoining land at the back of the site, from Northern Gas Networks, making the development 20,000 sq ft in total. It occupies a prominent main road position on the A62, with Huddersfield town centre located 7 miles to the north-east. Stephen commented: “This piece of land has been on the market for a number of years now, and currently retains planning consent for use as a cafe and yoga studio. We’ve acquired it because of its prime position, just a two-minute walk from the village of Marsden — it’s perfect for over 50s who wish to retire and/or downsize. “The build-to-rent sector is typically aimed at younger generations who find it difficult to get on the property ladder, but we find that in a village setting this generally works equally well for older generations. Many over 50s want to release equity from their houses to enjoy their retirement.” SB Homes is submitting plans to Kirklees Council, following a positive pre-application consultation. Steve Mitchell, SB Homes’ designer said: “We are hopeful that this will be passed with planning consent. We’ve put a lot of thought into how it will work — we want to keep the original frontage and create communal garden spaces. A living wall planter has even been designed to make it a green building — not only for attractiveness but also to act as an additional insulator. We really want to create a sense of community for the tenants who will eventually live there.” The family-run house building firm is currently developing Empire Works, a scheme of 60 bespoke homes alongside the narrow canal in Slaithwaite, Huddersfield. Past developments include Ancion Court, a housing scheme for over 55s and Deer Hill, both in Marsden.
Posted by Byram, Amy
ABL Business expands into North Yorkshire

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Yorkshire-based business support consultancy ABL Business Ltd are expanding their operations into North Yorkshire. The company, which offers commercial finance and marketing support to SMEs, has engaged Fraser Irvine as an Appointed Representative to cover the county. Based in Harrogate, Fraser will be operating across the area, offering a full mix of commercial finance services. He will assist SMEs in raising the funds they need to trade, grow or stabilise their business, using all the funding lines and capabilities of ABL Business. It marks the third recent growth for the Cleckheaton-based company, who recently set up a new office in Scotland with two representatives just over a year ago and expanded into the North East region in March this year. Fraser Irvine is an experienced Independent Commercial Finance Broker and joins the company with an extensive career in financing businesses under his belt. He has spent almost 30 years working with asset and cash flow funders, which gives him a deep understanding of the financial needs of an SME business. Fraser has worked with new start businesses, as well as more established companies, arranging funding facilities to suit individual needs. His interest in business finance has also enabled him to gain extensive experience in the Management Buy-out, Management Buy-in and transactional market as a whole. He said: “I have known ABL Business and its owners, Andy Redman and Alex Beardsley for many years and really like the independent and client-focussed approach they adopt, so I’m very excited that I’m now joining the team. “ABL Business has access to a vast range of funders, which means I will benefit from being able to offer clients financial solutions that are tailored to bespoke needs. I am keen to help clients from new starts to multi-million turnover businesses to grow and achieve their full potential.” ABL Business Ltd and their appointed representatives have access to over 70 funders, enabling them to find an appropriate solution, no matter what a client’s financial requirements may be. ABL Business Director Andy Redman said: “We’re delighted to welcome Fraser to the team. He has a wealth of experience, which he brings with him from the financial sector, and in business too. Fraser, with his connections and knowledge, will be a real asset to ABL Business and to companies across North Yorkshire. His appointment has enabled us to expand our reach into yet another area and help even more businesses find funding packages that suit their specific needs”.
Posted by ABL Business Ltd
Huddersfield design firm Aye! Agency strengthens team with appointment

Thursday 08 June 2017

Huddersfield-based branding firm Aye! Agency has taken on a fourth team member to support continued business growth and a string of key project wins. The graphic design role will see Danny Stead delivering branding and website design projects, as well as ongoing client marketing materials, ranging from brochures to advertisements. Joining Aye! from Studio 116 in Batley, Danny comes from an agency background and has worked with a variety of clients ranging from antique dealers and footstool designers to coffee chain Starbucks. Commenting on the appointment, Aye!’s director and founder Oli Smith said: “We’ve recently won some great projects which have created a real buzz in our office. We’re itching to get started and Danny will support us with these from the outset. “It will also give us capacity to achieve continued growth throughout the rest of the year. We’re not about sitting still. We’re always pushing forwards and looking for the next opportunity to help other businesses to grow. We now have extra man power to let us do that.” Explaining why he chose Danny for the role, Oli added: “Before I even started recruiting, I knew that I wanted Danny on board. I studied with him at Batley School of Art, where he qualified with a 1:1. And he shares all of our company values — being down-to-earth, fresh and innovative — things that all of our clients value. So when he said he was interested, I knew we had to hire him!” Aye! Agency delivers everything from company rebrands and website development projects to video and magazine production. Clients work across a range of sectors, and include divorce law firm Austin Kemp, firefighting vehicle manufacturer Rosenbauer and chartered accountants Crowther. Danny said: “Having known Oli and Andy since 2009, I always knew that Aye! would become a success in the design industry. When we graduated from the Batley School of Art in 2014, they set up the company in Oli’s garden shed, whereas I decided to join a local agency for some industry experience. “However, when Oli gave me the news that his business was looking to expand, my mind was already made up. You cannot beat working alongside like-minded people who share a collaborative vision. I am genuinely excited to see how far Aye! can grow.”
Posted by Byram, Amy
Social Progress MD selected for Digital Women Debate Panel

Saturday 03 June 2017

During the Digital Marketing Roadshow - Wigan on Wednesday 7th June at DW Stadium five leading industry experts will be coming together to discuss diversity in Digital and how gender balance is being addressed. The day has a very exciting list of digital related seminars throughout the day including a Google Digital Garage session on 'Reach New Customers Online & Know your Business with Google Analytics.' The Digital Women Debate is being hosted by Naomi Timperley who runs Coo Digital & is a Tech North Advocate. Social Progress, owner and MD Janet Bebb is one of the five panelists discussing gender balance in the digital along with Debbie Edwards, F Disrupters, Wendy Bowers at Role, Melissa Conlon, Commercial Director at Magma and Aaron Crewe from novi.digital. Big Screen Social our highly visual Twitter Wall will also be featuring at the event displaying the photos, branding and messages of delegates, exhibitors and speakers via hashtag #DMRoadshow helping to spread the word about the full day event and reach an online audience. This free to attend event is part of a series of Digital Marketing Roadshows taking place across the North West of England organised by Launch Events. https://www.socialprogress.co.uk/social-progress-selected-for-digital-women-debate-panel/
Posted by Social Progress
23 results found, page 1 of 3.  

Events Posted

4 results found 
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Content Creation and Blogging for Business
Wednesday 30 August 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Creative Analysis Ltd And Social Progress Ltd, 2, Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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LinkedIn for Business Workshop
Wednesday 30 August 2017, 13:30 - 16:30
Bridge House, Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Twitter for Business Workshop
Thursday 14 September 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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How to be a successful entrepreneur and lead your own business
Wednesday 4 October 2017, 09:00 - 12:30
Edgerton, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD3
£30 - 22 places
4 results found 
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