I’m always an advocate of planning. From the first little spark of an idea, through the approach to funding, setting up and throughout the lifetime of your business, you should plan, plan, plan.

When it comes to growing a business, it’s common for some entrepreneurs to get a little over excited. Passion and dreams can run riot, especially now they’ve seen that their idea works, the business exists at last and it’s doing well.

Perhaps oddly, growing a business is a risky time. I’m absolutely not against it in any way – one of the most common services Streamlion Consulting offers is help with growing and scaling businesses. But I do believe there’s a right and a wrong way.

My next series of blogs is going to share 3 essential steps which, if taken, can guarantee successful business growth.

The first step is to Aim Big.

The P-word

And we’re back to planning. The clue to the right way to approach this is in the word “aim”. You’ll notice this is different to “fire” or “fire at will”, both of which conjure up images of a scattergun approach, a distinct lack of planning. And therein lies a common mistake. With a thriving business and proof that you’ve found your niche, it’s easy to get over-confident and start growing in every direction, simply saying ‘yes’ to every request and pleasing your customers right, left and centre.

Taking a moment, taking aim in fact, means knowing what you’re good at and offering this proven skill, perhaps in new markets, rather than reinventing yourself which often means a move away from your core skillset.

Offering a wider range of different products or services too early can destabilise the business. Think of your main offering as the core of your business. A strong and well-defined core creates a stable, steady business. Your brand will become known for this core product or service and your reviews will reflect your proficiency in this arena.

Complement your core

As well as destablising your core, suddenly offering a wide range of different products or services will also end up costing more to scale as your business continues to grow. Quality or reliability might suffer and suddenly your brand is damaged.

By aiming big – and taking a moment to plan – you can stabilise your core offering and then plan complementary growth channels which work with this core but perhaps allow you to explore different markets or areas of expertise.

Taking some time to plan a logical growth journey at this stage will pay dividends in the end as your business remains efficient and effective while also getting bigger.

Next month, I’ll be looking at the next step you can take to secure successful growth – thinking big in order to create sustainable growth.