Growth, Growth, Growth!

It’s the catch cry of every business advisor and guru who wants to impress business owners. Yet the reality of achieving this growth isn’t so readily divulged. We’ve interviewed thousands of entrepreneurs at every stage of business and discovered a few interesting things about growth.

1. From the startup phase to £300K, growth is all about the sales process. If you can get leads and sell your product, you can scale up to £300K pretty easily.

2. From £300K to £1 Million, the key is differentiating your offering. If you can be seen as special, unique and valuable you can expand to £1M pretty easily.

3. From £1M to £2M you’ll need to innovate and create a product ecosystem and a marketing strategy. If you can market and sell several unique products, you should be able to hit £2M.

Now, here’s the HARD part.

4. Growing from £2M to £10M is really hard and it’s where most businesses get in trouble. It requires you to change your business culture, recruit a team, develop business assets and professionalise your company. All of which costs money, and the payback cycle is really slow. You’ll be losing cash as you grow and your team will be pulling in all directions.

Less than 3.5% of all businesses have revenue of over £10M. Take out the multi-generational businesses, take out the corporate spin-offs and the highly-funded ‘unicorns’ and you’ll see the odds of growing a business of this size are against you.

Just because you can grow a business to £1M doesn’t mean you can hit £10M. The reason why big companies pay huge money to buy these businesses is because they know how difficult it is to achieve.

The dangerous journey of scaling a business requires you to learn new skills. You’ll need to learn from people who have done it before and they are a rare find (especially one that will give up their spare time to teach you).

Often when someone has built a £10M+ business and exited it, they aren’t motivated to share the journey. Sometimes they are willing to share but they are disconnected from the reality of running a small business. They’ve forgotten what it’s like to be under the £1M revenue band.

Luckily, we’ve found Martyn Dawes who is willing to share his journey and definitely hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to grow and scale a business. He built Coffee Nation (now known as Costa Express) from an idea into a £23M exit. Since selling the business he’s written a book and works alongside several fast-growth companies as an advisor.

We’ve asked him to spend a full day with our clients walking them step-by-step on how he scaled Coffee Nation to be the UK’s leading brand of takeaway coffee sold from over 4000 locations across the globe. Here’s some of the things he’ll be covering:

– How did he grow his team?
– How did he fund his growth?
– How did he develop business assets?
– How did he negotiate a life-changing exit deal?
– What would he do differently?
– What does he think of your business?

If you want to find out more about the workshop being held in London on Friday 30th October, click here as spots are limited, and tickets are selling fast.