Five Steps to Growth - Part 2

Five steps to growthIn this second posting on "Five Steps to Growth", we'll look in more detail at the first two sections of the process:

1.  Customer focus.

2. Define the offering.


1.  Customer focus.

A critical first step is to identify the sectors and customers that will give us the best return on our business effort.

To make this assessment, we must ask ourselves some questions:  What’s happening in the market place?  Are the customer sectors we’re targeting now still the right ones to give us long term success? 

These questions may be difficult to answer without a good combination of background industry knowledge, marketplace research, and an internal review of account and sector profitability.   Our clients often find that this work leads to the discovery that there are potentially more attractive types of customer and prospects that they should be focussing on. 

It also raises the question - What does “attractive” mean for our business?  Large market sectors may appear attractive at one level, but can be overcrowded and offer limited profit potential.  Establishing the leading position in a smaller niche is often the better strategy.

Orchard Consultants can work with you and your team to find the right answers to these questions for your business.

2. Define the offering.

Having established which the most attractive customers are we must check how well your business is equipped to give these customers what they need and want.

Does your offering match what your target customers are looking for?  If not, what do we need to do differently?

Sometimes those changes might be impractical – too big, too expensive, too long term, outside your company’s culture etc.  If this is the case, we’ll need to go back to stage one and rethink the customer focus.

As an example, I was recently helping a large building contractor.  We had identified a part of the nuclear energy sector as a growth area.  However, the company had no existing presence or reputation with these customers.   There were also significant regulatory accreditations and specialist skills which the company needed to obtain.  It was clear that the costs and time involved in making the company attractive to customers in this sector wouldn’t have produced an adequate return in the foreseeable future.  We therefore put the focus onto other, more accessible, market sectors – with very successful results.

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If you would like to know more, please contact us on 01449 711626 / 07847 424269 or by email on

Published on  June 14th, 2019