You have a vision for your company’s growth. But do you have a clear road map to get you there?

You have a vision for your company’s growth. But do you have a clear road map to get you there?

John Houlden, Midlands Middle Market Partner talks about the journey to market leadership.

Whatever your business model or level of maturity, middle market companies are today’s engines of global economic growth. The CEOs of these companies view accelerating and sustaining growth as their number one priority. Achieving sustainable growth can be a challenge for even the most ambitious companies. Grow too quickly and financing may prove to be a serious challenge. But grow too slowly – or worse, not at all – and companies risk losing their competitive edge. This makes finding the right formula for sustainable growth critically important.

When most businesses think about strategy, they think about how they focus people, systems and processes on delivering customer value and ultimately growth. However, talking to, and working with, clients through their business cycle and our own research has shown us that, while this strategy is successful for some, focusing upon a broader set of activities delivers far more sustainable growth.

Ambitious companies need growth strategies that are as unique and aspiring as their businesses. Having a broader perspective on the drivers of growth in your business, and finding innovative ways to accelerate and sustain that growth, can give you a competitive advantage.

We examined the growth journeys of hundreds of companies around the world – ranging from start-ups to market-leading businesses. Through our experience of more than two decades working alongside many of the world’s fastest-growing companies, we have talked to some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, including many EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winners and gained the views of more than 500 EY professionals who work every day with leaders of the world’s most dynamic companies. Our research concluded that, by focusing on a broader set of activities and finding the right balance, businesses can not only accelerate growth, but ensure it’s sustainable.

The EY Growth Navigator™ is an interactive experience that uses the EY 7 Drivers of Growth to help you and your leadership team assess your business’s current and aspirational position, and create a strategic road map to help you get there. It is the definitive guide to sustainable growth, spanning seven pillars we see as critical to business success. These are:

1. Customer.
Leading companies make customers their focal point. By putting the customer experience first, they achieve a competitive advantage. This includes focusing on products/services, markets and channels, marketing, the customer experience, sales and pricing.

2. People, behaviours and culture.
Leading businesses attract and retain the right people who share the company’s vision and fit its culture. These organisations pay close attention to capability, performance management, innovation, leadership and rewards.

3. Digital, technology and analytics.
Information is power. It can help leaders make better, quicker and smarter decisions that improve business performance. We’ve observed that successful growth strategies consider the digital enterprise, analytics, emerging technologies, data security and privacy and the technology function.

4. Operations.
A standard approach to an operating model links strategic intent and an organization’s ability to deliver on that intent. But a tailored approach aligning operations with strategy increases the ability to succeed. This means an operations strategy with a commitment to operational excellence and continuous improvement – and a resilient and sustainable supply chain.

5. Funding and finance.
All businesses need funds to grow. How a business manages its money and approaches investor relations and stakeholder management will determine its future course. Leading companies focus on their growth funding strategy, organizational structure, finance processes and controls, the use of data and technology and stakeholder management.

6. Transactions and alliances.
Market-leading companies rarely expand through organic growth alone. They seek partnerships, alliances and strategic acquisitions to enhance their growth, competitiveness and profitability, underpinned by solid transactions strategy, planning and effectiveness.

To book an EY Growth Navigator™ meeting or discuss in more detail the EY 7 Drivers of Growth, contact John Houlden, Midlands Middle Market Partner, for more information on  +44 121 535 2309 or jhoulden@uk.ey.com