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5 strategies to grow your SME when the economy is shrinking

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1. Fast growth sector strategy

The most important strategy is to focus all your efforts targeting fast growing and emerging sectors. During a recession most markets shrink, so it is important to pick your sector(s) very carefully.

Extensively research rapidly growing markets – this includes analysing companies the venture capital industry is investing in. For example, MVF was one of the first customer acquisition companies to target the solar industry and this early mover advantage has seen MVF have a huge impact on growing the European solar industry. Another example of this is our launch into the international moves market. This market looks set to grow by three per cent per annum over the next 30 years. We are launching a new website that targets this growing sector.

The website aims to be the number one resource for people looking to move abroad. The site will help the 14 per cent of all adults considering an international move, including evaluating the costs, the pros and cons of different cities and neighbourhoods, schools to consider, what to consider regarding your overseas finances and healthcare. 

2. Multinational client strategy

Another strategy is to target sectors within which there are large multinational clients. MVF has taken some of the world’s leading multi national companies, including EDF, Nestle and Mars from one market to over 20 countries. We can put this down to the time we spend investing in our account managers” training so they are able to develop relationships across large corporates” many locations.

A specific example would be our business services marketplace Expert Market who helped one of our fleet tracking clients, Fleetmatic find a whole new customer base in America and Canada, where previously it only had customers in the UK.

3. Data driven strategy

Every process and decision is driven by analysing and reacting to trends within data. Build big data sets for all processes and employ analysts to interpret patterns in that data to make the correct strategic decisions. After all, data drives our decisions and growth success.

4. Hunting in packs

PayPal and Google alumnus have shown this by sticking together in highly effective groups and building incredible new businesses. Throughout your career you will need to identify the high fliers with whom you get on with and start forming your “hunting pack” across all the business disciplines: marketing, sales, technology, finance, law, and HR. This means that when you want to start a new business you can call out for your pack to form. This gives you an enormous depth of management, huge amounts of trust and a team ready to go whenever you put out your call.

5. Energetic staff

Business success is very much down to the people you hire. The one key trait I look for in potential staff is energy. Ensure that people you hire have energy and can energise others. 

Britain is becoming a nation of entrepreneurs driven by high youth unemployment forcing more and more of our young talent to go out and create businesses on their own. I admire these budding entrepreneurs who have started up businesses in the tough economic climate of the past four years. We are turning a corner now and with the advent of crowd funding, business accelerators and a Great British entrepreneurial culture there is no better time to start a fast growth business than right now.

Titus Sharpe is CEO of MVF

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