Many founders think only about getting funded and growing the business themselves. They seldom realize that there are other possible and proven ways to grow.
Acquisition – buying up small firms with the necessary core competencies makes a lot of sense. This is a very fast way to grow as the acquisition not only gives us the skills and capabilities but also an existing cash flow and trusted customer base, with possible up-selling opportunities.
Mergers – Nothing wrong with it. Find the right minded and like minded competitor and create synergy. Probably the most difficult stunt to pull off in the business world, but can provide dramatic growth opportunities.
Franchise – Often ignored model where we are providing proven business opportunities to interested entrepreneurs in new markets. This leverages the brand image as well as proven business and operational models. But we need to really prove the business model with enough branches of our own before getting ready to sell franchise.
Strategic Partnerships – This is about identifying partners with complementary products and services and partnering with them. One of the best examples is Pizza and coke. The partner provides either a production base , marketing channels or sales & distribution network which gives us an immediate access to new markets. Selling through Amazon is one such example.
Divide and grow – This is about separating the different promising products and services and running them as separate businesses. Some of you may say that it increases overheads. I agree that it would, to some extent. However, the advantages are many more. It is much easier to position and brand the smaller companies into their selected niche markets. A lot of synergy is possible in the back end. The smaller size makes them nimble with low mgmt overheads.
I, Flt.Lt. Sridhar Chakravarthi, have been mentoring startups since 2007. I am a volunteer mentor at BYST and National coordinator for Indian Startups Network. I a also a volunteer consultant for Grow Movement. Please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org