We all want to grow our business, whether we’re a small independent agent or a large tour operator.

But it’s often difficult to know how to translate the ambitious plans in your head into a strategy that the rest of the company can understand and embrace.

Business owners often 
ask themselves ‘what should I 
focus on if I want to grow?’ and ‘where do I begin?’

Steve Medd, former director of Virgin Holidays Cruises and Imagine Cruising and now a business growth specialist at The Winning Formula, details six crucial stages that must be tackled if you are to grow your business, empower your people and create a culture of high performance and accountability.

1. Create a compelling vision

If you are embarking on a new and exciting journey, it’s essential you create a 
vision that inspires everybody. This vision should first take into account the size of the opportunity available to you and, most importantly, reflect the highest aspirations and ambitions you have for the company and its staff.

2. A simple strategy

Next, the vision should be translated into a simple strategy that clearly defines your reasons for growing, your most important areas of daily focus, and the culture and values that drive your organisation. The need for simplicity is essential. It 
is vital that everybody in your business understands the 
strategy as well 
as the part they 
must play in executing it.

3. Get everybody engaged

The third stage is to gain as many people’s buy-in as possible. You must carefully explain the benefits of the journey you are about to embark on and heavily involve your ‘cultural architects’ – these are the people who you can always trust and rely on. Their influence with their peers will be invaluable if you are to get everybody else to support you.

4. Create a high-performance culture

It’s important to define what high performance looks like so that everybody is clear what is expected 
of them. Also, take the time to plan how you will continually motivate everybody so you can ensure they are always producing their best work.

5. Encourage learning and development

Ensure you create an environment that encourages people to learn new skills both on-the-job and through formal training. Accept people will make mistakes while they are learning, but know that the benefit to your business and staff will far outweigh any short-term pain you experience.

6. Achieve ownership and accountability

By investing in your staff, involving them in every stage of the journey and demonstrating trust and open communication, you will create a business that understands who it is and what it stands for and that is accountable for all its actions. Your staff will thrive in this environment and this will ultimately accelerate the growth 
of your business.