Last year in their Global survey of 400 CEOs, KPMG found an overwhelming refocus on growth after years of focus on risk aversion and operational efficiency. Fast forward twelve months, and KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook 2015 is even more upbeat about growth planning.

52% of CEO’s picked aggressive growth: Asked to identify their organizational priorities for the next three years, the greatest number of CEOs identified developing new growth strategies and geographic expansion as top priorities (Source: 2015 KPMG CEO Outlook)

While more CEOs plan to pursue aggressive growth strategies (see my earlier post outlining six strategies for growing revenue), no-one ever said growth planning and execution was going to be easy. Both organic and inorganic growth continue to top the list of challenges that the executive team struggles with.

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Digital Disruption and Organic Growth by Martin Blake of KPMG

So how do you grow a business organically?

It’s all about continually evolving to stay relevant and competitive, running growth sprints geared to give you focus and results. In terms of strategies, there are five key paths you can follow to keep your business alive:

1. Market Penetration

Growing market share by appealing to your competitors’ customers, attracting non-users, and getting your existing customers to use more.

2. Market Development

Repositioning an existing product into a new customer segment has the potential to deliver serious growth. Take Napisan for example. This was originally a laundry detergent product specifically for washing nappies. With the move to disposable nappies, the demand for Napisan declined significantly so the product was successfully repositioned as a laundry detergent for tough stains.

3. New Channels

Improving the performance of your existing network, or creating new ones such as opening up online. Of course, online, you can service your customers 24×7, rather than being tied to a location and traditional opening hours.

4. New Product Development

Creating new products for existing customers can be crucial for you to stay competitive and win more market share. See my previous post on cross-selling for growth.

5. Diversification

Developing new sources of revenue through innovation, and expanding into new markets holds great promise but gets riskier the more you move away from your core market.

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In terms of knowing which path you should choose, I’ll discuss these key strategies for growth in more detail in my next blogs and show you how to work out which path is right for your business.

Indeed, I’d say the perils of doing nothing are almost certainly fatal.

Read more of this article: Truth 1 | Truth 2 | Truth 3

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