Many growing businesses need to continually evolve in order to fully exploit growth opportunities and protect their achievements to date.

We look at 5 key areas below and highlight examples of issues to consider.

Commercial development

Many scale up businesses focus on ‘organic’ business growth through doing ‘business as usual’ better or gaining more market share e.g. through better operational management, technology development, improved infrastructure, strategic partnerships and cost efficiencies.

Important considerations include:

Having a coherent strategy to protect your Intellectual Property.

  • Managing your supply chain relationships and key collaborations and partnerships.
  • Having proportionate commercial relationships in place to protect soft assets such as brand, reputation, information and data.
  • Identifying and managing areas of risk from a regulatory or compliance perspective.
  • Early project management of legal and financial aspects of capital investment projects.

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Other growth strategies

Business growth, expansion and development can be achieved in a way or at a speed not possible solely through the organic commercial development. Businesses can enter new markets or create new business models through a variety of means e.g.:

  • Mergers, acquisitions and disposals
  • Management buy-outs
  • Investments
  • Joint ventures
  • Reorganisations
  • Purchases from liquidators and administrators

The most effective growth results are achieved when the actions above are carried out as part of a planned strategy rather than impulsive reactions, although businesses can also benefit from having the flexibility to move quickly to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.



All businesses need people to deliver their strategy – they are both an asset and a risk. People strategy is about proactive management of employees to provide the right workforce and to help deliver goals, including talent retention, reward, engagement, efficiencies, diversity and inclusion. Some current themes include:

  • Immigration
  • Equality and diversity
  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • Employee incentivisation
  • Protection of proprietary information
  • Grievances and litigation
  • Worker status issues



Every step a business takes (be it trading, a one off investment decision, how many staff to employ etc.) has financial implications which have to be carefully managed within the constraints of the organisation’s funding arrangements. This often comprises a mix of debt (borrowed from banks or others – no ownership) and from equity investors (who own a stake in the business as a result).

Early legal advice in relation to debt funding, private equity investment, venture capital options (including alternatives such as crowdfunding, Islamic Finance etc.) and the costs and benefits can help shape strategic decision making.

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All businesses and their strategies operate in an environment of risk, from both the external landscape and internal factors in their business. Uncertainties can impact on the delivery of strategy and achievement of objectives

  • As companies grow so does the need to put in place more formal approaches to identifying, managing and receiving assurance re strategic, operational and compliance risks. This need not be complex but can be critical to avoiding uncertainties and in providing reassurance to lenders and investors.
  • Gearing up for regulatory change on the horizon, as many currently are with GDPR, and working out strategies that go beyond compliance to look for opportunities.
  • As the current uncertainty in Europe leads business to explore new markets this can bring new challenges e.g. trading in higher risk areas – e.g. unstable countries or those with high Corruption Perception Index Scores.

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