Of the 4.8 million private sector businesses in England, 1 million of them have their head offices located in London. (Department of National Statistics 2016) Since 2010, the number of businesses in London has increased by 41% and it has the highest number of businesses per adult (1,464 per 10,000 adults). There can be no doubt that London is the UK’s most vibrant business hub, with new products, services and markets emerging on a daily basis. It is also home to a pool of bright young professionals, which businesses can tap into to create diverse, talented workforces.
However, what that also means is that competition is rife in London – and so achieving growth here is no walk in the park. While London’s huge population spells opportunity, there is also greater necessity to cut through the noise in order to be heard.
Coaching businesses in London for the last 9 years, specifically with the purpose of growing and expanding those businesses, means we have a bit of insight into this. Here are five strategies that we have found to work most successfully for businesses in London who have their eyes on greater gains.
1. Increase profit margins
Conducting a price review is often one of the simplest ways for businesses to improve their profits, and one of the first things we consider with new clients.
In London, services and products are instantly more valuable than they would be elsewhere in the UK because the demand for them is so high. This city automatically lends prestige to your work simply by virtue of continuing to practice here.
You would be amazed at how many businesses in London could easily increase their margins, without having a negative impact on their number of customers or clients. It enables the growth of profits while also demanding that the business continues to provide exceptional value to their customers.
2. Implement a recruitment strategy
Businesses in London have the luxury of being picky when it comes to hiring new staff, and this is something you should take advantage of – especially if you are hiring your number 2, but even if you are just hiring your next executive.
There are professionals in London (and beyond) that have the exact skills your company needs to achieve growth, and you can find them without pulling your hair out as long as you use a recruitment strategy suited to this city.
We put together the 4-hour recruitment process for our clients because it works so well in this city. It shows you how to scoop wide first, and then sift out for that perfect candidate. It has worked time and again and placed some really fantastic people into ideal jobs both in The London Coaching Group and with our clients.
3. Focus on conversion rate
When operating in a city like London, with such a massive population of potential consumers, it can be tempting to invest majority of efforts into lead generation.
However, what you should more understand is that with a city that has a large population, lead generation is the easy part. Focusing on improving it will give you only marginal overall growth.
What is usually more difficult in this city, full of sceptics that have plenty of choice, is conversion. How are you communicating with new leads and building trust? How are you showing them that your solution is the solution they should buy?
When you compare the effort required against the ultimate gain, you’ll find that for most London businesses, conversion strategy improvement outstrips lead generation.
4. Get creative with your referral process
While word of mouth is typically not very easy to control, there are strategies that you can employ to encourage referrals. London is an incredibly social city, and businesses should make the most of that.
Simple promotions like ‘recommend us to a friend and you will both receive a free item’ or ‘bring your friend along for free’ are great ways to tell your consumers that you value their loyalty and that you want to uphold a two-way relationship with them. These examples are especially valuable in a city like London where people are eager to socialise through offering friends new opportunities and offers that they have discovered.
5. Bring in an outside perspective
There is so much going on in London that it is easy to get caught up in the excitement, forgetting to step back and look at the bigger picture. You might miss an opportunity simply because you have been focusing so intently on what is directly around you.
Hiring a business coach in London (or a mentor or business management consultant – whatever arrangement works for you) is becoming more and more valuable for not only getting a fresh perspective but also a trained and expert eye on your company. This enables you to combine your intricate knowledge of the business with an expert’s wider view of the market and the kinds of systems that can be leveraged on for greater growth.
In the end, London is currently the top city of opportunity. There is enough abundance here to go around. These are just 5 of the strategies that London-based businesses can use to leverage the ample opportunities available and achieve significant growth in this sprawling metropolis.
Considering a business coach in London?
Growth in London can be difficult, for sure. And just like playing football can be tough, the best players succeed by having a coach watch their plays.
If you think your business could be achieving more, book a free review of your business and find out for yourself if business coaching could benefit your business.