When it comes to finding examples of exciting, high-growth businesses, our immediate thoughts tend to go to the Silicon Valley giants and other hi-tech, digital superstars. Few of us, I’m guessing, would instantly consider a pasty and sausage roll business.

Yet, Greggs, the Newcastle-based bakery business ticks all the high-growth boxes. Sales in the business grew from £760m to £1,200m between 2013 and 2019, with profits rising even more sharply, and the company has announced a plan to further double sales by 2026.

So, how has Greggs done it? It has, to be fair, benefited from a growing food-to-go market, but, more critically the company has developed an offer and business model that has given it some genuine competitive advantages.

The Greggs growth story shows that you don’t need to be in the sexiest markets to deliver brilliant results and some of my own clients – DFS, Dunelm and Topps Tiles, for example – have a similar story to tell.

How could your business benefit from pursuing the Greggs game-plan? What could you achieve if you rigorously (1) Shifted focus to the high-growth sectors of your markets, (2) Focused your proposition on your clear strengths and uniqueness, (3) Identified and pursued a stream of innovation, and (4) Invested behind the strategy while ensuring operational excellence?

Off The Record: Fog On The Tyne by Lindisfarne

Sitting in a sleazy snack bar

Sucking sickly sausage rolls

Slipping down slowly, slipping down sideways

Think I’ll sign off the dole

‘Cause the fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine

The fog on the Tyne is all mine

Getting Your Innovation Strategy Right

Business leaders are constantly exhorted to innovate. But what kind of innovation should managers pursue? The Innovation Strategy Matrix helps you to answer that question and get your innovation strategy right.

Stuart Cross 2021. All rights reserved.