A given business venture might be doing admirably well and producing top line sales revenues and bottom line profits as expected or conversely, may be somewhat lacking in one or both metrics for any number of reasons. Yet regardless of the particular circumstances, it is an accepted business axiom that like a shark, organizations, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, must continually move forward and grow. In business, Growth = Survival.
Growth requires consideration of the organization’s vision and mission, from which a list of attainable goals that reflect and enhance the vision and mission are developed. A clear understanding of the type of growth that the organization would be wise to pursue must be reached. Organizations usually pursue the following types of growth:
1. Growth of sales revenues
2. Growth of market share
3. Growth of the customer base
4. Expansion of the products and services offered
5. Expansion of capital holdings, e.g., property and equipment
6. Expansion of business locations
7. Expansion of staff
A growing organization is in building mode. Growth is positive and when launched correctly brings with it a sense of energy and optimism that permeates the organization. Who doesn’t love to work at a growing company?
In addition to the samples of tangible growth and expansion goals given above, there can be intangible but no less compelling motivations for leaders to plan for growth. Infrastructure growth can promote and sustain operational efficiencies, improve cash-flow and financial management and marketing functions, processes that are vital for creating the conditions for business success,as noted below:
Productivity is a key component of success. Whether you prefer to view productivity as working hard or working smart, nothing happens until what must be done is actually done. Making it possible to quickly and inexpensively bring in as many customers as possible to your organization, so that you and your team may deliver to them at modest expense your products and services, for which they (gladly!) pay premium prices, is the essence of productivity. How can your organization perform those functions faster and less expensively and maintain customer satisfaction along the way?
Increasingly, technology is essential to supporting productivity. Evaluate your organization’s tech capabilities and confirm that your devices, software and protocols are user-friendly, time-saving and energy-efficient.
Examine the processes for delivering your products and services. Operational efficiencies save time and money and allow you to direct the staff’s creative energies toward money and lead generating activities, such as conducting market research, performing competitive analyses and generating content marketing.
Decreasing fixed and variable expenses is money in the bank. Confirm that you are paying the best prices for the costs of goods that you sell and supplies that are used. Manage inventory costs and movement with care and buy more when prices are low if you can be assured that sales will follow. Discuss with your agent the annual rates for required insurance policies and try negotiating for a lower cost if you regularly pay on time. If you rent commercial space, request a five-year lease and put a freeze on any rent increase for a couple of years.
A productive way for B2B service providers to meet potential clients is to engage in face-to-face networking with those who might hire or refer you. Enhance your reputation as an expert and make money as you do by identifying teaching opportunities that would be a good fit. Seek out speaking opportunities as well, including moderating or speaking on a panel.
While in the office, you and your team can plan or refresh a content marketing strategy that may consist of producing a weekly blog, a monthly newsletter, or quarterly case studies or podcasts. Leaders must demonstrate to clients and referral partners that doing business with your organization will bring them the results that they need. Potential clients want to know that when they hire you, they’ll look smart to their superiors and peers.
Growing and expanding your business venture is a multi-faceted process that will unfold over several months or years. Plan well, execute with precision and confidence. Choose relevant metrics to test the efficacy of your strategies and make adjustments as needed along the way. Continually communicate through a variety of channels the progress of growth to all staff at your organization.