Business Growth in a Nutshell
By Evan Rubenstein
Nowadays, businesses in all fields face unprecedented levels of competition. A business without a growth strategy will find itself falling further and further behind simply because of increasing levels of competition. So what does one need to have a business growth strategy?
The three elements required for business growth are:
- Clear goals
- A properly worked out plan of action (growth plan)
- A bulletproof system to ensure the execution of #2 above.
The growth plan is a clear, sustainable path to continued profitability. It will encompass strategies to build:
- Free Cash flow
In all businesses, growing profits can be achieved in one of two ways:
- Reducing expenses
- Increasing Revenues
Reducing expenses is not a long term, sustainable profit building strategy. It is only useful once in a while, to trim fat or to bring runaway expenses back under control.
Increasing revenues is obviously the winning long term strategy. This can only be accomplished through developing a value proposition that addresses the needs of the target market in an evolutionary fashion.
The value proposition will be the sum of:
- elements of product/service, branding, and customer experience.
- elements relating to operational effectiveness, customer management, innovation and efficiency
- elements relating to the team and organisational culture required to achieve all this.
So achieving growth in a business really comes down to a non-trivial, coordinated execution of a comprehensive plan that addresses these elements.
The reality of many businesses is that they:
- Don’t have a clear set of goals, or the goals are not clearly communicated within the organisation
- Most often don’t have a clearly articulated and documented growth plan other than what’s in their heads on a given day
- At worst, lack essential knowledge and skills to orchestrate all of this or are unable to effectively execute their plan
- Can very easily be distracted or caught up in day to day operational issues that keep them from their strategic path
Most business owners, left to their own devices, are at best sitting on top of unrealisable potential or at worst facing long term demise. The successful ones have grasped this and dealt with it, one way or another by continuously educating themselves and making the focus of their role, these issues. The role of the business coach, like a personal trainer, is there to guide, assist, support and sometimes enforce the rigour required to make this all happen.