It is not easy to grow a flourishing business. If it was, people would work beyond eight hours and be rich!
Growing a business takes time, discipline and hard work. You can’t take a shortcut because there isn’t any. Adopt a structured, disciplined approach that you have to make sure you follow daily. Sadly, being disciplined, consistent and focused are not innate in most businesses. They are prone to skipping from one emergency to another, and conversely from one plan to another – only to see growth in spits and spurts.
A sustainable, consistent growth can be achieved by following a sustainable, consistent system. Running a business is a science, not an art. It’s not simple, but you can be on your way to consistent growth in your business by following these six bold steps:
Step 1: Go after passion, not wealth.
If you are not passionate about what you’re doing, then sustainable and long-term growth is impossible to reach. If you don’t experience buzz or excitement when you wake up in the morning to dress up for work, growth will be elusive. The owners of the fastest growing businesses undeniably feel love and passion about the mission of their businesses and the value they provide to customers.
In Step 1, it’s time to take stock and ask yourself if you really enjoy running your business. If the answer is no or even a lukewarm yes, then it’s time for you to make a decision. Perhaps the right move for you is put the business for sale or close it. Certainly, it will not be an easy decision to make, but life is short. You have to get out if you don’t love your business and all the problems that go with it. Be passionate about what you do, and see your business flourish. Dislike the work you do, and see your business take a dive.
Step 2: Utilise micro-plans.
After you have made the realisation that you love your business, Step 2 involves harnessing that feeling into an organised plan – not a full-blown business plan. It is common with most businesses to begin with good intentions when making a business plan, but they tend to abandon it after a while. This is because business plans are lengthy and look very far into the future.
When creating an immediate growth plan, include only what needs to be done today, or even this week or next month, instead of in the next 12 months. It would be more doable to have a daily and weekly focus that is integrated into a loose plan.
Here are the key questions to have to answer:
- Which customers need to be called today?
- Which potential customers should I visit this week?
- What new products should I begin to sell now?
- What day this week will I raise my prices?
These immediate, micro-plans are very focused on the present and are intended to bring about fast and instant results.
Step 3: Always innovate.
Your business will stagnate if you don’t innovate. Businesses that don’t change things, sell the same services and products, is in danger of being left behind when the market moves ahead. If you don’t find ways to innovate and improve your business, your competitors will undoubtedly be innovating the ways they do things in their business.
Take a look at the entirety of your business and think of ways to make what you are doing better. See where else in your business you can create efficiencies; if you have product lines that are getting old and obsolete; where the future lies in your industry with regards to customer requirements and tastes; and where you need to direct your business in the next 3-5 years to take advantage of impending growth and impending growth prospects. This is important information to find out for the stability and growth of your business.
If your business has been the same for the past three years, you run the risk of being left behind. You can’t grow by being stationary and not taking calculated risks. Growth requires constant innovation in your business and products or services.
Step 4: Turn to adjust your direction.
So you are sure that you love your business and what you do. You’re doing daily and weekly tasks per your micro-plans. You’ve analysed your entire business and have spotted certain parts where you can implement improvements and innovation. But you’re not getting the desired results. You still can’t achieve growth.
Frustration is beginning to set in. Majority of business owners don’t do anything. They continue the way they are, hoping change will come.
Business growth is not achieved using a magic formula. A million magic formulas are available – what you need to do is continue experimenting, fine-tuning, reinventing, and turning until you hit the right formula for your business.
Majority of employers believe they just need to be persistent and all their problems will be solved, and that eventually they will find the right ‘growth’ code given sufficient time, money and effort. This doesn’t work. You need persistence, but adopt this pivoting until you find the right direction. Perhaps you have to turn so much that your business may need wholesale adjustments or turn fully into a completely diverse industry. Remember that these are 6 bold steps to business growth, and you have to be courageous to find or to do whatever is needed to achieve growth.
Step 5: Repeat.
Growth can come and go. So, it’s important for business owners to continue repeating these steps. Yes, you love your business but don’t expect to feel the same way in five years’ time. You don’t have the assurance that the great innovations you have implemented today will be enough to sustain growth in the future.
Repeat the process. Pursuing business growth is never ending, so you shouldn’t stop.
Step 6: Keep the exit door in your sights.
Your business and every other business have a shelf life, or it will stay on the same level for years. This is reality, and so business owners should have an exit plan. Many business owners are getting themselves trapped, just going through the motions of running their business. If this is the case, it’s impossible to turn around a business slump, regardless of how many times you repeat the process. Instead of moving forward, the business is backsliding further, and due to desperation, business owners are forced to sell in a fire sale.
Have an exit plan for your business. There is no better time to sell and get the maximum price for your business than when it is growing. Be careful when timing your exit strategy, do it when it is growing, not when it is already on a decline.
To summarise, business owners need to adopt a structured, disciplined and scientific approach when chasing business growth. Don’t rely on chance and hope. Follow these 6 bold steps if you want your business to grow, and be prepared to take it to the next level.
Starting your own business and making sure it is growing steadily can be challenging. Get support from a business partner who can guide you every step of the way. PJS Accountants are the partners you need to expand your business and help it overcome any challenge or trial. We offer a full range of services including accounting, taxation, business improvement, superannuation, business valuations, asset protection, succession planning, estate planning and bookkeeping. Contact PJS Accountants for enquiries.