How to make sure that you are doing the things it takes to grow your company
Growing your company – or any business, requires change. But that change has to enable the company to move toward a specific goal. Beyond creating a strategic plan, doing more marketing, advertising, hiring great people, here are seven things that you have to do:
“But this is what we have always done!” is a comment that probably resonates with a lot of people. Especially those who have created processes and systems and invested a lot of time and energy into certain activities. Some might call it the “comfortable spot” while others might harbor on “what if change is wrong?”
Here’s the thing: there may be some things that do get you, as a business leader, the results you are looking for every time. Every day, your results are hit out of the ballpark and you couldn’t be more thrilled. But that doesn’t mean a) you shouldn’t evaluate it to see if it could be done better. or b) there aren’t other ways to accomplish the same thing faster, better and at a lower cost!
Thinking about how to grow your business? Take a strategic approach.
Have you ever thought about what you want your business to be in the next 10 or 20 years and how you will be involved in it? Do you have an exit strategy – a strategy that will allow you to successfully exit the business? Do you see your business as a national or international firm or business, or perhaps turning it into a franchise? Are you thinking about how to make it attractive to investors so that you can take it to the next level? If you are bootstrapping, do you know what the numbers need to look like in order to get the business to the next level?
Many conversations I have had with small business owners and leaders have involved what they are doing today and perhaps a hope of what will happen in the future. It might be something to the affect of “I want this to grow as big as it can get” or “I want to go global”
But really – what does that mean? How does that impact the way the company is run, structured and financed? Does this mean that the company is in ten countries or one hundred? What expertise is required to go beyond borders? What additional education or skills need to be developed in order to run a much more complex business?
How to plan for and monitor your small business growth stages
Much like a child, the growth of a business takes on a relatively predictable pattern of development. And just like a child going through their terrible twos or fearsome fours, each stage of business growth embodies its own unique challenges. Finally, just as a mother must transition from breast-feeding to bottles and from diapers to potty training, businesses must be prepared to transition from one norm to the next and tackle new challenges head-on.
New York Times reports that mergers are making a comeback
In an article posted by the New York Times on February 15, 2013, the “Mega-Merger” is back, meaning that companies are joining forces (rather than one purchasing another) in order to do some sort of specific deal. Examples they include are Warren Buffet and Brazilian investors purchase of Heinz for $23 billion and the merger between American Airlines and US Airways valued at $11 billion.
Mind-boggling numbers, I know. However the concept isn’t far fetched. In the case of the American Airlines and US Airways deal, consider the potential; they will now be the largest airline in the world (big kudos!), the airlines, combined, have a larger customer base, greater reach around the world, they can potentially combine what they have learned in the marketplace and technologies to give them strategic advantage over other airlines, the people, the knowledge and the physical assets. Of course, a merger like this doesn’t come without hiccups or potential issues: as with any business, failure rates can be quite high, but for those that are successful, it can be a bright new day.