Doesn’t every entrepreneur and/or business owner start and maintain a business in order to see it grow? The answer seems obvious. But as many top business coaches will tell you, some business leaders who attain a certain level of success are content to stay at this plateau. They feel assured within the space their business occupies in the marketplace and have little motivation to change anything.
This is a risky stance for any business leader to take. Growth isn’t just important for a company—it’s absolutely essential. Without continued growth, operations will stagnate. This can result in lowered standards of quality for products or services, decreased customer service, poor employee morale, and a host of other issues.
Growth “is crucial to the long-term survival of a business,” notes nibusinessinfo.co.uk, pointing to these clear-cut benefits:
- Easier to add resources
- Locate and identify new sales opportunities
- Expand range of products or services
- Acquire new customers
Also, growth can “boost your business’ credibility, allowing you to broaden your supply base and increase stability and profits.”
All compelling benefits gained by the pursuit of business growth!
Plenty of other reasons spur business leaders to adopt a “continuous growth” mindset. A growing, financially secure company often enjoys market dominance (meaning, less threat from competitors), which in turn brings enhanced power to negotiate large-scale purchases (new technology, for example) and/or more beneficial lease or rent arrangements.
Effective growth also helps stave off the potentially negative effects of fluctuations in the marketplace and national economy. Plus, a growing company’s high profile often appeals to the most talented job-seekers out there.
Risks and opportunities
Of course, growth isn’t possible without some inherent risks. For CEOs and business owners who value personal control, a growing business represents whole areas of operations—hiring, marketing, finance, sales—where micromanagement is impossible.
Successful growth serves as a stark reminder than no one person can oversee all facets of a business. The day will come when it’s time to relinquish control of some or many operational functions—hopefully to talented, well-trained subordinates. Without the willingness to delegate, no leader can expect growth to continue without problems.
Another threat incurred by business growth is losing the personal touch with customers. By “personal,” we mean everything from ensuring high-quality products and services to dependable delivery and a quick response to customer inquiries or complaints. It’s one of the most common gripes among otherwise loyal customers: “The company got too big and now I can’t even reach a human being to talk to!”
Ongoing growth is also costly. There’s a need to hire and train new staff, to conduct research and development that encourages greater innovation, as well as expenses related to marketing and sales efforts.
Planning for growth
Due to these and other concerns, it’s vitally important to plan for growth, rather than just waiting for it to happen. A business plan “should detail what your desired expansion will look like and where you want to be within 6-12 months,” notes CEO Today. Having targets to shoot for “will be useful during your growth period for measuring your success.”
Other effective growth strategies include:
- Upgrading a new product line
- Expanding to different locations
- Forging a new business partnership
- Diversifying your current business offerings
Perhaps most importantly, continued growth enables your business to innovate, leading the way to new opportunities in the marketplace. Innovation is critical to fend off competitors and to stay attuned to the ever-changing needs of your target audience.
These and other strategies can be spelled out in a business plan, along with a proposed timetable for achieving specific growth milestones.
There’s no reason a business leader has to tackle the challenges of growth all on their own. With the availability of executive business coaching services like TAB, business owners and CEOs can share ideas for growth with others who have “been there and done that”—thus reducing the chances of making a costly mistake.
Members of TAB are all committed to growing their businesses, and to helping other members achieve similar goals. Learn more about how TAB could be right for you!