You have heard variations on this quote:
“In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.” ~ Lou Holtz
This may be meant in a motivational way, but it is true in business. If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward, especially in today’s competitive world. Real business growth is the only way to stay alive for the long-term.
If Your Business is Not Growing, It is Shrinking
It sounds pretty obvious – when you are growing your business, you can do more: you can hire great people, you can invest in marketing, you can buy additional equipment.
When you are not growing – or growing too slowly – you are scrambling, cash flow is not where you need it to be, and stress is high! A growth strategy – an effective growth strategy – is critical.
“…growth is only a means to the ultimate end: creating value. Not all growth opportunities are equal. Still, there’s no escaping the fact that growth is a critical driver of performance…”
This article focuses on large businesses around the world but the principle is the same! That “ultimate end” of creating value is a key component of maximizing your transition and critical to effective exit planning.
Answer this honestly: Think back two years. Is your business now at a revenue or profitability level that you had projected at the time?
If not, why are your next two years going to be any different??
Step back and think about your growth – not just random growth – but a well-thought-out plan that prioritizes specific objectives for growth and the timing of your exit / retirement / next phase of life. Without this, you will be moving backwards. Your competitors will leave you in the dust as they grow and differentiate themselves.
Without a game plan, you will not be able to exit on your own terms. Be specific in how you will retain customers, in how you will focus on business process improvement, in how you will find and keep good employees. Include specifics on succession planning.
If your answer to my question is that you are not where you had wanted to be, it’s time to revisit a very focused growth plan and execute on this plan in a very methodical manner!
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