For nearly 30 years, The Alternative Board has worked with thousands of forward-thinking owners and helped them grow their businesses, increase profitability and improve their lives. They participate in monthly boards and one-to-one sessions and take advantage of TAB’s great business tools and services.
TAB has worked with businesses across a broad number of business sectors, including retail, marketing, manufacturing and accountancy and training companies.
The one word which crops up consistently in either peer boards or one-to-one sessions is ‘growth‘. Even the most successful business owners find themselves losing sleep because they need to find the recipe for repeating growth. In most people’s eyes, growth is the definition of success and companies must grow to stay innovative, relevant and competitive.
But if that is true what does growth actually mean?
It is a common misnomer that business growth can be simply defined by successful sales and a company’s bottom line. There is so much more to it than that. Indeed, the beauty of growth can often be in the eye of the beholder.
Of course, sales and profitability can be crucial but so can customer and employee retention and even staff happiness. Growth can be both professional and personal, and on different levels. For me, the lead indicators of a successful business are the influences on how growth is achieved rather than the final result. It should be about doing the right things and developing indicators which reflect the outcome a business owner’s desires.
Ultimately, whatever the avenue, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it and, therefore, growth will be stymied.
Growth can only be attained through clear personal vision to inspire and drive you to achievement and be linked to company strategy. Indeed, without it fulfilling a personal vision, the question may even be asked “why grow?”
At its zenith, growth is achieved by every aspect of a business performing as best it can. To achieve this, it is imperative to have a strategic plan, driven by a company vision which is ideally run in parallel with the business owner’s personal ambitions.
A three to five-year plan is a must but it doesn’t need to be a 50 to 100-page document which remains locked away. It needs to scope out key milestones for the business which are barometers of growth.
For example, the lead key performance indicators could be number of inquiries, average quote value, time to close quote, percentage conversion rates and so on. Elements which may be considered are a description of expansion opportunities, financial goals, staffing needs and responsibilities and a marketing plan.
There is no point in focusing specifically on sales growth if it cannot be delivered.
At a time of political turmoil, it is more important than ever to focus on what you can control not what you can’t.
Indeed, those who play aggressively to their strengths while others are hiding away from the storm may well find themselves fulfilling ambitions while competitors stall.
To help you get started, you might be interested to download our whitepaper on Key Performance Indicators.
By Julian Smith – TAB Derby