05.01.17

Identifying improvements to accelerate company growth

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To grow and scale, companies must stay up to date with new trends and embrace new knowledge, or risk slowly dying. For many companies, the key to growth is more targeted business development based on the industry, product or service. Here are a few key observations that should be helpful to most companies looking to identify improvements to accelerate growth.

Determine what is feasible

This may seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes to growth, there is no one size fits all approach. What might work for one business is not necessarily the best strategic move for another. It is important to assess what is most feasible, and thus the most likely to succeed. To do that, one must evaluate the current business model and the future operating model. This will require a thorough review of people, processes, finance and technology. Here are some questions with which to start:

  • What are the company’s strengths? What sets it apart from competitors?
  • What are goals and objectives for the business in one year, three years and five years?
  • What are the current team’s skills and what skills do you think are lacking that would drive growth or performance?

Be honest in the process

When asking questions like those listed above, it’s important to recognize a few common struggles that many owners face. Often, owners have difficulty analyzing why previous decisions or actions failed when they were intended to accelerate growth. They can build expectations on anecdotes and limited case studies, which leads to unrealistic expectations for company growth. Additionally, many owners are loyal to the existing management team and lack the ability to clearly assess strengths and weaknesses.

It’s important to be honest about each of these weak points in order to provide clarity for the future state of the company. Once goals and objectives are thoroughly and honestly vetted, a company can assess performance and opportunities, creating a baseline for what is possible.

Assess your options

As I mentioned before, no one solution for company growth works universally, but with a baseline of understanding, companies can weigh which key areas might best accelerate growth. This could include any or all of the following options:

  • Assessing and staying ahead of the competition
  • Revising and refining target clients
  • Upgrading the talent pool by training existing employees or making strategic hires
  • Upgrading company technology to improve efficiency
  • Reorienting strategic planning around time horizons that might provide fresh perspectives

Be wary of growing too fast

As companies measure growth, it’s important to re-evaluate whether some of this growth might be occurring too quickly. Any growth that negatively impacts a company’s culture or degrades quality of services and/or products is ultimately unsustainable and inadvisable.

If at any point a company notices these indicators, it’s important to go back to the earlier points discussed regarding a thorough and honest assessment to determine a more feasible growth strategy.

 

Contributing Writer

Kane, Kevin_WEBKevin Kane is a managing director at Riveron Consulting, responsible for the development and execution of the market strategy and growth of the firm’s Midwest region. For more than 20 years, he has developed and executed strategic solutions associated with mergers and acquisitions, operations, finance and integration for large corporate and middle-market companies. He is a Chicago native and enjoys coaching youth sports, writing music reviews and working on philanthropic interests. Connect with Kevin at
[email protected] or on LinkedIn

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