What is business growth, and what does it mean to you?
Consider this question: "What is business growth?"
It is a question I often ask in workshops and when I present to audiences of business owners. It's amazing the range of answers I get to that question. As business owners, many of us have been conditioned to believe that business ‘growth’ is solely centered around revenue and business value (aspiring to become the next Google & Facebook for example).
Since many of us are time and resource poor, knowing where the set performance priorities generally fall to the most common denominators – profits, and revenue. However, to learn where you’ve been, and where you’re going, you must ask yourself, “Is my company focused on the right priorities? How do I know?”
Without a solid understanding of how you’re doing in all aspects of your business, you risk focusing on the wrong things.
“Business growth is merely a measure of choice.”
Personally, it took me many years in business to understand what that sentence means (through many ups and downs, sweat and tears). The most important question to ask to understand whether your business is on the right path is:
“What is business growth to you?”
This article does not cover all aspects of growth, as growth means something different to different people, however, we will talk through the key categories.
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Definition of growth
Let’s start by defining growth. The many dictionaries define growth as - ‘progressive development (evolution)’ or ‘an increase, expansion or development’. Of course, there is a need to focus on revenue and asset growth, yet in focusing on these variables alone, you risk missing out on efforts that yield incredible returns. Leading from growth, we delve into the business assumptions surrounding Development and Expansion.
Development and Expansion
Development assumes expansion, expansion embodying growth in potential. The two work together hand in hand, implying an understanding of an existing level of skill or experience, which can be measurably improved or grown to the benefit of the business. Using these qualifiers, we can see that growth can also be in many areas, including but not limited to:
- Working ON the business, not IN it
- Competency (skill growth)
- Capability (growth in ability)
- Cultural systems
- Interpersonal skills
- Paperwork or financial processes
- Financial benchmarks and key performance indicators
- Work life balance
- Stress reduction (I know this is a double negative, but you get my point)
Thus, we can see those two-dimensional choices to just grow revenue and profits (clients, income or marketing) do not encompass what business growth means. Nor will they enable growth beyond the capacity of the business.
For example, I regularly meet business owners who are perfectly happy with their level of income or size of business. They often seek growth in work life balance, health, stress or other areas of their business which resolves a current imbalance.
In fact, attempting to expand and develop the business beyond capacity, and without proper systems in place, inevitably results in decline, contraction or worse. This topic will be discussed in following articles. Growth should come in the guise of what works for you and your business. Also, what you need and when you need it. Consider your answer when you are also looking for someone to support and grow your business. Ensure they have the ability and experience to support you in the areas of your definition of growth (not just revenue and profits) into the future as your priorities inevitably change.
After all, you have read and considered the statement:
“Business growth is merely a measure of choice”. What does business growth mean to you?
At Pink Bamboo Business Growth, we do not use a ‘cookie cutter’ approach when we partner with our clients. Every solution is tailor-made to fit their unique business challenges. Because our clients’ success is our success.
About the contributor:
Adam Frampton from Pink Bamboo Business Growth specialises in his work with businesses who want to grow. He challenges them; reconnecting them with their cultural and commercial vision; creating a clear and well-defined path to that vision; ultimately giving them the freedom and growth they seek.