Steps to business Growth

You live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.
Your customers’ needs and wants will continue to change and evolve.
So what can you do?

Business growth, a key process owned and led by the CEO or Managing Director; and cannot be delegated.

1. Leadership

  1. Type of your leadership
  2. Your team
  3. Involving them in developing strategy as well as subsequent execution

You will have to aspire to transformational leadership. You used to simply tell people what to do and they would have got on with it (mostly, as they were generally self-motivated).
You might have either done all the processes in the business before being promoted or you have grown the business from its formation. However, often your team know more about a process than you do and so they have the answers (not you).
You need to work with the team for getting the best out of them.

Fortunately, good leadership for most business leaders like you is a series of good habits that over time you might have developed.

2. People

Your people strategy is for a fully engaged workforce.
Good leadership (at all levels in your business) leads to engaged employees, leading to a customer centric approach; and, that’s yielding to enhanced returns for your shareholders.

It’s win-win:

  • Your employees enjoy what they do
  • Your customers love what you do for them
  • Your investors love you
  • You have an easier life

3. Strategy

Failing to plan is planning to fail. You need a strategy for your business growth.

Get the whole team involved and so you don’t have to worry about buy in because they have been part of the process.


4. Implementation

Having a great plan is one thing. Executing it, is another.
Implementing an idea is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration!

Two things are key to the process.

  • A Strategic action plan that is broken down from 3 years to 12 months to 90 day objectives.
    Break down the actions into weekly chunks and turn them into sprints.
    A sprint involves planning at the start, its execution and a review at the end.
    Done weekly, a quick plan can be agreed Monday morning and then reviewed Friday afternoon as to its success or not.
  • Having actions is no good if you don’t track progress. It’s like watching a tennis match and not keeping score. Most strategic projects involve team collaboration.
  • Mike Brailsford, General Manager and Performance Director for Team Sky (Great Britain’s professional cycling team) believed in a concept that he referred to as the “aggregation of marginal gains.” He explained it as “the 1 percent margin for improvement in everything you do.” His belief was that if you improved every area related to cycling by just 1 percent, then those small gains would add up to remarkable improvement.

Success is a few simple disciplines, practised every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgement, repeated every day. – Jim Rohn

Often in a business it is the small improvements that make the big difference in the end and not something dramatic. The principles of applying lean thinking in a business are embodied through Kaizen – the Japanese word for the process of continuous improvement exemplifies this.

5. Communication

A number of experienced and successful business leaders buy in to the idea that cannot over-communicate. You need clear processes for communication within your business if you are to succeed.

6. Processes

Right first time, every time is what your customers are looking for.

As a start, all your processes should be documented and, capturing them in a flow chart which is accessible to all who need to use it. The most effective way to share your processes is to put them on the company’s intranet so that access can be controlled.

Processes should then be regularly reviewed with a view to making them faster and more efficient. This process is often helped by using internal auditors from other departments so that they can ask the dumb questions such as, “why do you do that”?
This process forces the process owner to think as to why things are done in a certain way. This means small marginal gains are made which over time constitute huge savings in time and effort.

Sales, marketing, production, operations, after-sales support, accounting are all processes and each of them needs to be as efficient and effective as possible.

You need to support your processes with Technology. With the rise of smart phones, Data capture needs to start with the customer and you have to support throughout the customer journey.

 7. Performance

What Gets Measured Gets Done – Peter Drucker.

Often, growth will be happening and business owners moved on to the next exciting project without having really consolidated the current business so that it generates cash consistently.

Something happens only to find out after a lot of damage has been done.
With so much technology at your finger tips there is little excuse for not measuring all key stages of your processes.

It is surprising how easy it is for part of the business to go off the rails and need recovery due to even a moment’s neglect. The world changes too quickly not to monitor what is happening on a regular basis.

The Balanced Scorecard by Kaplan and Norton is a great starting point for any performance management process and there are a lot of easy guides to implementing it if you feel the main reference book is too intimidating.

Taking Action

There are now a number of well researched books written by world experts that provide all the knowledge that you need in order to implement the changes to your business.


Suresh Shah, Pathfinders Enterprise


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