There’s an old saying: ‘If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
My personal feeling is that bigger is not necessarily better, and before you try to take your business to the next level, you should ask yourself if you’re the best you can possibly be at the level you’re at now.
If you’re not, how can you change that?
Business growth strategies succeed when companies act from a combination of strength and passion: a solid brand, a solid base, and a consistent value proposition that’s reflected in both employee and customer satisfaction..
Without that, reinventing a larger version of yourself is bound to fail. For example:
- Are there things you could be doing now that would increase brand awareness and customers satisfaction at your existing size?
- What are you not doing enough of?
- Is there a hidden market you’re missing in your strategy?
When you sit back and think about the habits and methodologies that got you to this point, never forget that others are thinking the same things as well, so it’s clear the same thinking will not get you to the next level. You’ll need to be more creative. So how do you maintain the consistency that got you here to begin with, at the same time you’re reinventing your business for future growth?
Consider asking these yourself these questions before taking the leap:
- What are your core values?
- What’s your vision?
- Who do you serve?
- What separates you from other companies selling the same things?
- From the other perspective now, what would those other companies say about themselves if they were asked the same questions?
- What makes you different? What makes you the better choice?
- Are your employees sitting in the right seats on the bus?
- Are you prepared to hire additional staff? Contract with additional vendors?
- Are you prepared to upgrade/purchase additional software and applications to support a larger base?
- If you asked your customers their satisfaction level with your company, what would they say?
- If you told them you were expanding your company, would their trust in you be threatened?
- Do you foresee product growth in your industry that would threaten your ability to keep up with the times and make your offerings obsolete?
- Financially, you need to project not only what it would take to get your company to the next level, you also need to determine the risk level – how much you’re willing to lose – in your quest to get there.
Finally, and most importantly, find your ‘Why.’ Why do you do what you do? Do you love it? Why does it matter? Will you be able to sustain it if you go bigger? Be brutal. Growth for growth sake isn’t enough, and the lure of money destroys your value, converts customers into commodities and most assuredly leads to failure. Bigger is better only when it’s created out of passion, and is in tune with your values. Just look at Apple, Walt Disney, Southwest Airlines, Virgin, Whole Foods and McDonald’s (to name a few), and be inspired.
“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.”
– Ray Kroc