What Does Growth Look Like?

Lisa PurichiaBy Lisa Purichia
Partner, Director of Entrepreneurial Services

You’ve no doubt heard the old business adage, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” With the passage of tax reform, most experts say the outlook for improved growth is positive. When business leaders are more optimistic, they start making plans to grow their companies.

But what do we really mean when we say that? In other words, what does growth look like?

The most common meaning refers to growing revenue and profitability, or employees and locations. But positive growth doesn’t just mean expanding your bottom line or your roster. It can mean any number of ways to improve your organization’s processes and capabilities, as well as its reach.

For example, infiltrations into private data are now a constant threat. (For a good example, see the article below on the Meltdown vulnerability.) One form of growth would be to expand and improve your company’s technology and computer systems so it’s less prone to hacking.

Growth can also refer to increasing the skillset of your team, starting with the business leader. If you’re the owner or manager of a company, ask yourself if you have grown in your leadership skills. Have your coaching skills improved? Can you think of ways you can better apply technology to serve your customers? Do colleagues and employees viewing you as providing the right kind of leadership the organization needs?

Take a look at your interpersonal skills, and question if there is room for growth. Do you fully recognize your strength and weaknesses, and know how to best leverage those with employees, clients, stakeholders and everyone else important to the company’s success?

Another way to grow your organization is to look at the rules, regulations and best practices that pertain to your industry, to see if your business is up to competing in the marketplace. If the business environment has changed, do you need to bring your team up to speed? For example, the public accounting profession has largely moved away from paper records to digital ones.

If entering your office feels like walking back in time 20 years compared to your competitors, it’s time to grow your technological capability. Think about rotating in new computers, copiers and other equipment used on a daily basis. Is your workspace ergonomically suitable to attract and retain the best talent?

Are you making it as easy as possible for people to do business with you? For example, many companies use electronic signatures today instead of paper documents. If you’re making your customers physically mail in or fax their paperwork, your company is behind the curve. Look for growth in processes and procedures that can improve efficiency and make it simpler for clients to conduct business.

As you’re talking about what kind of growth your organization will pursue, include all your important stakeholders in the conversation – clients, vendors, employees, business partners, etc. People prefer to work with a company that is a growing, up-to-date enterprise. Top employees seek to work in such a place.

As you’re thinking about growing the company, make sure it is the type of growth that is responsive to the needs of those you serve. Sometimes bigger is better, but it’s also wise to grow your business’ capabilities. That can then lay the path forward toward a “better BIGGER!”

When you are experiencing the right kind of growth, your company will be one that people seek out to do business with, rather than one they run away from.

If you need advice on how to best grow your organization, please contact Lisa Purichia at (317) 608-6693 or email lpurichia@sponselcpagroup.com.

 

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