Most entrepreneurs and small business owners I meet, talk a lot about growing their business or have the desire to grow their business. They talk about their plan to increase revenue to help them grow their organization to the next level. I usually follow up with the following questions: What are you building and why? Where are you currently? Where do you want to go? How will you get there? Is your business ready to grow?
These questions are designed to get the business owner thinking about their business and the steps that might be required to take to get them to the end goal and the first step doesn’t include increasing revenue. There is pre-work that is required before just jumping into growth. The foundation of every business is a sales/marketing, finance, and operations function. These are the minimum functions that all businesses have. It is your three legged stool of business, and you can’t have a weak leg.
The first step to growing your business is getting a deeper understanding of where you are today. With our advisory clients, we guide them through a business diagnostic to help discover their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This helps to bring issues to the surface that may not have been as obvious or easily identifiable. Most businesses that grow successfully do so by working out what they do well and then doing more of it, but your internal structure and process have to be ready to support the additional growth.
Another great step is to review your current client base or product mix to see exactly where your revenue is coming from and what trends do you see. What is your capacity? Many times a company actually will need to shrink in size to gear up for the growth. Think of it as pruning your business like you prune your trees and landscape at your home. Why is it important to prune? By pruning a tree you can influence in what way the tree grows; it can be made to grow into a certain configuration of limbs and branches that are ideal for the structural integrity of the tree. Properly pruning a tree will eliminate compromising branch structures and improper weight distributions that can lead to disaster later on. Pruning is required to improve the health and strength of a tree and will benefit the growth of the tree the greatest in the long-run. Your business works the same way; it requires pruning to improve the health and strength of the business to reap the profits of the future blooming season. How overgrown is your business? Is it time to do some pruning? It is extremely important to continually monitor your business landscape so that you can take any necessary actions as needed.
These are a few beginning steps to start your growth process that a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners skip. You have to plan your growth to avoid additional problems for your business. This pre-work is so important and will help you get clear on what you are trying to build and how are you going to grow.
If you want to learn more about how we can serve your needs for your business, or if you would like information about our business advisory, we encourage you to contact us at and schedule a discovery meeting below.