If there is a universal business goal it is growth. Rarely have I encountered a business or any organization that did not have some kind of growth as a goal. So what does it take to grow your business?
Certainly it requires a quality product or service that meets a need. But that’s only the baseline – it’s what gives you “permission to play.” And of course you must have a marketing and sales program. However, way too often I see business owners implement or attempt to implement marketing tactics to grow their business with less than stellar results and then proclaim marketing doesn’t work – it’s a waste of time and money.
The problem is, marketing and sales only work when the other key factors necessary to grow a business are in place and way too often they aren’t. It’s like trying to grow a garden when you have superior plants, fertilizer and water but bad soil.
Here are five keys to business growth that must be in place if you want to meet your growth goals. Get them right and you can grow your business with ease and flow. Fail to get them right and trying to grow your business will make you feel like you are paddling a rowboat up stream all by yourself.
Five Keys to Business Growth
1. A limited number of clearly defined priorities: What are your one to three key priorities and what are the one to three next actions that you and your team need to take to move these priorities forward? Priorities that are not clearly defined or too many priorities even if they are clearly defined leads to a lack of focus, failure to execute on plans and unmet goals.
2. A clear focus and effective time management: How much time are you and your team spending on the one to three top priorities? If priorities are clearly defined and it is clear why these priorities are important it is much easier to focus your time and your team’s time on those activities that bring the greatest results – and that is what time management is all about.
3. Effective delegation: In a recent survey of business owners (albeit an unscientific one) doing too much of what other people should be doing or ineffective delegation was one of the top challenges. As a business owner you have a finite amount of time and limited skills, expertise and strengths. If you want to grow you are going to have to enlist others to increase the available pool of time as well as talent. Trying to do it all yourself will put a lid on the growth of your business.
4. Incentives and disincentives that are aligned with desired outcomes: Are you saying you want one behavior yet rewarding another? For example to you say you want your employees to make more decisions on their own yet lambast them when they do take the initiative to make a decision and it’s not the exact same decision you would have made? People act based on what is rewarded and punished – not based on what they are asked or told to do.
5. Staff buy-in and employee engagement: Do team members understand and “buy into” your vision for the company? Are they passionate about and committed to the vision? Employees who are not fully engaged will show up late for work, have high levels of absenteeism and do just enough to get by. They will make mistakes, provide poor service and focus on their own priorities. It is impossible for even the best marketing campaign or sales program to overcome the effect of disengaged employees.
What Can You Expect if You Implement These Five Keys?
Implementing these five keys takes focus and persistence but the payoff is huge. You will maximize business growth while minimizing frustration and hassle. By engaging, energizing, and mobilizing your team to work together on those key priorities that really matter you can and will achieve your growth goals. These five keys provide the elements you need to develop the rich soil necessary to support business growth.
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