It seems obvious. You should want to grow your business. But is that necessarily a good thing? Growth brings with it a set of serious challenges.
So what’s the goal? Striving to hit an arbitrary number can lead to decisions that aren’t in the best interests of the business, much less the customer. Take on too much debt and an unexpected event can be catastrophic. Put in place too much infrastructure and profitability suffers. Too little, and the customer suffers. And every growing business inevitably sacrifices at least some agility in making decisions and taking action. Yet what if that’s not compatible with your brand?
Then there’s the question of what to grow? Revenue? Profit? Market share? Customers? Don’t just assume all of it. I’ve written how the large automakers have deliberately cut product lines and shut down operations resulting in a major revenue hit and a significant jump in profitability. And until Amazon introduced Prime, growing earnings was seemingly of little concern. But growing market share, product lines, and its customer base? A huge concern.
Committing to smart growth requires much more than simply picking an arbitrary what. It means clearly understanding why and clearly thinking through how.
So, again, is growth necessarily a good thing?
Yes, but. If there’s one thing you absolutely must grow, it’s this.
Whether you’re big, small, a start-up, or an established company – it doesn’t matter. Your competitors – those you know and those you haven’t even imagined – are coming after you. And they’re getting stronger.
And your so-called loyal customers? They’re one compelling value proposition away from saying, adios. Isn’t that right, BlackBerry?
Grow stronger. Grow stronger. Grow stronger.
Evolve your offerings, optimize your processes, develop your people, get closer to your customers. Continually.
If you want to grow, first commit to growing stronger. Then ask, “What else should we want to grow, why and how?
Make it happen.