We all have different definitions of growth. Depending on your business and where it is right now, you may want higher revenue. Maybe you want more clients, or more employees, or bigger office spaces. For others, you may want to grow a stronger brand. Depending on the stage where your business is right now, growth is different for you. This article will share the truth about growing your business the right way.
Most business owners and entrepreneurs overlook the truth that there are 2 sides of growth. One side is all about ‘bad business growth’. And the other is all about ‘good business growth.’ Now, you may be thinking, “Aren’t all growth good?”
Most people think so. Why? Because we are inundated and drowning with different information, articles, and videos on how to grow your business. But the thing is, if you believe that all growth is good, sometimes it distracts you from pursuing something that you really want to pursue. So, let’s define what a bad business growth is and compare it with a good one.
Bad Business Growth
Business Growth ONLY Means Higher Revenue, More Employees, Or More Clients
Bad business growth is all about growing just because other companies are doing it. Let me ask you, “Is your company’s direction really what you want for it? Or is it just the growth and direction that you see other companies in your industry are doing?”
This question is important for you to reflect on because for some companies, the goal of having more clients isn’t for them. For some, the goal of having more employees isn’t what’s best for their company. They may still be a small team, and adding more clients can be a disaster.
But what you can do is give better service, create new offers for your existing clients, and create a loyalty program. This way, you encourage them to repurchase or renew an existing contract with you.
Growth doesn’t necessarily mean getting more clients or more employees. Unless, that’s the right goal that your company should be working towards. If you want to expand, then yes, you may need more employees and clients. But before you decide, ask yourself this question:
Are you being intentional on where you want to go, or are you just following the practices and what you see other companies are doing?
Blindly Following the Path of Other Companies
Another example would be following the path of other companies. A lot of companies dream of becoming a leader in their industry and field. But all they do is follow the crowd. They follow:
- What’s being done in their industry…
- The best practices they see other companies in their field are doing…
- What’s being taught in conferences in their field…
And they do so without questioning, instead of creating their own track. In fact, you would see their goal of “being a leader” their mission and vision statements. But they just keep on regurgitating the old practices done in their industries. And this is the reason why not a lot of companies are setting the trends.
Growing Without the Right Foundation
When you try growing your business without proper foundations, it’s like building a castle on sand. If you don’t have the right foundations, it’s really hard to grow something. You and I know this instinctively whenever we build skyscrapers or houses. But when it’s time to build a business, we somehow get excited and forget this principle.
We need a strong foundation first before we grow our company. In fact, there is a study in 2011 called The Startup Genome Study. It was conducted to over 3,200 startups in different industries. One of the things that study found is that one of the reasons for failing for these companies is growing too fast. They call it premature scaling.
These companies fail because they lack the proper foundations in scaling. They grew for the sake of growth. They didn’t have the plans, the systems, the team to support that kind of growth. Now, this is sad because most entrepreneurs start a business not for the money, but to make an impact. But since they get blinded by the prospect of growing and becoming known as one of the fastest growing companies, they forget to set foundations.
There’s a saying that goes, “The deeper you go, the higher you grow.” It holds true because based on the study by The Startup Genome, 70% of the reasons why startups fail is because of Premature Scaling.
So, what’s the other side of the coin? What does good business growth look like?
Good Business Growth
Good business growth is all about setting your own path. It’s about defining where you want to go, how you want to get there, and preparing on how you’ll get there. It’s about being intentional and accepting that there are trade-offs.
Sometimes, you and I are forced to choose not between a good opportunity and a bad opportunity. No. We are forced to choose between a good opportunity and a great one. And very rarely do great opportunities come. Why? Because too many people are quick to jump on every “good” opportunity that presents to them.
An example of this is the opportunity to work with a client without evaluating if that client is ready enough. When you don’t evaluate how easy or how prepared those clients are, you’ll end up being frustrated. The reason is because you are too quick to jump on that opportunity without evaluating if it’s a good one. Or without careful thought if it’s going to take you where you want to go.
Growing Your Business The Right Way Is All About Being Intentional
This is what it means to grow your business the right way. You set your own goals and course your own path. You define your vision in a tangible way – something that’s descriptive and you can imagine. Then, and only then, think of strategies on how you’ll get there.
Tony Tan Caktiong, the founder and chairman of Jollibee Foods Corporation, said this:
“In one of our early planning sessions, my vision was to create the largest food company in the world. That was when we had five stores. Some people thought I was overly optimistic.”Tony Tan Caktiong, Founder & Chairman of JFC
Just by reading what he said, you’ll see the journey of how Jollibee grew not just in the physical plane. It all started in the mind and vision of their chairman. In their early planning sessions, he had a vision of creating the largest food company in the world. The fact that they only had 5 stores didn’t stop him. He didn’t let the reality of what’s in front of him stop him from dreaming.
Right now, Jollibee is a billion-dollar company. In 2019, they had a revenue of P185.4 Billion Pesos ($3.8 Billion). They now have 1,300 stores across the globe including the US, Canada, China, etc. And they are rapidly expanding into other territories.
The founders, especially the chairman, understood that for a company to grow big and in the right way, he needed a vision. He needed to have his own vision and version of what Jollibee would look like in the future. Even if that isn’t the reality right now.
One of your action points is to go back to your vision board and reevaluate the vision of your company. Reevaluate where you want to take your company. Imagine it, define it, describe it, and then work backwards.
Once you and your people:
- Can imagine where you want to take your business…
- What it would look like…
- Why you want to go there…
You need to rethink the opportunities coming your way. Because there are a lot of things that may seem good in the short term, but once evaluated, aren’t. Look at those things through the lens of this question:
“Is this opportunity taking you nearer or closer where you want to go?”
By doing that, you will understand what opportunities are worth pursuing.
Growing Your Business the Right Way
Once you have your vision, that’s the time you create a strategy. A lot of companies are in a hurry trying to create a strategy going nowhere. This is why you need to start at the end point – to begin with the end in mind. Start from the end point and work from there. Start crafting the strategy based on your goals, and not the other way around.
Set your own vision and path, don’t just copy what other companies in your industry are doing. Start innovating. Look at companies outside of your industries, whether complimentary industries or unrelated ones. I’m telling you: there are practices and SOPs that you can copy from them.
Live an inspired life,