The ABCs of Business Growth.
None of us were born with the innate ability to start, lead or grow a business. Or at least, I don’t think we were. Does anyone know the ABCs of business growth?
Like all skills, starting, leading and growing a business can be learned. It’s not an easy path, but it can be extremely rewarding, not just in terms of hard cash, but also in terms of personal fulfilment and pleasure.
Just like learning your alphabet, you have to start with some basics;
A = Any old business or THE business?
If you’re going to start your own business, it had better be something you love, or at least enjoy. Starting or running a business for the sake of it is a really bad idea. You’ll soon become disillusioned, dis-engaged and to carry the ‘dis’ alliteration further – disappointed.
It’s exactly the same for those of you who are employed. If you don’t like the company you work for or the work you do, you are on a downward path to despair.
Find the THE business that appeals to your personal values, the things you are best at and the kind of people you love working with.
As a business owner, find the people who share your passion and share the values you’ve established for your business.
It’s so much easier to grow a business you are emotionally connected to and feel passionate about.
B = Brave and bold
Leadership takes guts. I don’t mean that old fashioned macho ‘no guts, no glory’ stuff, I mean the wonderful Yiddish expression – ‘chutzpah’ (pronounced ‘hutspar’). In Hebrew it meant insolence and audacity, which can have negative connotations, but in English, we use it in a business context to mean courage or mettle.
There is always a moment in leadership where you must put your head above the parapet and make yourself vulnerable to criticism. Growing a business or a team can be a disruptive thing to do and there will be people who don’t like you. There will also be people to want to see you fail and fall flat on your face.
You must ignore such people and keep focusing on your vision.
That’s not to say you don’t listen. You absolutely have to listen, understand and decide what advice and criticism you are prepared to take on board and act according to your best judgement with the knowledge and resources you have.
Growing a business definitely takes guts. If you’re in that process right now, well done. Keep going, we’ve got your back.
C = Consistency
Flapping around, faffing, dilly-dallying and generally peddling fast to get nowhere is a sure way to see your business shrink rather than grow.
Making, clear, concise and consistent decisions will get you further, faster.
Know your outcome. Understand where you are going. Have a clear vision and plan to support that vision which will keep you on the right track, even if chaos reigns all around you.
The consistent application of your vision will ensure the growth of your business.
There is a warning with consistency though. When the wind changes, when the market conditions fluctuate and when evidence is clearly telling you something isn’t working, be prepared to make well-considered and thought through changes.
Never stick to one path just because you made that decision twelve months ago. Always be aware that things around you will change and will need a certain degree of adaptation. Don’t stick your head in the sand hoping that changes will go away. They won’t. Change is faster and more aggressive than ever in 21st Century business.
Review those plans regularly and make sure you adapt accordingly. Let the ABCs of business growth guide you.
Oh, if only growing a business or a team was all as easy as ABC, we’d all be living on luxury yachts in the Med.