Growth in Tough Times

Growth Series (Part 1)

The Growth series will posted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the month of October 2011.

The last few years have been tough for most businesses. Many changes were the result of external economic pressures more than the path that might have been desired. While not all businesses are healthy or thriving, many are much healthier than they have been in years. They have shed a lot of weight, some of it was fat and some seemed important at the time until deeper cuts were needed. In many cases, businesses are leaner and to a degree “meaner” because all complacency is gone and there is a hunger for success.

The tough times have produced greater business growth in terms of understanding how to do more with less than any abundant time could ever create. Sloppiness, sloth and some of the silliness that exists in abundance is thankfully reduced or gone. It is kind of like the guy who has a heart attack and all of a sudden drops twenty pounds, exercises and eats better than ever. As his heart heals, the muscle builds and given the opportunity under healthy conditions is stronger than it had been before. A serious wake-up call changed habits and forced corrections. We have had a business heart attack and now must use what we control to create our future and become healthier than ever before.

There is a lot of opportunity for most businesses now and most of it will require change. Within change, we are forced to grow. During the month of October, this blog series will address many types of growth and ways to grasp opportunities.
  • Growth through people – Not just numbers of people or the business that they can produce but also the inventory, development and use of the talent pool.
  • Vertical growth, stretching elements of the company to reach new potential.
  • Horizontal growth, looking at expansion through customer expansion, linear business expansion and next business options.
  • Relational business growth, dollars on the table to be gained through relationships and related business families.
  • Internal growth through operations and focus on specific tools.
  • Knowledge base utilization and growth.
  • Brand and identity growth.
  • Growth through information.
  • Woven business growth in which growth opportunities become the fabric and value of the business.
  • Growth through differentiation.
  • Aligned business growth strategies.
  • Roadblocks to growth.

We believe that it will be a fun series, full of stories, tips and ideas. It will be your challenge to integrate these in your company’s growth plans and lead your company to take advantage of the opportunities you will discover. Think outside of any box you are in and dare to dream. Growth is only limited by lack of imagination. Money can help but for most growth ideas is not a requirement.

We look forward to your comments and questions throughout the series.