• The Three Musketeers Theory For Business Growth

    I’m going to start with this quote by Alexandre Dumas because I’m about to generalize business growth.

    “All generalisations are dangerous, including this one.”

    There seem to be endless opinions of the “best” formula for growth. Some want you to focus on sales. Some on strategy. Others, product, marketing or, possibly, service. Sometimes the formula is to focus on all of them!

    In my view, each company is as unique as you or I. Therefore, how can a one-size solution fit all?

    I’m going to illustrate this using the theory that growth comes from driving sales: Company A listens to the advice regarding the sales team and moves their focus from product development to driving sales. That sounds like a sensible plan for sales growth, doesn’t it? Unless you happen to be a company like Apple, in which case, you’ve probably shot yourself in the foot!

    Growth must be strategic. First, you need a clear vision of what you want from your company.

    Ask yourself three basic questions first: Why, What, and When?

    Why do you want to grow? Knowing the real reason gives you the opportunity of choosing the best path for you and your business. For example, the reason may be purely altruistic – you have a great product which you want to share with the world or perhaps it’s preparing to exit – you want to sell the company. Most likely, a combination of several reasons.

    The “why” neatly dovetails into the “what”. What should you do to best achieve that vision? Increase revenue, sales or profit? If you’re a not-for-profit you may want to expand your services to help more people and that has nothing to do with either revenue or profit.

    When do you want to achieve the growth, is it a mid- or long-term plan? Being honest about the “why” generally helps to determine the answers for the “what” and “when”.

    With the vision for growth clear, you can develop the How – the strategy and tactics to get there.

    While there are many things that you can do on your own, growing your company is not one of them! Your people are the ones who will ultimately accomplish the How. Whether they are in sales, marketing, R&D, warehousing or admin, your business cannot achieve growth without your team.

    Employ great people and give them a clear understanding of your why, what and when. Allow them the freedom to do the how and you are giving sustainable growth a fighting chance of success.

    There isn’t one “best” formula – there is only the best formula for your business.

    Ralph is a detail-oriented leader who gets things done. As a partner at Incrementa Consulting, he ensures there are no gaps in which execution can fail. You can connect with Ralph on Twitter or read more of his thoughts on the Incrementa website.

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