The Act of Business Growth
To act means to ‘take action; do something.’ In order to GROW a business, we must take action.
I have taken action this year – I have a new brand. My new company name is nu·yar, LLC and my tagline is ‘the act of business growth’. I love it! It fits me and the work I do. I have always been passionate about both personal and business growth.
Growing a business, or anything of value in life, requires action. There are no magic pills or easy ways to lay on the beach and make millions. Growth is hard and it requires we ACT over and over again. This action could be slow and methodical or fast and furious. But to grow, in most cases, means we are purposeful in working ‘on’ the business consistently. Taking action regularly sets up good habits and leads to big accomplishments over time.
In order to grow over time a business must continually choose a growth mindset, create and implement a scalable business model, effectively manage their money, and consistently employ strategic marketing initiatives.
CHOOSE A GROWTH MINDSET
Our mindset determines our comfort level with growth. If we have a growth mindset, we believe our talents and our businesses can be developed through hard work, smart strategies, and input from others. If we have a ‘fixed’ or ‘closed’ mindset, we cling to the status quo and avoid new strategies or ideas. Many clients tell me they have a growth mindset until change comes, then they get uncomfortable.
I’ve worked with many business owners who were afraid of growth, who held on to a fixed mindset because the fear of the unknown was so large. These owners got in the way of the company’s potential. They kept the business from being what it could be because of fear. I’ve worked with other owners who had huge plans for growth and yet their companies were not growing. They had the right mindset. They were open to growth and willing to get out of their comfort zone, yet the business was stuck. When you dug below the surface these companies were often stagnant because their people were resisting change. The owner may have been open to growth, but key people were avoiding change. Key people in organization can actually actively work against and sabotage growth.
Having an open mindset and being willing to embrace growth is step one for an owner or an executive team. Step two is getting teams and key people to engage in a growth mindset and embrace change.
CREATE A SCALABLE BUSINESS MODEL
Our business model can set us up for success or failure. It can set us up to grow or stay small. The way we create the business from the beginning is important. But we must build upon and expand that model over time. Many owners set up their business as a ‘small’ business or one man shop then fail to make adjustments as the business grows. Or they simply get too busy to purposefully take the time to adjust their model to the growing needs of the business.
Having the wrong model can be costly. If a business has the wrong model they might be charging enough, may have the wrong systems in place or they may not be delivering what the market needs or wants. Any of these things can lead to a business staying smaller than it could. We need the right mindset and the right model. If we start with a small mindset, most often we create a model that requires we touch every piece of the business. A business should look at their model purposefully on a regular basis.
There are times during the lifecycle of a business when its critical to reevaluate the model such as when there is fast growth, when the business grows beyond what the owner can touch or when new products/services/locations are being added.
Creating and implementing a model and the systems needed to support the model take time. Yet the time and energy spent working ‘on’ the business, creating and tweaking the model, will pay off when growth happens.
MANAGE THE MONEY
The way we think about, go after, and manage money matters more than our great ideas. I’ve watched many great ideas fail because business owners didn’t manage their money. They spent too much, didn’t charge enough and/or didn’t know what their numbers were really telling them. As business owners we must keep our attention on the money.
I’ve had the privilege of working with a local bank on a program for business owners called Forward with Funding this past year. [The program focuses on helping growing businesses get ready to go out and find the funding needed for growth.] During the six-week course we help business owners look at their numbers. We dig into the story their numbers are telling them and what they could do to have better outcomes. Many owners struggle with understanding what their finances mean. In this group business owners go from wanting to avoid the numbers feeling empowered to take charge in a new way.
EMPLOY STRATEGIC MARKETING INITIATIVES
Our marketing strategies only work if we work them. Many of the businesses and teams I work with do the ‘start and stop’ marketing method. When things are slow, they market like crazy and then when things get busy, they back off. These ferocious stops and starts are exhausting and can be very costly. Also many try to practice the ‘everything’ method. They are afraid of not doing enough so they attempt to do it all. They engage on every social media platform, attend every networking event or do whatever the marketing ‘thing’ of the day is just because everyone else is.
Marketing a business requires focus – focused action that repeatedly gets us in front of our ideal client. Marketing is not a one size fits all practice. It’s strategic and requires focused attention and narrow strategies.
To grow a business, we must get very clear about who our ideal client is and WHERE they are. Your client is not everyone and they are not always on Facebook. I did a social media audit of my own business this past year. What I found was shocking. My clients, for the most part, are not on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Some are on LinkedIn and many are not using any social media – they are simply too busy and too focused to waste time with social. This news was shocking to me. I have spent so much time and money trying to build these platforms only to realize that even though I have lots of followers – those followers are not my ideal clients. This learning, along with some great coaching from my coach, has led me to narrow the marketing strategies that I engage with.
We cannot do it all when it comes to marketing, but we can and should be doing something. Choosing 2 or 3 strategies and doing those consistently every single day or week will make a difference over time. Cutting out strategies that are no longer working or effective will free up time to focus on the ones that matter. If we are going to grow a business, we need to consistently build our pipeline.
To grow a business requires ACTION. What actions will you take today to GROW your business?