This post is the sixth in a series of eight blog posts on the creation of the Successful Business Mindset. You can see the introduction to these eight posts, by clicking here. You can click on each section of the Successful Business Mindset by clicking on the names below. Each one will become live as I complete the blog post.
Each discussion will be broken down into MECHANICS and MINDSET. Mechanics will discuss the practical tasks and areas that you need to be doing well; and Mindset will discuss different approaches to the Mechanics.
This blog post will discuss the GROWTH area of The Successful Business Mindset.
I interact with several business owners; However, only a minority of those owners want their company to grow. When I ask them why, they will usually tell me they don’t want to deal with employees, or they fear they will lose what little personal life they still have left. Can you imagine planting a tomato plant; and then, just as it starts yielding tomatoes, you try to limit its growth? That’s what you do as a business owner when you decide not to grow. What happens to a non-growing business is that it will shrink. Employees won’t want to work there because there is no chance for advancement. Customers won’t want to buy from it because they are unsure of how long it will be around. This non-growing business will start to die.
As a business leader, there are four “mechanical” areas of growth that need to be considered:
- Growth strategy: What is your strategy to grow as customer demand increases?
- Scalable: How will you grow and improve the customer experience at the same time?
- Facility: How will you house additional employees as your company grows?
- Mindset: Define your personal thoughts on growth. What will it mean to you?
By investigating these areas of your growth strategy, and taking action now, you will be prepared for the growth that is part of a successful company
I do an exercise I call “climbing the ladder”. In this exercise, I will go through seven different approaches to growth based on the seven different energy levels. These energy levels characterize how you are THINKING about growth. If you don’t know what I mean by Energy Levels, you can refer back to the introductory post on the Successful Business Mindset.
- Level 1: You see the industry as shrinking or you believe that your slice of the pie is going away and there’s nothing you can do about it. You will make an active plan to slow down and eventually close your business.
- Level 2: You feel that your growth will only happen as the result of others in your industry losing business. You feel like the amount of business in the market place is limited; and to grow; you need to win.
- Level 3: You are relatively passive about growth. If you grow, you grow; if you shrink, you shrink. You have plans to accommodate either eventual reality, but sense that there is nothing you can do to actively grow your business.
- Level 4: You fully believe that the growth of your company is in the hands of your employees and your customers. If you support your employees and nurture them, they will serve your customers which will in turn grow your company.
- Level 5: You are looking for opportunities to grow and actively pursuing growth as an imperative of your company’s success. You will consider service growth, organic growth and geographic growth as viable and current options.
- Level 6: You start looking at inorganic ways to grow. Acquisition and mergers become quite real possibilities by leveraging strengths of acquired companies to grow your own company.
- Level 7: You are actively growing through creation. You can quickly move to Levels 2 through Level 6 when you see your need for growth to be accommodated by any of these strategies.
The energy level that you live at will determine whether your company is growing or shrinking. There is no in between.
I’ve listed four areas of the mechanics of Growth along with seven levels of energy.
- If you DO the right things in your business, but operate at lower energy levels, you will become burned out; and most likely less successful than you could have been.
- If you tend to FEEL good about your company, but fail to DO the right things, your company will flounder and fail.
As you can probably guess, one will lead to the other. What us humans fail to grasp is that energy precedes action. In other words, you will typically be thinking of opportunity (Level 5) before you discover opportunity in your company. Likewise, you will feel like a victim (Level 1) before you act in a way that will close the doors to your company.
I use both lists of mechanics and mindset to help my business owner clients set goals; and then work toward those goals. While it’s usually easy for my clients to see the mechanical goals, it is more difficult to see the mindset goals. Once they understand the energy levels, they are able to move to the level that best suits their company. Once they have both mindset and mechanics figured out, they quickly move forward.
If you’d like to see where you are with your business and create an ACTION PLAN, sign up for my Successful Business Mindset tool below.
As a long-time small business owner, I know how hard it is to create the business of your dreams while struggling with the financial realities of attracting prospects, converting those prospects into high-paying customers, and making money for you and your family. The biggest mistake in my past was not seeking the advice of wise counsel sooner than I did. I don’t want you to make the same mistake. I help my clients see exactly what they need to work on in their business by doing the Business Wheel exercise. If you’d like to try it out, sign up to the right. It’s completely FREE.