What does it take to achieve 20% growth for your organization every year? It was easier when you were a startup or early stage business, wasn’t it? You may have just sailed along at 20% annual growth rates for several years. But what do you do when your revenue starts to exceed $100 million per year? You now need to increase your sales $20,000,000 this year alone. Your growth needs to be twice the national average for successful mid-market organizations.
You might even remember when you hoped your business would be a $20,000,000 business. Through hard work and several great decisions, including an acquisition or two along the way, you’re on your way to building an incredibly valuable business.
What got you here, may not help you reach your larger growth goals. Over the next several weeks and months, we will share how to leverage your critical assets to help you achieve your growth goals.
I’m getting ready for Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual meeting this weekend. I’m certain I will come back with some great ideas on how to take your business to the next level. Until then, I’ve created ten questions to get you thinking about how you can achieve even more profitable growth in the coming year.
1. Are your senior leaders committed to achieving your growth goals? Are their teams as committed to achieving these results?
2. How flexible are your team members about switching responsibilities when they need to help your growth? When was the last time an individual took on a new work assignment to help your organization grow?
3. Are your team members comfortable talking about their problems and disagreements? How often do you uncover future productivity improvements from front line people?
4. Do your team members still motivate their teams to meet tight deadlines? Does your organization’s compensation program support your growth goals?
5. Are your teams learning and growing from their mistakes? Are they able to share what they learn quickly across the organization the help others avoid critical mistakes in the future?
6. Are your team members given enough time to learn, explore, and understand new technologies that could be changing how you do business?
7. When was the last time you created a new product or service? Are your new products capable of generating increasing margins and market share?
8. Do your management systems support your larger growth goals? Are you upgrading your business infrastructure to provide new ways of delivering products and services faster?
9. How innovative are the solutions your managers bring to you? Are you willing to challenge your people to get increased leverage out of the solutions they create?
10. When was the last time people received training and development? How did you decide where to invest your training budget? Did it focus on growth or the status quo?
These questions are focused on the inside of your organization first. I’ve found when companies grow quickly for several years in a row, most problems come from the inside. When things are going well, it’s the unusual organization that is willing to look closely at their own team’s performance.
Take time over the next several days to see how you and your team would answer these questions. Then, ask several of your newer team members to see what they say. You might be surprised at how they see your growth goals.
See you next week.