Growth is the magic ingredient which produces great futures for professional practices and their firms. But often the equation for a company’s growth is watered down by actual opportunities which provide limited long term business. Additionally their demand for resources limits an organization’s ability to sustain profitable results.
Over the last 30 years, we’ve enjoyed the wonderful privilege of assisting companies and parts of companies as they planned and determined their plans to develop sustainable growth efforts.
Our experience tells us that there are several key factors that make more of a difference than others. Although the history of a company can provide great insight into the true nature of growth, the marketplace often determines the quality, direction and sustainability of any real growth efforts.
So in the end, research, discussion and decisions must be made around key ingredients. Knowing how to use those ingredients makes all the difference. Here are a couple of examples:
Market focus - In most marketplaces, the possibilities for new business bring a myriad of ideas for developing new work. However with these options comes confusion, dilution of effort and ineffective strategy and tactics. In the end, focus wins and truly less is more. You must have a clear and limited focus. It can be counterintuitive but growth isn’t built on a shotgun approach, its based on making a bet in the marketplace based on what you know about the market, your competence and who you know.
Defining Yourself - Sometimes called brand, we must make a decision on how we will define who we are in a way that is clear and interesting to our marketplace. Taking a stand in the marketplace provides you with clear paths and the market with a clear idea of why they should care about you.
Identifying Targets - Frankly nothing is more important than picking out individual companies and more importantly, individual people who we can develop relationships with which could result in new business. Without specific targets, everything else is a waste of time. ‘Build it and they will come’ is a business myth in professional services. Build a relationship and you’ll be successful works.
These are three of the big muscles needed for growth. How you define those and in the specific ways that you commit to those determine your ultimate success.