Your business is moving full speed ahead and there aren’t enough hours in the day to meet all your customer, product and sales obligations. You’re slammed, so of course your business or practice is growing! How could it not be? We are serving customers, moving product, increasing sales.
Well, not so fast. Your business can be sprinting along but not necessarily growing. What’s the difference?
Speed is rapidly moving, traveling, speeding or performing. Speed is an activity.
Growth is a business, industry or equity that is expected to increase in value over a period of time. Growth is a process and an outcome.
Growth can be fast. If so, it brings the noted advantages of success and recognition as well as the disadvantages of over extension and profit killing curve balls. Growth can also be slow, measured, intentional and sustainable.
Ask yourself these five questions to see if your speed is truly yielding the long-term sustainable growth your business needs to thrive.
1. Are you so focused on getting things done today that you may be setting yourself up for a dry spell tomorrow? We all know the adage, working in your business instead of working on your business. It creates the kind of boom-bust cycle that too many business owners fall into.
2. What about fulfillment? Are you so busy booking orders that you fall behind in providing exceptional customer service? Are you stretching or missing production deadlines? Your booking speed is breaking your production capability and maybe your people as well.
3. How well are you nurturing long term relationships? Is the customer to come more enticing than the one who has been with you for months or years? Speed to growth often comes at the expense of loyal customers. That reduces your customer life time value, a key sustainable growth metric.
4. How about speed versus productivity? Does the push to do more, more, more create the opportunity for error? If so, do-overs to correct mistakes cost time, money and (see #3) customer and employee relationships.
5. Income versus profit? Speed can produce dramatic revenue increases but if the structures, processes, people and production are not there to support those sales, the speedy rise can forecast a speedy fall.
If any of these sound like you, your team or your day to day business operations, it’s time for a change. Here are two key steps you can take to move your mindset and business practices from speed to growth.
1. Take stock. Take a long look at each of the five areas outlined above. The Key Question: In each area, are my current activities and practices improving my long-term business viability and value or undermining it?
2. List the areas that need improvement from most needed to least needed. The Key Question: If you could only change one thing, what change would have the most positive and long-lasting change on your business growth?
Focus on changing that one thing first. Experience the difference one growth step can make.
What are your thoughts? Let’s talk about it, reach out. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-363-2043.