Not All Business Growth is Good Growth

By Bill Ringle

Gerry’s actuarial service was growing, he told me. The problem wasn’t growth, but the uneasy feeling that he was becoming dependant on 2-3 clients and adding more and more staff to his 16-person firm.

Together, we reviewed his business development system and focused on the four cornerstones of good growth: growth that is profitable, organic, differentiated, and sustainable.

  • Profitable growth is measured by the revenue remaining when all costs are applied against the income. When we enhanced his tracking system, Gerry was upset to see how much of his time some of these big projects consumed.
  • Organic growth comes from within your existing set of core competencies. Gerry needed more discipline when using consultants and part-time staff to supplement his core team.
  • Differentiated growth means providing products and services that are unique to company’s strengths in the marketplace. By outsourcing some of the routine (i.e. grunt work) projects, his staff could focus on the higher value activities, such as client communications.
  • Sustainable growth stands in stark contrast to feast and famine growth. With more strategic project management perspective, Gerry and his team were able to increase the sustainability of a significant number of active projects.
    1. Define the profile of your ideal customer or client so you know him/her when you meet them.
    2. Decide a threshold of criteria that have to be met before a project is undertaken.
    3. Review the status of your open projects every other week and prioritize them for both customer satisfaction as well as your company profitability.
    1. Here are three key steps you can take to help you focus on good growth in your company:

      Pursue good growth and you’ll build a stronger business.


      About the Author:

      Entrepreneurs can find more resources to build their business at:
      Bill Ringle works with business leaders from high tech and professional service entrepreneurs in the Greater Philadelphia region and shares the strategies and tools for accelerating growth through my Business Gym with business leaders from across the United States and in 15 different countries.

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