If you have big growth plans for your business, listen up: it’s not as easy as adding money or people. It’s a common mistake; lured by potential dollar signs, business leaders adopt a full-speed-ahead approach, mindless of the obstacles that arise along the way. It may be enough momentum to keep things afloat for a brief period of time, but eventually the lack of understanding of how to balance growth with stability will catch up with them. And the results aren’t pretty—the business suffers, investors suffer and employees suffer.
Before making the commitment to achieve high growth, it’s best to slow down and take some time to figure out how to do so in a way that will preserve the health and longevity of the company. After all, once you’re past your high-growth mode, you still have a company to run.
First, let’s look at the key drivers of successful high-growth companies.
The Uncharted Path
Successful entrepreneurs know that innovation is the lifeblood of company survival and economic growth. It’s this agility and willingness to embrace the new and novel that not only drives growth, but also makes them an attractive target for investment, acquisition, or partnership.
That doesn’t mean diving headlong into an unknown venture and hoping for the best. To be successful, you have to take an approach to strategic planning that involves not just setting long-term goals and then working towards them, but ensuring that the goals themselves are always relevant and attainable. Be willing to go down that path, but be just as willing to choose a different one if the market changes.
Acknowledge Mistakes and Move On
Along the way, accept that you’re going to make mistakes and encounter obstacles. The best entrepreneurs are highly resilient and cultivate a culture of agility and adaptability. Be ready to openly acknowledge the challenge, set a new course, and rapidly recover. But never forget—every mistake is a learning opportunity for the future.
Never Forget the Big Picture
The most successful leaders of high-growth companies never lose sight that the ultimate goal is to be an established, profitable, sustainable business that provides value to a customer segment. Sometimes, this involves easing up on the gas to address critical infrastructure issues. Without the right foundation in place, the whole thing will come crumbling down at some point.
These drivers are important, but how can you make sure you build your business the right way while in high-growth mode? It’s an important question, probably the most important one to ask before making the shift. At the heart of the matter, it comes down to addressing two absolutely vital priorities – and keeping these priorities constantly top-of-mind as you make critical business decisions.
- Create a clear and compelling vision for the business
Spend a lot of time thinking about where you want your business to go, what you want it to be when it “grows up.” What does it look like? What kind of products or services does it provide? What are the problems you’re trying to solve for? What place do you occupy in your industry or market? These are big questions, ones that you can’t put aside and figure out later. If you don’t have a clear vision for where your business is going in the future, your employees won’t either, which makes it difficult for them to truly become invested in the success of the business.
- Align everything around the achievement of that vision
Once you know where you’re going, you can ensure that every business decision, every goal, every plan is geared around the achievement of that vision. It’s a rallying point for your people, your customers and your investors. And it becomes much easier to make difficult decisions when you refer back to the vision. When asking yourself, “Should we launch a new product?”, make sure you also ask, “How would this new product fit into our vision?” If you’re considering targeting another customer base, make sure you ask, “Do they exist in the vision of who we will serve?” If X corporation wants to buy you out, make sure to post: “Will they stay true to our vision? Is it worth selling out our vision?”
High-growth enterprises are spirited organizations, full of kinetic energy and operating in a high-risk environment. But, they came prepared—and so should you.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Want to Grow Your Business Fast? First, Slow Down & Focus on Vision
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