Is Your Business Growth Decaying?
Is your business not growing and actually heading for decline, even with a good technology base? Do you face challenges about where to focus resources among existing customers and applications or new opportunities? Do you find it difficult to delegate given the current strength of the leadership team and talent? How do you spread valuable resources among the various opportunities to grow revenue and cash flow quickly? What strategy will guide your company through this, without sacrificing the core?
Reasons for Growth Decay
There are five big reasons your business may find its growth decaying:
1. You are stuck in yesterday’s success
Your existing markets continue to grow, but your historical success is being attacked by increasing competition, customers who want more for less, and general evolving business maturity.
2. You are held down by a stagnant customer base
Your product quality is being maintained, but your existing customer base is maturing and becoming increasingly intra-competitive. One way to try to overcome their decline is to look to their suppliers for lower prices, a trend that sees no end.
3. You are spinning your wheels
As your competitive environment becomes more intense, your rivalry with your competitors increases. You try new things and your competitors follow quickly. The result is new costs without much price or share to go along with it. You may not see this happening until it has already happened.
4. Your “learning organization” withers
Your well-established ways of doing things (your work processes) are beginning to let you down. Today’s environment calls for Speed, Agility, and Simplicity. Figuring out where to begin the change process is a daunting task.
5. A bit of all of the above
Generally, your business challenges for future success have a little of some or all of these decay drivers. Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew which ones to attack first or even if we had a change process that could address multiple issues?
Grow or Die – Surviving in Today’s Competitive Environment
“Grow or die” has been a long-held axiom that is even more important in today’s increasingly competitive environment. Too often, companies forsake their organic growth strategies for growth through acquisition and paying premium prices, adding to their burden of translating growth into profits. Companies can grow organically in many ways. Here are a few keys mechanisms for growth:
- Expanding value propositions to leverage existing capabilities to existing markets
- Finding new markets to which to sell existing and expanded value propositions
- Bringing new products to commercialization faster and more effectively
- Defining a new business model in markets currently served
- Increasing productivity through new work processes and organizational capacity improvements
The Fundamental Questions
There are also some fundamental questions businesses need to ask themselves when laying out a growth strategy.
- Do you really know your position in the market(s) you serve?
- Do the industries you serve have the potential for growth?
- Do your value propositions provide benefits to the most valuable segments?
- Is your channel approach valued by your most valuable segments?
- Is your pricing strategy optimal, given price sensitivity in your most valuable segments?
- Are your value propositions’s benefits well communicated to your most valuable segments?
- Are your costs higher than your competitors’ costs?
- Do you use a value delivery system that requires different core skills than your competitors?
- Are you underperforming in key processes relative to competitors or to customer requirements?
- Do your processes contain steps to build your customer franchise in the highest value segments?
- Is your organization aligned to support effective execution and continuous improvement?
Want to learn more about how to undo business growth decay? Download our white paper “Why Can’t We Grow Our Business?”
About the Author
Ron Sullivan is a Senior Partner at Breakthrough Marketing Technology. He has worked with many businesses on innovation, new product development processes, strategy, building new business models, channels and distribution, and pricing optimization. He has significant expertise in study design, data analysis, and market intelligence.