6 Ways to Boost Your Businesses Growth Potential

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Written by Mike McKenzie

Imagine if a new leadership team took over your business today. What long-term value could they create from what you’ve built so far? Pausing to reflect on this scenario with your senior team can unlock valuable insights and improve leadership alignment.

Any new team would inherit your mission, vision and values; your processes and capabilities; your value propositions and growth strategy. They would see your latest innovations and how you are planning to compete in existing and adjacent markets. They would also inherit any skeletons that were hidden away in your closet!

How would you rate your Growth Potential? Will your colleagues agree?

What is Growth Potential?

The Quarterli® leadership alignment tool uses 6 success factors to establish your Growth Potential. These Growth Probability Indicators (GPIs) help you and your senior team discuss and agree how you can increase the inherent value of your business.

Quarterli helps you improve your Growth Potential

GPI 1. Today’s Offerings

Are you trapped in a cycle of diminishing returns?

It's all too easy for your core products and services to become stale and for Sales and Marketing to become trapped in a cycle that produces diminishing returns. This can result in a slow death for many organisations, as they fail to generate sufficient earnings to invest in future products and services.

If sales are on track, you must be mindful of how much of this is being achieved through price discounting; this is rarely sustainable. Where discounting isn't an issue, margins are often diluted by the promises made to 'seal the deal'. 

As a result, operations struggle to meet inflated client expectations, firefighting becomes 'business as usual' and expensive resources are consumed.

Both these scenarios are warning signs that your core Value Proposition (and/or the communication of it) has weakened over time.

GPI 2. Scalability

Careful what you wish for!

Quarterli can help you scale your business safely.jpg

The best organisations understand their capacity constraints. This is, perhaps, most obvious in the heavy manufacturing sector where they must plan months and years ahead to ensure that they can meet anticipated demand; but scalability applies to all organisations, whatever their service or product.

Preparing for growth means being honest about the challenges that must be overcome to deliver, at scale, the promises that you make to your customers.

Addressing these challenges usually involves investing ahead of time in robust, repeatable processes, strong middle management and, if it's a people-intensive business, well-defined roles, good training and a great employment brand!

If people are your greatest asset, then their intellectual capabilities should be critical to your growth plans. 

If you’re scaling your business, are employee (and contractor) contracts clear on the ownership and use of the intellectual property created during these contracts?

GPI 3. Right Place at the Right Time

A rising tide lifts all boats.

It's crucial to understand what's happening in your industry and the markets you serve. You should be able to describe the trends that you expect to see over the next few years and explain how these provide you with the opportunity to grow. 

It's rare to see rapid, organic growth in mature/stable markets. So, if you have ambitious growth targets, then you should ideally be describing significant changes in technologies, regulations or buyer behaviours that will fuel demand.

But remember that a rapidly expanding market will help existing competition and attract new entrants. As John F Kennedy once said, "a rising tide lifts all boats". 

So, do you have a compelling strategy for business growth that describes how you will compete and win?

GPI 4. Vision, Mission and Values

Vague statements of intent just won't cut it!

It’s important to have a clear and vivid image of the future and the key milestones on the way.

This isn't just about revenues and margins; it’s about the markets, products, services, locations, functions and employees needed to deliver these numbers. It’s also about how you want your organisation to be seen by customers, employees, prospective employees, suppliers, competitors and influencers.

If you think of your Vision as a ‘photograph of the future’, then your Mission describes what your business must do to deliver that future. Your Values describe how you and your team will behave whilst completing your Mission.

There's no denying that your ultimate destination will, most likely, be different to what you first imagined, but that's not the point. If you aspire to grow, then it's important to move beyond just numbers or vague statements of intent.

  • Without a compelling Vision, how can you inspire your team?
  • Without a clear Mission, how can they commit fully to the journey ahead and help you develop a meaningful growth plan?
  • Without a well-understood set of Values, how will an expanding team interact with customers, suppliers and each other in a way that is both consistent and coherent with how you want to conduct business?

GPI 5. DNA

So, what makes you so special anyway?

Quarterli can help you build a more cohesive team

It's important to be precise about what makes your organisation special to your customers. Ideally, you’ll have a complex mix of capabilities and values that are extremely difficult for competitors to imitate. These are your Core Competencies.

Increasingly, it’s the intangible assets of knowledge, skills and creative ideas that modern businesses are reliant upon. Many successful businesses are built around these types of intellectual assets rather than traditional tangible assets, such as buildings and equipment.

Whatever makes you distinct; if the customer doesn’t value it then it’s not going to help you grow! So, can you describe how this distinctiveness will enhance a customer’s experience of your product or service over the medium to long term?

If you have a winning formula, then competitors will try to imitate it. So, it’s vital to invest in your ‘points of difference’ to protect, retain and strengthen them. 

Your Intellectual Property might be protected in Patents, Trademarks, Registered Designs or Copyright but often it’s more subtle than that; for example, it might be data, processes, know-how or relationships that no-one else has.

Whatever steps you take to protect your DNA, it's important not to get complacent. Does your strategic planning process allocate an annual budget that enables you to invest in and maintain your competitive edge?

GPI 6. Tomorrow's Offerings

Are you just going through the motions?

All industries and markets change. The speed of change varies considerably but most, if not all, will look very different in three years' time. For that reason, successful organisations capture great new ideas in a ‘venturing funnel’ and then prioritise, fund and progress the best ideas in a meaningful and measurable way.

Innovative businesses are more competitive and those that manage their Intellectual Property well grow faster and are more resilient. There are some common reasons why many organisations struggle with innovation:

  • Some fail to set aside time to think about growth opportunities and the evolution of their industry. The day-to-day issues always seem to get in the way.
  • Some simply capture the same ideas as they did last year but lack a 'venturing process'. So, after another buzz of enthusiasm, they leave these ideas to gather dust on a flipchart until next year.
  • Some prioritise great new ideas in their ‘venturing funnel’ but fail to make anyone accountable for the ‘venturing process’ and progress stalls.
  • Some key individuals don't respect or trust the process and continue with their 'pet projects'. This undermines team cohesion and distracts them (and others) from progressing the very best ideas.

Does any of this sound familiar?

The Growth Probability Matrix

These are 6 of the 13 Growth Probability Indicators used in the Growth Probability Matrix™. The Matrix draws a crucial distinction between the Growth Potential of your business and the ability of the senior team to unlock this potential through Effective Execution. Both are key to building long-term shareholder value, but one is often, subconsciously, prioritised over the other.

The Growth Probability Matrix a leadership alignment tool

The Growth Probability Matrix provides an invaluable filter that helps cut through the overwhelming amount of business advice out there and helps you establish the Growth Objectives that your business needs to focus on to improve its chances of long-term success.

It’s tuned to your level of ambition for your business and helps you reflect on the likelihood of achieving it. This means that Matrix is not just for ‘Scale-ups’ or ‘Gazelles’. It's designed for any established business (or business unit) that has achieved a level of success and is developing growth strategies to achieve even more.

The Matrix is much easier to recall than a long ‘To-Do’ list or a complex chart. When shared with your leadership team, it helps you discuss and ultimately align behind a deliberately uncomplicated view of where your business stands today. Whether you are “Heading Off Course” or “Treading Water” or even “All at Sea”, a cohesive team can prioritise actions to do something about it!

How Quarterli® can help

Quarterli® is based on the Growth Probability Matrix. It’s a unique leadership team alignment tool that is designed to help business owners instil better leadership habits and increase team cohesion.

Every quarter, a short introspection, based on 13 Growth Probability Indicators, helps you and the whole leadership team reflect on your chances of success and explore what might be holding you back.

It’s more than just a business health check, it supports leadership team development by creating a powerful new routine for the whole senior team. It helps build a shared view of what needs to be done and introduces a quarterly rhythm that keeps everyone pulling in the same direction.

Find out more about the Quarterli® leadership alignment tool and take a look at the free demo.

Discover more...

Download the free book to find out more about the Growth Probability Matrix™ and the thirteen predictors of business success.

The Growth Probability Matrix a leadership alignment tool

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