Parker Revenue Growth Strategies

Taking Your Business to the Next Level

Nov 20, 2018By William Parker

WP

I am often struck by the statement of business owners and CEOs, that they want to take their business to the next level. I ask them what does “taking your business to the next level” really mean?

  • Does it mean growing revenue and improving profits?
  • Improving the financial key performance indicators?
  • Upgrading mid-level and senior management?
  • Focusing on innovation and creativity?
  • Defining the market position and competitive advantage in the market place?
  • Increasing company value?
  • Improving organizational fitness by assessing all processes, practices, systems and procedures?
  • Developing better customer relationship management techniques?

The answer is, “An unequivocal and resounding yes to all of the above questions”!!!

PEOPLE

However, before a CEO or business owner can tackle the financial, cultural, customer focus, operating systems and creativity elements of the company; key personnel need to be in place at all levels of the company. In other words, as Collins stated so brilliantly in his book, “Good to Great”, are the “right people ready to buy a ticket, willingly to get on the bus and finally, sit in the right seats”?

The people who participated in the growth of the company from early stage to initial maturity, may not be the right people to grow the company to its next stage of development and growth. The same evaluation applies to the senior leadership of the company; sooner or later, professional management will need to obtain the helm from the founder{s} or current CEO in order to execute a new vision, mission and direction for the business.

Bottom line, “It’s about the people stupid”!!!  If you are offended by the word, “Stupid” please don’t take offense as it refers back to a comment James Carville made during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. Carville allegedly said, “It’s about the economy, stupid” as a way to keep staff focused on a critical issue in their campaign — primarily because the country was in a recession.

It is difficult for a CEO or business owner to let people go who have been with him or her from the initial launch of the company; unfortunately, in order to reinvigorate the direction of the business, it is necessary to refresh the management team with new blood. 

STRATEGY

Without a plan that clearly details the competitive advantage of the company, it will be difficult to grow market share and become a top of the mind company for its products and services. Think Apple, Google and Amazon who command huge chunks of the markets they compete in. Each of the aforementioned companies have unique products or services that dwarf the competition.

PRODUCT

To effectively compete in the marketplace, the product and or services that a company offers, must be unique and innovative in order for a company to carve out market share in a fiercely competitive and dynamic market. Without fresh product, the offering becomes stale and inevitably, the company’s revenue will begin to suffer.

FINANCIAL 

A business owner or CEO must be more than a leader or manager, they must be proficient in the management of all financial statements {income statement, cash flow and the balance sheet} so the company is managed for growth and expansion. The key to growth has to be either funded internally or via alternative financing methods {private equity capital, asset-based lending, lines of credit, etc.}. Otherwise, moving to “The next level” will prove to be an exercise in futility”.

SYSTEMS

The military has a process, system or procedure for EVERY situation!! I know, I spent five years in the United States Marine Corps and I at times chafed at the bureaucracy that exists to keep all military machinery moving forward. As I become a leader and manager of large divisions of Fortune 100 and private equity portfolio companies, I realized how important operating systems are to a well-oiled and functioning company. Without the proper structure to the business, growing and expanding will become a very difficult proposition.

As you can see, moving towards “The next level” is much more than growth and profits. Growth without people, a structured business plan, vision, purpose and mission will result in a long, arduous journey fraught with peril.