The irony of entrepreneurship is that the skills you need to start a business (pitching, persistence and penny-pinching) are rarely the same skills (strategic and systematic) that you need to grow it.
B.C. entrepreneurs Barb Mowat of Impact Communications and Bill Erichson of Pacific Training Innovations have identified six critical areas you need to address if you want your business to grow in controlled and sustainable fashion.
I found their article on the RBC website, under the heading Women Entrepreneurs, but Mowat and Erichson’s brilliant to-do list applies to just about anyone in business:.
1. Strategic Planning: Noting that many small business owners abandon planning once they've survived startup, the authors claim strategic planning is the most important task any company can do. "You must develop a vision and have a model in mind, and then develop micro goals to make your long-term goal happen," says Mowat.
2. Competitive Positioning: You can't be all things to all people. Understand your competitive advantage and establish a clear identity in the marketplace.
3. Market Development: Look at new ways to expand your markets, whether it’s through broadening your product line, moving into new markets, or leveraging partnerships.
4. Human Resource Leadership: Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to move from owner to leader, delegater and role model. “Buy your weaknesses and sell your strengths,” says Mowat.
5. Financial Management: The key to profitable growth, says Erichson, is to build retained earnings so you can buy more assets.
6. Technological Advancement: You have to keep ahead of the competition in productivity, automation and innovation. It’s not easy – but if it were, everyone would do it.
Read the full article here. It’s well worth your while.
Note that this page includes about a dozen useful articles on business growth. You might want to copy and paste the whole darn thing. And refer to it often.