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Grow your business a little at a time, all the time…


In the early planning stages, before the new business is launched, many future business owners see themselves as becoming another “Apple” in the first year.  I love the optimism that many start-up companies have. Yes, it’s a great attribute and very necessary to survival and future growth.

Unfortunately, the lofty goal many not be achievable in the first year or the second. While I advocate a powerful vision statement, an attempt to become the biggest in a short period of time often leads to taking many roads without a clear direction. I have a new client that needs to learn that small, achievable steps will eventually lead to success, perhaps not as fast as the owner desires, but with a better chance for overall success.

A part of the business plan has to be developed for short term success with a clear focus on an achievable goal and action steps identified to reach that goal. The next part of the plan outlines another “small” achievable step. Each of these small steps marches the firm closer to the “bigger” goal. The “bigger” goal has to be reviewed at least every six months to measure progress and to insure that it is still valid. The challenge to a coach is to help the owner focus on these smaller steps.

While I have implemented this process primarily in the start-up firms, I am finding that many  firms that have managed to survive 10 or more years have only created a job for the owner without the dreamed of success and riches. The core of the problem I found was a desire by the owner to offer a wider variety of products and services and to spend more money on the marketing efforts with the hope of “striking it big”.

Steady growth should be the goal for every company and measured steps are the way to achieve this growth. Yes, change is still the main constant but with a semi-annual review of the business plan, a change of course can be implemented and the small, growth steps continue.

Leaders not only know where they are going; they also know how to get there.

Nick J. Petra      visit us at

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