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Will “Fast Growth” work in a small business?

Many small businesses adhere to the philosophy “crawl before you walk, and walk before you run” when it comes to growing. For the most part that is a good path to take. It allows for a business plan development with proper research, target market identification, budget reviews and strong implementation.

There is another side to this option, “Strike while the iron is hot”. There are several conditions which may call for a “fast growth management & marketing process”:

  • It may occur when a new idea or product is being introduced to the market and there is urgency (necessity) to be first.
  • It could happen when competition is breathing down your back, and without a “break-out”, you may finish second.
  • It may also happen when a business is in a “do or die” situation. Funds are in short supply and unless cash flow is generated in the very near future, the business may have to close its doors.
  • I have also had it happen when a business owner’s adrenaline is flowing so fast that only immediate results are acceptable.

Fast growth has the same basic prerequisites:

  • A business plan:  The business plan is developed with a short term orientation. In other words, what is happening today and tomorrow is of utmost importance. Unlike a normal business plan development process which may take two to three days to develop, reviewed, adjusted , etc. etc., a fast growth business plan is developed one day and implementation start the next day.
  • A marketing plan: For fast growth the marketing plan has to be very focused. The initial target market is well defined; the target markets are the “whales” not the “minnows” that need to be reeled in.
  • While research is important in any business endeavor, in a fast growth management process research is supplemented by intuition.( Intuition is the ability to make fair assumptions)
  • The driving force behind fast growth management is the bottom line.
  • Procrastination cannot exist and the work day is extended to complete the daily assignments. In other words, focus is the key word.

Even in a successful existing business that may be starting to stagnate, the owner may find that a fast growth project will help stimulate the entire organization.

There is a lot more between the lines than I mentioned here that has to be filled in. I assure you that undertaking such a project is stimulating and possibly very rewarding, but there has to be a total commitment on the part of the business owner. Because of the intensity of this undertaking I feel that the family has to buy in and understand the significance of such an undertaking.

In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand.

Nick J. Petra CFP       Subscribe to this daily blog at:  www.strategicduck.com

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