Three Keys to Sustained Business Growth

160380623“Next year, we’d like to grow our business by at least 20%.  What’s the best way to do it?”

Great question! Though the economy is still uncertain, many firms are transitioning from “survival mode” to growth mode. If you’re planning to expand geography, broaden services or increase market penetration, here are three essentials to achieve and sustain that growth:

Innovation
Does your company embrace risk?  Foster internal competition?  Provide incentives for enterprise?

To grow, you must reward those who take measured risks and explore new enterprises – instead of merely rewarding employees for maintaining the status quo.

Fuel innovation by building a culture that thinks big. Identify the long-term, transformative trends that will likely impact your ability to grow over the next five to 10 years. These could include significant changes with the staffing industry, the emergence of new competitors, service model transformations, shifts in the economy / workforce, etc.

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Encourage your staff to share their ideas for capitalizing on these transformative trends. Then, empower individuals by giving them the resources to explore, test and build on promising innovations.

Test ideas on a small scale first, to refine processes and assess viability. Select the most successful of your “prototypes” for full-scale rollouts.

Alignment
It’s one thing to add growth targets to your strategic plan.  It’s quite another to hit them. If growth is a priority for your firm, get everyone on the same page:

  • Explain the WIIFM. Growth is a means to an end for your business – providing opportunities to increase profits and stability. Make sure you explain, in language your staff can understand, your reasons for wanting to grow – and what they stand to gain from it.
  • Create and share growth goals. Outline specific tactical plans for each department. Include expected timing and personnel accountability for each component. To ensure plans are implemented properly, designate a plan “champion” who is responsible for rolling out the plan, garnering internal support and coordinating regular strategy meetings to review progress.
  • Foster the right culture. Create an environment that connects employees to your organization’s growth objectives, increases buy-in and makes staff members want to build your company. Develop positive consequences for achieving growth goals and negative ones if they are missed. The rewards may be big or small, as long as they lift your strategy above the “day-to-day” grind so employees make it a priority.

People
The final piece of the puzzle?  Great people!  If you want your business to grow, you need to employ leaders – people who will drive innovation, work toward company goals, deliver exceptional client and candidate experiences, and make your company unforgettable.

Start by developing a success profile for each type of position within your organization.  Move beyond job responsibilities and identify the specific qualities needed to support growth.

For account management positions, this is a straightforward process (they’re revenue-drivers, after all). For internal team members, however, you’ll need to dig deeper. Consider your specific growth goals (e.g., opening new offices, offering additional strategic staffing services, increasing market penetration within existing industries, etc.) and brainstorm the ways internal staff could help support them (e.g., by expediting office openings or revamping marketing strategies).

Then ask yourself if your current employees have what it takes to do the job.  If not, you have two options:

  • Develop the staff you have. Have budding leaders on your team with lots of potential? Help them spread their wings. Pair them with mentors. Provide them with formal training. Create plans for professional development that support organizational growth. Bottom line, give your staff the training, tools and freedom they need to challenge the status quo and help grow your business.
  • Hire great leaders.  Don’t have the right people on board?  Practice what you preach to your clients. Terminate low-end employees and replace them with high performers who have the right skills, personalities and work ethic to drive your company forward.

Leadership is contagious – and it drives growth. Do whatever you can to build an internal team of superstars who support your goals and will work hard to make them a reality.

Grow with PrideStaff

Want to build your business? PrideStaff can help you combine the advantages of local ownership with the resources and support of a national organization – fueling sustained, profitable growth. To learn more, visit pridestaff.com/franchising.

MORE: Hottest Growth Opportunities in Staffing

Tammi Heaton
Tammi Heaton is COO of PrideStaff. She can be reached at theaton (at) pridestaff (dot) com.

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