It’s time to take steps to grow

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Are you growing your business or collecting dust? In a recent conversation with a predominate central station, they made it clear to me that too many dealers are working their tails off and growing nowhere.

If you’re adding accounts at the same rate that you’re losing accounts, then your business is stagnant. So what do you do about it? If you’re content to live with this, happy with your income level, then you do nothing. If not, then let me share a few thoughts that others have shared that just might help.

Let’s start with a simple math project. How many accounts do you lose on average every month? How many accounts do you sell on average? If you’re really not adding more than you’re losing, and you want to grow, then it’s time to rethink your business strategy.

A new sales person can be just the ticket. But good sales people are expensive. And now the math gets a little harder. How many accounts do you need to sell to pay this person’s salary, to stay ahead of your attrition and still grow your company? Hmmm...some of you can do this.

Are you a good sales person? Is your partner? Are you or your business partner spending too much time doing tech support, installing systems or office billing and paperwork when you should be out selling? How about out-sourcing some of the less expensive tasks so you can get down to busi-ness again? Not only can this increase your business’ efficiency, but it could lower your stress.

Your company is your most valuable asset. The more you grow it, the more valuable it is to you or anyone else. If you want to borrow money, then you need to show your lender that you’re growing. If you want to sell your business in the future, it will simply be easier to do.

Many companies get stuck at a certain level where they just don’t grow any more. Is it because the market doesn’t allow for it or is it because you’ve used up your business ideas and are stuck in a rut? Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy because we can’t or don’t look outside the box to see what else we can do to expand. How many times do you hear people making good suggestions that are dismissed with shallow excuses for not proceeding? This is really an issue of being uncomfortable about reaching beyond your comfort level.

If you really want to grow your business, then the very first thing you need to do is to start talking to the people you trust and respect and start getting ideas that work for you. Don’t rush into anything...but don’t procrastinate either. If you think the idea through and like it, give it a try. If it doesn’t work, you can go back to where you were before and start rethinking your plans again. But accept that you need to make changes or take steps in order to grow.