One of the adages I was taught in my initial training for Business Coaching was that a business is either growing or dying. I called B.S. on the idea then, and I stand by that now.
At best, it’s wrong, and at worse, it’s damaging to your business and your wellbeing.
A few weeks ago, I held a workshop with a group of my existing clients. Some of them are riding a wave of market growth, and some are experiencing more challenging conditions. One of the characteristics that underpinned each of their experiences was the continuing sense of uncertainty and dis-ease about what will happen next year.
The journey of growing a business is a roller coaster of both emotions and outcomes. There are periods of intense opportunity when you power along. Then there are periods in the doldrums as your market and customers continually adapt to the changing world.
In between these two points is a whole spectrum of performance and experience.
As the captain of your commercial ship, you only have four things to do:
Continue to scan the market and consult with your customers and suppliers to identify the opportunities and obstacle that lie ahead.
Pay attention to the economic fundamentals of your business (pipeline, sales, margins, opex and cash).
Refine and develop the experience of your customers. This is no time to be ‘dropping the ball’ or ‘losing contact’ with the people who buy from you.
Leverage your business structure (the people, assets, data and systems) to deliver the best blend of profit and customer experience possible at the lowest cost.
Growth is only one potential goal. What matters is that your company is constantly shifting in response to changes in the market.
So, to correct the quote: “Your business is evolving or dying.”
One thing is essential as we move into 2020. That is to ensure you are clearly perceiving and responding effectively to the market. You need to ensure you and your management team can see beyond your company myths and the beliefs that prevent you from seeing your company and its market as they truly are. That’s where I come in.