If only it were true that our best ideas for sustainable business growth would appear in the form of the proverbial light bulb moment.
A flash of genius in complete clarity.
The reality is, of course, something very different. The best business decisions come from careful consideration and can take a while to come to fruition - much to the chagrin of most business owners.
They say that if your business is not growing then it must be dying.
I might suggest that if you are hanging your hat (and your chances of success in the future) on past glories rather than continuing to search for new opportunities then the odds of longevity are against you.
Business growth needs to be sustainable and it needs to occur at the right pace.
Suffice to say you can only start that process of growth when you are ready. So how do you tell?
Taking a lead from nature, trees take time and the right conditions in order to form strong roots allowing them to grow to an impressive size. I tend to use the same philosophy as a business coach.
So an obvious question to ask yourself is, "How strong are your roots"?
They need to be able to support the additional weight which comes with growth so it stands to reason that you need a solid base to succeed during the growth phase.
The catalyst for growth can come from a number of areas but there are probably three key areas that I have observed as a business coach.
They include strong and sustained revenue growth, customer requests and the business' performance flat-lining - that is to say results are stagnant.
Other areas which can bring about a need for growth include:
Chances are your business coach or accountant would have identified these symptoms in a review of your business. It's vital to address them as, although increasing numbers might cause a degree of excitement, they can actually be the beginning of the end.
It's one of the reasons why advisors talk about the need for a coordinated strategy in order to set the wheels in motion and ensuring the funds are in place.
There is nothing that will eat up your funds as fast as a growing business. Despite what business owners think, growth can rarely be funded from the normal operations of the business. And nor should it be.
With regard to small business growth the coaching process will usually focus on this criteria: