Growth: Go for it
I'm giving a webinar for Ryma Technology Solutions on November 3rd called "The Secret to Revenue Growth and Career Advancement." Ryma makes software that helps product managers managing product development. On their GrandView community site, they're asking this question:
"What mode is your company in today?"
__ Growth mode
__ Cutting costs
__ Status quo
151 managers have voted so far...and the majority - 68.2% - are in growth mode. 18.5% were in cost-cutting mode, and 13.2% were stuck in status quo.
I've been seeing this trend for some time. In spite of all the uncertainty and turmoil in business right now, with everyone collectively holding their breath before the election here in the States, most company leaders are bored with cost-cutting and are chomping at the bit. They want to grow, baby, grow - NOW.
This is especially true for companies that are trapped on a plateau, and there are a lot of them out there. Even the hockey-stick companies are hiring me to break them into new markets, because they're starting to saturate the market they dominate.
Good time for growing
This is actually a great time to go for growth. No matter what happens in the election, it will be over (for a couple of years, anyway) after November 2, and everyone will go back to work - regardless of the outcome. The point is, whatever the result, the decision will have been made, and the uncertainty will be gone.
Decisions and disasters are driving business biorhythms now. When a disaster strikes, or a big decision is looming, people waste a lot of time watching the coverage. It's a big drag on productivity. (In fact, if you want to beat your competitors, this is a great time to work your tail off - while everyone else is in major distraction mode.)
Growing the right way
If you've decided to go for growth, you'll want to do it right.
If you are an entrepreneur, start by deciding what you really want to do all day. This is always an important question to ask yourself at any stage in your career, but especially if you are about to go after new revenue. You don't want to end up like the dog who catches the car.
Once you've decided which part of your job you love doing, you have to figure out how to offer it in a way that appeals to potential buyers. I was talking to an entrepreneur the other day who could offer time management coaching for entrepreneurs - and is perfectly positioned to do so - but she had never thought of it quite that way. So many entrepreneurs would love to have someone hold them accountable for the "important but not urgent" issues on their todo lists (from Steven Covey's famous time management quadrant), and would be willing to pay someone a weekly fee to help them stay in the right quadrant.
After helping literally thousands of entrepreneurs and CEOs realize their dreams, I can confidently say that you can do what you like to do all day, and make great money doing it, but ONLY if you figure out what people want you to offer, and how people want you to offer it.
Choosing what you develop for the market is more important than choosing what you will say about it after it's developed. Especially now, when customer-generated content is more powerful than anything that marketers are writing. The truth about your product or service is going to get out there, and if the truth is good, you're golden. If it's not, no amount of spin will get you out of the red and into the black.
If you already have an existing company, the key to real growth is the same. You can gather the troops in a conference room, and talk to each other all day, debating what you think will work. Or, you can find out what your customers are really thinking: What they really care about, why they buy your product, why they think it's special, and how they talk about it.
Get on the phone with current customers. Start asking open-ended questions. Ask them what their problems are. What they think of your product and service. What they wish companies like yours would do for them.
This information, if gathered correctly, marks the yellow brick road to Revenue City.