How to Grow Your Business in a Downturn - Part 5

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at three tectonic shifts that define our current context, in Part 2 we looked at two insights based upon rigorous analysis of what happens before, during, and after a recession, Part 3 we looked at the stresses in our current recession to get a sense for the crucible that will cast your company's destiny, and in Part 4 we looked at the winning strategy. So at this point, given all that we've talked about in terms of context, insights, and the winning strategy, we will now look at a strategic framework we developed to understand "how" to best grow -- a framework that considers all avenues of growth, followed by wise investments in multiple strategies to keep a company's growth engine firing on all cylinders.

There are four key elements to a successful growth framework:
  • Growth Strategy
  • Growth Methodology
  • Growth Enablers
  • Growth Analysis
Let's start with Growth Strategy. A solid growth strategy takes a longer-term view and starts with some introspection to provide a "lay of the land" of where we are at as an organization by diving into four different areas of analysis: 

  • Core Capabilities -- Those factors, such as people, processes, and technology, that provide the company a competitive advantage in that they are:
  1. central to the way a business operates;
  2. can be leveraged widely into new offerings;
  3. contribute to the overall value proposition to customers; and 
  4. are not easy for competitors to imitate.
Key questions to ask regarding your Core Capabilities:
  1. What are our People capable of?
  2. What are our core Processes?
  3. What is our Technology capability?
  • Market Presence Analysis -- We need to fully comprehend the dynamics of the markets in which we participate by developing and maintaining a rigorous internal process to evaluate our current market positioning along a number of dimensions:
    1. Size/share of each market segment
    2. Geographic presence
    3. Brand strength
    4. Customer relationships
    5. Cost position
          • Offering Analysis -- We also need to understand how our current offering is positioned in the market as viewed by our customers and prospects in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
            1. What products and services do we currently offer?
            2. What strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats do we face with our current products and services?
            3. Where is each product and service in its life cycle?
          • Constraints -- We need to have a clear understanding of the obvious growth constraints such as capital as well as non-obvious constraints such as culture since the lack of an entrepreneurial culture will limit growth opportunities.  We need to question assumptions and eliminate constraints.
            1. What are the resource constraints of our organization?
            2. What is our ability to eliminate those constraints?
            3. What assumptions should we question?
            4. Is the growth opportunity consistent with our vision, strategy and values?
          Once our Growth Strategy is clear and we have this important "lay of the land", we can then turn our attention to the various Growth Methodologies. Continue on to Growth Methodologies in Part 6 of this series.

          Please login to post a comment.

          Register Now

          Register now to gain access to all of the resources available on our site. Basic membership is free!