Do you want to further develop your company and seek guidance, but you are not sure what the best choice is? Do you want to take new steps, but are you unsure about what exactly you need to achieve that? Or maybe you have already invested, but are you discovering that this is not what you were looking for? In this blog, you will discover which elements play a role in choosing the right guidance for the development of your company.
Where Things Often Go Wrong When Choosing Guidance
We often think we know what we need, but the reality is sometimes different. Jup. You too. And, I also sometimes make the wrong choices, because I was not fully aware of my needs. Nothing human is strange to me.
We search online via Google or we come across something interesting in our social media feed. We follow our curiosity and click through. We are tempted with smashing sales texts that entice you to choose a LinkedIn training course for more sales, or a business retreat at a sunny destination. The well-known ‘scarcity mechanism’ is used. “Only register today with that substantial discount and after today the price will rise sharply.” You probably know them.
We choose impulsively at such a moment. We follow the fear of missing something, of unnecessarily overpaying and sign up for a training or course that you could later conclude that this was not a good move. Just think about the clothing sale.
And the strange thing is, afterward, we know how to talk about such a bad buy for ourselves. Yes, because you learned something. You have gained new insights. You also know well what you do not want. But whether it was worth all that money, maybe that wasn’t. What we humans are sometimes strange beings, right ?!
To determine what guidance you need to develop your business, it is important to first have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Do you want to further develop your company? Or do you want to grow your business? It may seem the same from a distance, but being aware of the distinction is crucial for making the right choice. Let us therefore first take a closer look at these 2.
What Is The Difference Between Growing And Developing?
Growth and development are often mentioned in the same breath or used arbitrarily. Although both are important for a company that also exists in the long term, there is nevertheless a difference.
The growth of your company means that the size, the turnover, and the impact increase. For example by hiring more people or doing larger projects. Growth is the result of doing more of the same or what you did to do smarter / more efficiently, so you can handle more. Your company is solid and you want to expand on this basis. More sales. More customers. More profit.
Development means substantial change or renewal. A new course, a different approach, doing things (partially) differently than you have done so far. Development is often the basis for growth. But growth is not given as a result of development. In other words, you can develop your business without growing in an absolute sense.
Growth And Development Are Interconnected. But Not Inseparable
You can develop your business by gaining new knowledge and experience and making other choices based on this. You can expand your service. You can contract. You can set a new course or choose a different direction. There is a lot of change, without necessarily resulting in direct growth, without your company increases in size or turnover. This often stimulates the challenge of you as an entrepreneur, without your business results rising immediately. Your pleasure may increase and/or your worries may decrease, but your business results may remain the same.
An example for clarification:
Suppose you are a shoemaker and you have a beautiful building in the city centre. Until now you have focused on repairing shoes and belts. Your customers are loyal and love to bring their favourite shoes to you to have them repaired. You have sufficient work and your business processes so that you make a good profit.
You have become interested in making shoes. You follow a course and learn how to make shoes, as the Italian craftsmen do. After you have learned this, your customers can not only have their old shoes and belts repaired but also have new shoes fitted.
By now also offering new shoes, you develop the range. This does not necessarily mean that you also achieve growth, because you still have the same number of hours in a day and cannot handle more than you currently do. Unless the margin on manufacturing new shoes is higher than the margin on repairing old products. Then you could realise growth.
If you choose to grow, the question arises in which you want to achieve growth. More profit can mean that you agree with different purchasing conditions with your suppliers. Or that you no longer offer specific loss-making services. Do you want to grow in size? Then opening another store can be the option. Or you hire employees so that you can do more work at the same time.
You can also choose to increase sales per customer and therefore sell related items in addition to your current range. Think shoe polish, leather purses, and bags.
When Is Growth The Right Choice?
Growth can manifest itself in various ways. As mentioned, growth is best achieved on a solid basis. Just think of an apple tree. This can carry a lot of apples, but if the stem is too thin, it will crack under the weight of all apples. If you do not work with full self-confidence, but you have doubts about your basis, then it is difficult to stay afloat if the size increases.
That solid basis is that you have a clear idea of what your company stands for and what you want to achieve. Plus your role as an entrepreneur feels good and you have sufficient knowledge and experience to support that growth. The content is strong and there are room and time to invest in growth.
Investing in growth as a self-employed person means, for example, fine-tuning your knowledge and skills in marketing and/or sales. But it is also possible that you are looking for improvements in your business processes so that you can handle more work at the same time. How can you save time or energy by redesigning the processes?
Although we tend to improve what we cannot do well, investing in improving what is already going well is, in my opinion, the most effective. Why? Because often that which goes well will give you a lot of energy. There is nothing so annoying about having to do something that doesn’t make you happy. This is probably not an extension of your talents, but you try hard to do something that does not suit you well.
So look at what is going well. What could be even better? What do you enjoy doing? How can you do that even better or integrate better into your business processes?
And in addition to doing things better, more effectively or more efficiently, you can also choose to give work away. So to delegate parts of the business processes and thus have more time to create value and work directly for or for customers.
When Do You Choose To Develop Your Business?
At the start of your business, you are fully in the development phase. That is clear. In that development phase, you create a solid foundation for growing your business. However, only the business model on which you will build has a limited shelf life. How long it lasts depends on various factors.
As far as I’m concerned, that starts with yourself, how long do you still enjoy your current approach? The market plays an important role in this. How do you stay connected to your target group? Which trends and developments affect your customers? Which adjustments to your products or services are necessary to remain relevant?
Because your business model and the world in which you work is not static, the development of your company remains a recurring theme. Sometimes more intensive than the next. Depending on your own needs and/or external developments.
Discover Your Needs Based On Several Questions
You can discover how solid the basis of your company is by asking several questions. When answering, dare to be honest with yourself and take every ounce of doubt seriously. Doubt is a signal that a change is taking place. Unfortunately, I still regularly come across entrepreneurs who did not take these crucial signals seriously. As a result, they have for a long time started doing what no longer fits with who they are and what they stand for. You understand that the pleasure in your work then drastically diminishes and ultimately the results. You naturally want to prevent that.
These questions help protect you from the wrong choice:
- Do I still support the vision of my company?
- Is that vision still consistent with how I see my work field today?
- Do I still feel sufficiently motivated to work on the mission of my company?
- Do I feel strong and confident enough to manage an even larger flow of customers?
- Am I still enjoying the company that is currently there?
If you answer ‘yes’ to these questions, guidance in growth can be a logical step. If you answer these questions with doubts and even some with ‘no’, then it is wise to focus on the development of your company. It is then good to take the time to discover how you prefer to shape the basis of your company. Maybe small adjustments are enough to make you feel good about what you are doing. Or is it time to pay more attention to this and rediscover the essence of your company?
So Which Guidance Do You Choose For The Development Of Your Company?
Are you ready to grow your business? Is your base strong enough to build on? Or is it better to first consider the basis and strengthen it?
Sometimes it is difficult to work on that basis on your own, because you may get caught up in your answers and beliefs. After all, you never really clean that blind spot. Therefore, if you prefer to do it together, sign up for Essentie Lab. In 1 afternoon we find the essence of your company together and I help you to use this as a basis for the choices in the further development of your company.
Do you want to grow your business, but are you unsure how you can best achieve that growth? Then StrategyLab might be a good first step. Together we look at your growth ambition and find out which concrete steps you can take to realise that ambition. Because of this, you know in 1 day what you can best focus your attention on to continue to work with confidence in the growth of your company.
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