Tweak Your Biz » Management » The Top 3 Keys To Successful Business Growth

The Top 3 Keys To Successful Business Growth



When I mentioned this at a workshop recently one of the business owners said: “You mean there are only 3 keys to success?  Where have I been going wrong all these years?”  I may tend to oversimplify – simply for the sake of directness.

There are more than 3 keys to successful business growth – I am simply mentioning 3 of the more significant ones that I work with clients on.  Add to the list: products and services of value to your customers, motivated and talented workers, a fantastic marketing strategy, a superb sales process, raving fans…  For our purposes I will present 3:

  • An actionable business plan,
  • Becoming more authentic and self-aware, and
  • Becoming a knowledge-based manager.

# 1. Developing An Actionable Business Plan

It’s hard enough to draft a business mission, much less its vision, objectives, strategies, and action process.  The key here is to think in terms of MVP – that is, what is your business Mission, Vision, and Purpose.  Once you have identified these put a time frame on them.  I refer to the Mission as timeless and the Vision as big – from 3 to 5 years.

When I work with clients on their Objectives, I look at them as little – they can be accomplished in 1 year.  It helps when you are forming objectives to use a Balanced Scorecard as the base – identifying objectives that satisfy financial, customer, process, and learning/growth functions in your business.

I have found from experience that Strategies are big also – from 3 to 5 years.  Strategies also benefit from a balanced scorecard approach.  Strategies are intended to serve as a guide to the annual forming of objectives.  The Action Plan is little – actions that are necessary in 1 year to accomplish the stated objectives.

If you wonder how important these are to the employees in your business, ask them to rank, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing the highest score, their understanding of your MVP and your objectives.  Is there a gap?  Do you and they know what they are working to accomplish?

# 2. Becoming More Authentic and Self-Aware

Most owners I work with are not trained to be owners, leaders, or managers – yet they become that by virtue of their idea, their skill and expertise in a particular field.  I have found that in order increase your performance as an expert and excel, you need to understand what natural talents you have, why you are motivated to use them, and how you prefer to use them.

Some people have a natural talent to lead others or to persuade others, while other people excel at practical thinking, problem management, or relating to others.[i] Additionally, it’s important to understand what drives people to be passionate for their work and fully engaged.

Considerable research[ii] has identified how some people are driven to acquire knowledge, exercise compassion, leadership, or selflessness; while others may be driven to seek the best value for the money or a competitive edge.  Finally, research into behavioral traits[iii] helps us to understand how some people may be inclined to be more aggressive or assertive, while others may be inclined to be more patient, passive, or reliable.

The importance of increased self-awareness and authenticity were shown by recent research to significantly impact individual levels of performance – across all industries and employee levels.[iv] Owners, and their managers and employees have the potential to perform better and improve business performance and growth as well.

# 3. Becoming A Knowledge-based Manager

Closely related to the discussion above is understanding that managing an increasingly knowledge-based workforce requires a knowledge-based attentive manager.

Managers who can use proven techniques borrowed from the field of coaching, who understand how best to manage by asking, by becoming more a manager coach, can be more successful at having employees perform at higher levels – principally because those managers will focus on improving employee authenticity and self-awareness.

Are these 3 keys to successful business growth proven?   Yes, time and again.  As our economy and workforce continue to evolve we can readily nurture and grow our knowledge from within – we simply need focused effort to plan, become more authentic and self-aware, and learn how to manage our knowledge-based workforce better.  Are you ready to grow?


[i] Dr. Robert S. Hartman created the Hartman Value Inventory, a value profile, which measures with exactness the character of an individual through the science of Axiology which he created.

[ii] Drs. Eduard Spranger and Gordon Allport in their study of human value, motivation and drive led the development of the Values Index.

[iii] Dr. William Marston¸ Walter Clarke, and Dr. John G. Geier are credited with creating the DISC instrument.

[iv] Jay Niblick, What’s Your Genius? How the Best Think for Success in the New Economy, 2009, chronicles the results of the Genius Project, a 7-year study of 197,000 people, which demonstrates how the acquired skills of self-awareness and authenticity can have a direct and positive correlation to performance; page 20-21.

Image: “bunch of keys on the palm/Shutterstock



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The Author:

Warren runs The Executive Suite, providing leadership & executive coaching programs, professional recruitment, One Page Business Plans, and franchise coaching services to businesses. Located in Hyannis, MA Warren is expert at people management, helping business executives hire, manage, and motivate others smarter. . He serves as the Director of Coaching Programs for Innermetrix, Inc. He is accredited in a variety of assessment and coaching methods. He is an ardent advocate of innovation, creativity, and inspirational change in business in life. http://www.theexecutivesuite.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.appointmentsetting.com/ simonswills

    I think that particular dimensions in your company, or developing a type of splash panel with all the key elements that you are calculating is a excellent way to switch towards achievements.

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Warren, I think your your advice with regards to point 1: “Developing an actionable business plan” is spot on. We’ve got to plan for short term goals and successes, plus you’ve got leave some room in there to adapt so long as it fits within your longer-term vision and strategy. Either too much short term or long term thinking is bad, one has always got to balance the other.   

  • Warren Rutherford

    Thanks Niall – you hit “actionable” on the head. 

  • http://www.appointmentsetting.com/ simonswills

    Establishing your objectives high is important, but sometimes we all usually get prior to ourselves and ignore to lay the groundwork for stable, balanced development.

  • Warren Rutherford

     Simon – good point. I find the objective setting needs reinforcement with an accountability based effort that is balanced and stable.

  • http://www.denisefay.com/ Denise Fay

    Hi Daniel, Just like Niall, here’s a big warm welcome to TYB. I like your five points.

    I am still amazed at the amount of businesses who use their business name first and then followed by gmail.com or hotmail. com (eg. achievemarketing@gmail.com). It’s the first thing that I will say to small business owners – get your own domain and route your email through gmail. It gives a much better (and bigger) impression.

    Good points and thanks for sharing here.
    Take care,
    Denise

  • John Twohig

    Thank you Marie, yes the health communities are working to help each other, which is the purpose, this is one of the 3 pillars of intrinsic motivation, the advocates and influencers flow from this.

  • John Twohig

    Thank you for your comment and it is great that the post provoked your grey matter into action. Your are right when you mention some interaction is not appropriate or wanted.

  • John Twohig

    Yes Debbie, these types of communities have the biggest impact in my opinion as the people are interacting for the purpose of helping each other, which is a mixture of Purpose and Autonomy, 2 of the 3 pillars of intrinsic motivation. Mastery can creep in there as the contributors in some cases are trying to improve there own circumstances, i.e. a new business.

  • http://www.cgonlinemarketing.com/ Christina Giliberti

    Yes, agreed. It’s a company to watch as things are moving quickly.