Work ON Your business, Not IN It: 3 Questions to Spur Growth

Do you really want to grow your organization? If so, do you know where to focus your energy, and are you doing it?

By default, most business owners and leaders will answer yes to the first question, but come up with a variety of answers for the second one. And while the desire may truly be for growth, many people’s actions lead them in a different direction. That’s because if you truly want to grow then you have to spend more time working on your business than in it. If you get caught in the woods, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. The same is true with every company. You can spend so much time trying to generate sales or adopt the latest and greatest technology, but if you can’t get out of the muck and mire of the day-to-day grind to grab hold of a higher strategy, you’ll find yourself continually hacking your way through branches rather than cultivating the pristine vista of flourishing forest you’d like your company to become.

With that in mind, here are three simple, strategic lenses and questions by which to analyze your business from a different perspective – one that will hopefully help you spend more time working on the business and take you to greater heights in the process.

1. Are your offerings Simple?

Ken Segall writes about simplicity as the core of Apple’s success in his book Insanely Simple. He states that Simplicity’s enemy is Complexity and Complexity robs companies of influence and profits because it makes things too hard for all involved, especially for customers. Therefore, keeping things simple is actually the art and science of making things clear and concise, which are the recipes of customer interaction and employee engagement.

Therefore, the question for every leader boils down to, “Are you constantly making things simple or have you given into the laziness of complexity?” It is much easier to wallow in complexity and inefficiency than to fight for clarity and focus, but our challenge for you today is to do the extra work of making your offerings as simple as you possibly can.

2. Is your business Scaleable?

What we’re asking here is this: Does your organization have the potential to eclipse you? Can it scale without you at the center of everything? If you were removed from the business tomorrow, could it survive and go on without you? Perhaps you don’t want it to or perhaps you simply don’t know how. For those considering this question for the first time, you would do well to find someone who has scaled their business before and talk with them about the best way to help your organization become more scaleable. Most of you will fall prey to the tyranny of the urgent and put this on the back burner, but if you take this advice and work to scale systems, processes, offerings, etc past what you can do yourself, you’ll never regret it.

3. Is your business Sustainable?

Does your business have the potential to sustain its growth or are all your eggs in one basket? To be sustainable means that your business is self-sufficient and doesn’t rely on some one-hit-wonder client or single, big grant to operate, but rather has its own ability to pay for itself. A self-sustaining model is worthy of the hard work it takes to get it there.

At the end of the day, three facts hold true for any business:

Simplicity wins over complexity.

Scalability expands your impact.

Sustainability keeps the engine running.

Fight for these in your business and you’ll see a world of difference in the results. Once you make time to address these questions on a weekly basis, you’ll be on the road to truly working on your business rather than just working in it.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can grow your organization, we’re happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let us know!