by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded
One of the core questions facing every CEO or small business owner is: How do you grow your business? There are many ways to get this accomplished. How do you know what is the right path to take? How much investment will it cost? Should I grow my current base or search out new markets? Because every business has limited money, limited personnel, and limited expertise, it can be difficult to know how to invest and where to invest your resources, both human and financial.
I would like to present a tool that helps clarify and simplify the initial process of knowing where and how to grow your business or market(s). It’s called a “Growth Matrix”. It looks like this:
Here’s how it works. The Growth Matrix helps you visually see where are the possibilities lie to grow your business. It helps you create a plan that provides direction and discipline. Your business is currently in the lower left box. You can grow by finding related or new markets or offering related or new products/services. Each time you move into another box, you need to acquire new knowledge and expertise within the organization. This is how you decide where to invest. If you move from your current product serving your current customers to offering your current product to a related market, you need to acquire new knowledge about that market space. If you decide to offer your current market a different, but related service, your company needs to acquire additional skills and expertise. Here is an example:
In taking a look at this matrix, you can see the possibilities in generating growth alternatives. By mapping the alternatives out, you can decide where would be the best bet to invest your resources. Keep in mind, as you move diagonally to the upper right corner, it will take more knowledge in learning new markets AND more expertise to offer new products/services. This will prepare you to allocate enough resources to accomplish your next stage of growth.
This tool is beneficial in several ways:
• It keeps your company disciplined in focusing on a single area
• It keeps your company from “shot-gunning” and not waste dollars and effort
• It allows you to strategize and focus your marketing and advertising dollars
• It provides a systematic, long-term plan to increase growth from one year to the next
All growth efforts have risk, but in using the Growth Matrix, you can lower the risk by seeing what it could take to grow with various alternatives. I would be interested in hearing how your growth plan works for your company.
Note: I was introduced to this concept by a wonderful business researcher, Don Sexton. He has developed marketing programs for many businesses across the U.S.