How To Create Sustainable Growth

Image of Andrew Silver, Director of 360 Growth Partners

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

- Mahatma Gandhi

For over 30 years, I have been involved in people and business growth, working for both large companies, PE backed SMEs and smaller start-ups in the UK, as well organisations based in Europe and the US.

Now, I run 360 Growth Partners, where we work closely with SMEs in the North East to help them achieve their growth goals. Over this time I’ve identified several key factors that lead to accelerated business growth and long-term success which you’ll find below. I hope these insights inspire you to reflect and encourage you to contemplate your own growth journey.

Business growth requires new learning.

If we solely rely on our own experiences and journey, we are likely to fall short. Make an honest assessment about what you do and don’t know and start to build a team (internally and externally) that can help you fulfil your potential. In my experience, the best entrepreneurs and visionaries have made that assessment and developed the right talent to help realise their vision.

 

Create a clear, visible and well-funded growth plan.

‘A vision without a plan is just a dream.’ Take the time to collaboratively create your plan with the team that are going to make it happen. McKinsey state that one of the top traits of high performing teams is ‘aligned direction’ where the team know the why, what, and how, and the role they play as individuals.

 

Develop a robust performance management culture.

Successful teams have a shared vision, understand their collective and individual roles and responsibilities. They have worked out their style of play (core values and behaviours) and have clear measures for success. Celebrate the small wins on the way and put in a performance management structure that holds everyone to account, starting with the leaders!

 

Know where you make your money and where you lose it.

Growth in turnover and profit is a good start but understanding what or who is creating it provides the stimulus for accelerated growth in the future. Create the right financial and KPI reporting to help you analyse what is and isn’t working. It has never ceased to amaze me how many businesses are working in the dark when it comes to understanding the ‘dials’ to turn to make more money.

 

Leaders should be leading not doing.

Leaders need time to lead and reflect – it is where change happens. Get outside the comfort of your own business and network with other business leaders who have other experiences.  The Entrepreneurs Forum is a great place to start. Create the structure and environment for delegated decision making, as the saying goes know when to ‘get off the pitch and let the team play.’

 

Build the capability of your team.

Having worked for Virgin twice in my career Richard Branson’s focus on ‘people’ has stayed with me. Reflect on how your people are growing, as individuals and as teams. Where the next leaders are coming from. Are they ready? Grasp the nettle early where it isn’t working but always do it fairly and with respect for the individual. The capability of your team needs to match the ambitions of your company.

 

Be bold and build your resilience.

Sometimes you must go with your gut. The only certainty is uncertainty and perfection doesn’t exist in the world of work. Identify how you can be the best version of yourself and try to be that person every day. That will mean understanding yourself – when to rest, when to work, who to talk to for support, and looking after your own mental and physical health. Without this you can’t do the rest.

 

If you would like to discuss your own entrepreneurial journey and the challenges you are facing then please get in touch and let’s start the conversation.