solid growth strategySnagging a huge new project is not a solid growth strategy.  In fact, it’s not growth strategy at all.  A few years ago, there was a television commercial showing a business woman rushing back to her office, presentation portfolio in hand. In a voice bordering on elation, she announced their firm had been awarded ‘The Contract.’  Obviously, it was a sizable project, because as she dropped into her chair, she announced: “We’re going to need more phones.”

Certainly we all covet those big clients with bigger, more profitable projects.  What company doesn’t dream of this scenario to serve as a stepping stone to growing their firm?  Very few would pass up these  opportunities.  Unfortunately, this is probably one of the least stable ways to successfully grow your business.  Why?  Oh, so many things can go wrong.

Why a solid growth strategy comes first

It is safe to assume that to snag that primo project or client, your presentation included assurances that you have sufficient staff and resources available.  Clients need to be confident you can provide timely and appropriate solutions to their needs – now.  Finding top quality talent overnight, ready and able to begin in a heartbeat isn’t easy.  Are you in a financially stable situation to take on the added expense of all these potential changes? Are your lines of credit sufficient with your bank, vendors and suppliers?  How quickly do you think you can add those necessary new telephone lines?

Are your offices, studio, or plant facilities sufficient to immediately add more staff and equipment? Is there room to expand at your present location or will a move be necessary? Finding more space, negotiating a lease, and building it out to meet your needs quickly will be a definite challenge.  You will need to have the necessary technology and other equipment in place, too.   And, of course — don’t forget those phone lines.

When should a solid growth strategy be planned?

A far better strategy for growing your business would have been to include it in your original business plan.  It never hurts to get your ducks in a row from the beginning. In fact, it helps – a lot.  A well developed strategic approach that includes a logical, phased in growth plan has a greater chance for success.  Trying to grow your facilities, technology, equipment and human resources at the same time that dream project is taking off will create a major stress situation.

Create a business environment to support your desire to expand from the very beginning to put strong pillars in your foundation.  Acknowledge from the beginning that you envision a business of a certain size.  That size can be based on sales volume, number of employees, number of locations or divisions.  Then, implement that solid growth strategy to work steadily in that direction.   A solid growth strategy built upon a strong foundation will provide vastly improve your chances for success.

Do you have a strategy in place to support the growth of your firm, or do you expect to fly by the seat of your pants?