Lesson 2 of 12
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Module One – Reconnect with the “WHY” of your business.

This is a turning point in the life of your business: You’ve decided to grow your business to the next level, and you’re raring to go. But before you do, you have to review what’s happening in your business right now so you can strategically plan the areas for expansion and achieve the growth you seek.

In this first module, you’ll reconnect with the vision you had for yourself and your business at the very beginning. Then you’ll refine that vision to ensure you have a clear, motivating picture of where and why you want to grow your business.


Why Did You Create Your Business?

Before you started your business, you had a picture in your head of how you wanted your future life to look. That dream spawned the vision that inspired you to get going and start your own business.

As time passes and you get caught up in the minutiae of day-to-day business activities, it’s understandable to lose your connection to this initial vision. However, now that you want to grow your business, it’s important to revive that motivation, since it will carry you through the stages ahead.

Think back to when you were starting out and why you went into business. It could have been to escape the 9-5, to give your children a better education, to have more freedom, to follow your passion, or something else entirely. Over time our goals change, so you need to revisit your original “Why?” to see if it’s still valid for you and your current lifestyle. Is that “Why?” still relevant to you? If it is, then you have your business mission; if it isn’t, then you need to connect to what compels you today.

To make sure you don’t lose this connection in the routine working day, find a visual representation to remind you why you’re in business. It could be an inspirational quote, a picture, an object, a symbol, or something else that is meaningful to you. You may know instantly what this will be or you may need to take time to think about it. Once you have it, make sure it’s somewhere you can see it every day – on your desk, on your laptop, or your phone for example.

This is your starting point. You also need to define the end point: the “Why?” of growing your business. This is your business mission.

Many people want to grow their business to make more money. But there are many other reasons:

  • To cut down on the time spent in the business and do less
  • To have less stress and worry, and have others manage the day-to-day
  • To create a global brand
  • To develop an exit strategy so you can sell the business or retire from it
  • To have more time to travel or help in the community.

You may have other motives, and some may be linked. You might want to develop your exit strategy and you know that if you build your business, then the financial returns when you sell will be greater. Your reason for selling may be to have less stress, find more time to travel, and so on.  

Always ask yourself what your ultimate motivation is. If you want to make more money, it’s unlikely that your driving force is just to see cash accumulate in the bank – you want the money for something. That something is your “Why?”

Whatever your aims are, you need to be clear about where you want to go with your business growth from the start. This will help you plot your roadmap and define the milestones you need to follow to get you to that destination.

Your Business Growth Options

There are a number of ways to grow a business which is already operating successfully. We’ll be going into the details of this later in the course, but for now brainstorm some ideas of how you might bring about growth so you can quickly see the possibilities. For example, you could:

  • Find more customers for your existing products and services
  • Increase your prices
  • Get existing customers to buy more of your offerings
  • Enter new markets
  • Attract a more profitable customer base
  • Design and launch new products and services.

What would make most sense to you?

Decide what type of growth you want

  • Fast and furious – This can bring quick financial returns, but rapid expansion means you need the infrastructure and systems to support increased demand, and likely the investment too. If you don’t have these in place, then your inflated bubble will soon burst. If you can’t fill orders from new customers, they won’t give you a second chance
  • Slow and steady – Organic growth takes longer but can bring the greatest long-lasting results. If your resources are limited, then take incremental steps to scale your business, making sure you have the necessary support, e.g. personnel, distribution, raw materials, time availability, marketing budget, and so on.

How you grow depends on your resources (physical and mental, as well as financial) and is a personal choice. What suits you may not suit the next business owner.

Once you‘ve thought about why you want to grow and how you want to scale, you can project this into the future to find the endpoint of your efforts.

Build a big picture view of where you want the business to be in 12 months. When doing so, don’t forget that your business is a large part of your life, so think in terms of:

  • Work
  • Lifestyle

Contemplate the overall vision, not the specific goals (we’ll return to those when you create your Business Growth Plan in a later module). This vision statement is a vivid mental image of what you want your business to be 12 months’ time. It will give you a clear focus and prevent you from getting sidetracked. Write it down to make it more powerful. Make it short and concise. Here are some examples:

“There will be a personal computer on every desk running Microsoft software.” (Microsoft’s original vision statement)

“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” (Amazon.com)

“To build a community of coffee lovers in Brisbane, by serving the best coffee at the best possible prices.” (Neighborhood café)

“Our salon will change the way you think about a haircut, and leave you glowing both inside and out.” (Local hairdresser)

Key Takeaways:

  • You need to remember why you’re in business.
  • Identify the reason(s) you want your business to grow.
  • Plan an overall direction so you know where you’re headed.

Action Steps:

  1. Quick Win: Find a visual focal point that reconnects you instantly to the “Why?” of being in business.
  2. List all the reasons you have for growing your business.
  3. Describe where you want to be in 12 months’ time – both your business and your life – by writing down your vision statement in your Action Guide.