How to Grow in Any Economic Environment

Updated: October 11, 2010

The two primary ingredients of business growth are Value and Market Opportunity. You can't have one without the other and expect to grow.

  • Value in search of a market willing to pay for that value isn't true value.
  • A market opportunity without any value to meet it, well, that's not a real opportunity.

Only when we continuously map Value to a Market willing to pay for that Value can we grow.

First lets talk about Business Value.

Value can be a pretty complex thing, especially since we get so much Gravity thinking involved in our Value perceptions.

What was really valuable in your market six months ago probably isn't as hot today. In a year it will most likely be ‘me too.' That's how quickly today's world changes and evolves. That means we have to evolve our perspective on our value - or get stuck in gravity. Yet we fall in love with our value - and often hold onto it far beyond it's time.

Just look at Blockbuster, who recently filed for bankruptcy. Netflix came along and changed the way we all thought about movie rental. Then the cable and satellite companies started offering On Demand movies. Poor Blockbuster was stuck in the way they'd always done it when it came to their value. They couldn't adapt their value to match the dramatic changes in their market. They tried, but they were just too stuck.

Value lives in the eye of the beholder - and in the case of our businesses, the beholder is our customers. That means we have to constantly be tuning into the requirements and perspectives of our markets. As they change, so must we - unless we want to crash and burn.

But what About Market Opportunity?

The same dynamics apply to our markets. We live in a world of 360 degrees of opportunity. Some are great, some are bad, some are emerging, some are waning. A great opportunity two years ago may be foundering now. Our best opportunity may have cropped up in the past 6 months.

We must be focused on seeking the right opportunities or we'll end up stuck in a waning opportunity, missing a better opportunity or limiting our growth by staying focused on an opportunity that is spiraling away from profitability. When we focus on the wrong markets for our success - we get stuck in gravity.

So here's the flight plan for growth.

When we deliver unique true compelling value that matches opportunities where buyers will pay for that value, we fuel our growth.

We do that already, you say. Well, maybe we think we do. But what if our Gravity has us thinking we know our best Markets and Value -and we're wrong. What if we're stuck in a downdraft and we don't even know it yet?

We tend to create a business flight plan and then follow it. While sure, we make course corrections at our annual planning meetings - which are way too late in today's changing markets.

To grow, we have to ready to be dynamic - prepared for continuous and constant change. I'm not saying we run around like chickens with our heads cut off - changing our plans every day. That would be silly. but we certainly need to adjust our perspectives and be ready to change with the winds of our markets. Either that, or we crash and burn.

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