The decision of monumental growth or to keep going organically is a hard one
What keeps you in the game is the ability to constantly change and perhaps, rev it up a bit.
In the past 3 years, we have been focused on change, innovation and revving it up like no tomorrow. Be careful what you wish for because we have also had to put the brakes on a few times and that has been very interesting.
I can't say that business is easy, but it certainly is much easier now than ever before. When you business gets to a certain level, for some reason everything kicks in and all of those processes and systems that you have in place start allowing you to let go and think big picture. Your team also matures and they hit their stride when everything else falls into place.
The question is "what's next". I ask myself that every day, even though I am quite possibly the busiest person I know. I constantly challenge the status quo and keep changing things up a bit.
There has never been a better time to make some big decisions, one's that many entrepreneurs face; to sell or not to sell, to grow fast or keep at the pace that is proven manageable and fits with lifestyle.
While I ponder over this decision there are a few things to take into account:
- Fast growth is only possible if all the systems and processes are in place
- Cash flow is stretched when you grow fast, because you will need infastructure that perhaps you didn't require so much before
- Choosing whether to look for investment or not has its own set of problems
- Managing an investors expectations is best discussed upfront, so that your performance is measured accordingly
- What is your business worth today and what difference will it make if you fast tracked its growth in the event of a sale?
- How does a sale affect your staff and clients?
- Are you looking for lifestyle or are you trying to build a big business to sell?
Business has matured
The business has matured so much over time and we are well-established as the leading brand for marketing in the small to medium sized business space. We made a choice to not focus on big corporations or businesses in "sexy" sectors. Instead, we work in areas such as professional services, technology, biotechnology, medical device, logistics, manufacturing, health and FMCG.
We have licensees who specialise in areas such as retail, but our core company business focuses on marketing in sectors where we are industry leading in our delivery of marketing services.
To grow, we need marketing. We have our website which is the highest ranked marketing company website in SMB sector in Australia. The traffic is enormous and derives largely due to good search engine optimisation and the readership of this blog.
Marketing Eye magazine exposes our brand to more people
We own Marketing Eye magazine which puts our brand on the shelves of newsagents around Australia and US.
Our clients are our ambassadors and as we develop technology to improve their customer experience, we know that they will talk about how we deliver marketing services faster, and more efficiently at a higher quality then most in our space.
But that is not enough. If we want 1000 clients yesterday, we need to put in place a more strategic marketing plan aligned to this business goal. Increasing our investment in inside sales is essential and the use of marketing automation, critical.
Our goals are ambitious
Our goals are ambitious but doable. They are within reach, but require us to step up. Opening 9 more offices in the US will be critical to achieving this goal and expanding our licensee model into new countries will play a pivotal role in achieving 1000 clients faster than through normal organic growth.
These decisions are things that my other entrepreneurial counterparts face too. But the question is how badly do you want to grow, and at what price?