Tom Foran – Growth Catalyst
Welcome to the first edition of the Tom Foran – Growth Catalyst blog. After working in private industry for over 25 years and looking after my wife as a caregiver for the past several years, I decided to do something I wanted to do for a long time. Launch a consulting practice that helps companies grow their revenues and optimize their sales and marketing costs….thus growing their bottom line. However my point of difference is doing this with innovative and breakthrough ideas. Some simple, some game changing and transformational. In a nutshell I believe that planning for next stage growth is contingent on continuous innovation and change. Simply stated, the source of your current revenues and customers might not be there in one, two or three years. I bring a track record of innovation, change and outside the box thinking in every aspect of revenue growth and sales and marketing expense optimization. I will assist your company enjoy the same benefits as did many of the companies I worked for.
To ensure you are ready to tap into what I call next stage growth you need to adopt a mindset that forces you to think both defensively and offensively. Defensively to ensure you are keeping your eye on your competition and your customers. Offensively to ensure you are constantly thinking about how you will build existing and develop new revenue streams as customers, competitors, markets and business models change.
So, let’s get started
The specter of slow growth is a wake-up call to focus on what you can do to reverse your company fortunes. Research by leading economists’ show that business dynamism and growth is slowing down.
In addition to the questions asked above, ask yourself, are you:
- Experiencing stagnant revenue growth or looking for ways to boost your bottom line?
- Comfortable that the revenue streams you enjoy today will be there in the future?
- Do you know enough about the customers and markets you serve now? Or your competition?
- Do you know what your customers think of your reputation, or the quality of your service delivery?
- Is you sales force firing on all cylinders? Are you getting the most from their efforts? Are they solutions sellers, or just trying to get the sale?
- Is your marketing communication sending the right message?
- Is your marketing spend in the right areas? Is it too high or too low?
When you look back over the past few years, assess the impact changing customers, a changing world economy, new business models and new technologies have had on businesses. If you aren’t thinking about where your revenues will come from one or two years out, you might find yourself where many companies found themselves because they were too comfortable with the status quo…and that was out of business. You have a responsibility to yourself, your family and to your staff to ensure your company remains on the cusp of change, to work outside your comfort zone and continuously reinvent your products, services and the way you deliver them in order to stay in business…..it’s about that simple.
Business models have been re-invented, consumer tastes and demographics are changing. What worked yesterday doesn’t work as well today, or not at all. If that sounds familiar then it’s time to reassess and determine how to reignite growth in your organization. It’s not as hard as it looks. But it takes guts. That’s what the best leaders do….they take calculated risks, or risk closing their doors. Turning your back on a formula that has worked effectively in the past will take you outside of your comfort zone. If you are experiencing slowing or stagnant growth it’s even more essential. Please don’t put your business at risk by doing nothing, or just working harder.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a small, medium or large business. For many, the words strategic planning are unfamiliar or sends shivers up the spines of owners and senior managers. If that’s the case, then think of it this way. Ask yourself, what do I need to do to ensure my company continues to grow its revenue base / bottom line? What markets will I play in? How will I win new customers and market share? When you answer these questions you’ve developed your strategy. Too many companies get wrapped up in defining what the word actually means. Reframe the question. This is the source of innovation and change.
The issue for many however is that developing great strategies forces you to confront a future that you can only guess at. The tendency is to fall back on the things that have worked in the past, or you work harder. Or, and this is more likely the case, you are so far down in the weeds that dedicating time to plan for the future is a pipe dream. Regardless of size, for successful companies, the key is to keep one eye on the present and another on the future. A future that will take you outside your comfort zone. If it doesn’t then your strategy on how you continue to grow isn’t innovative enough….push the edges out further.
In addition to answering the questions earlier the importance of why you need to work outside your comfort zone can be framed by the following questions. Ask yourself:
- What would happen if my competition introduced a new game changing business model or new product?
- Am I too focused on squeezing more profit from current revenues or trying to generate new revenue streams?
- How will I resource change…do I have the capabilities?
- Do I know how to implement change and innovation?
So, where does this blog go from here?
Growth Catalyst Four Step Process
To help my customers develop plans for next stage growth, navigate and implement change, I’ve developed a four step process to help you achieve your goals. Each edition of this blog will walk you through a step in the process that I’ve used to create small and big changes, simple ideas that drove revenue, to transformational change and breakthrough award winning new products, services, e-commerce solutions, creative communication and new distribution channels. And as the saying goes, you can’t swallow the elephant whole. So, one of the most important steps we’ll focus on is implementation. This phase of the process includes a roadmap with easy to follow steps that enables you to effectively communicate and implement change to ensure next stage revenue and bottom line growth comes your way.
Change is not easy. But which is worse? Managing change that customers and employees embrace? Or watching your revenues decline and your market share eroded by up and coming competitors?
The answer seems pretty clear.
Till next time. Tom