At Conklin Media, we desire growth! We are constantly and passionately pursuing growth for our clients and our brand alike. Heck, go to our website and the tagline will tell you:
What Is Sustainable Business Growth?
Before we attempt to answer the question about bigger being better, let’s define what we mean by “sustainable business growth” because if we can’t define it, we can’t achieve it.
In short, it’s the maximum growth rate achievable via utilization of existing cash flow without increases in leverage or debt. Put another way, if the break-even point at which sales exactly cover expenses is the bottom, or floor, for growth, then the sustainable growth rate is the ceiling, or the maximum, that sales can grow without exhausting cash flow and requiring new sources of financing. If you’d like to calculate an actual growth rate for your company, Inc.com has a helpful article.
Simplify that definition and just call it the growth a company could maintain without running into problems. Grow too fast, and it may become difficult to fund the growth. Grow too slowly, and stagnation may occur. Over our 150-plus combined years of helping companies grow, we’ve seen these two scenarios play out:
- Wild and out-of-control growth that bankrupts companies due to being overleveraged.
- Such slow growth (if you can call it growth) that competitors pass right by, and quality employees fall off due to their perceived lack of vision from the top.
Either way is failure.
How to Sustain Business Growth
Knowing that a healthy business can’t always maintain an optimal growth rate, we fundamentally believe that the better direction to err is on the side of too much growth. The expression “sales cures all” may not be 100 percet accurate, but we do know that sales can cure many business ailments. 😀 It’s cash that often makes a business run, so since you’re going to be out of balance at times, make sure you’ve got cash on hand.
When leads and sales are pouring in (growth is happening), here are some ways we recommend controlling your pace of growth:
- Commit to building a great company and not just a big company.
- Don’t be afraid to “just say no,” as not all prospects will be good (profitable) clients.
- Always measure your business actions against your one-, three- and five-year goals.
- Ask yourself often how a particular product or service line is adding to or taking away from the businesses goals of profitability, brand reputation and team member alignment.
- Before saying “yes” to that next business growth opportunity, make sure it’s an honest and emphatic yes!
Talk With Us About the Growth and Sustainability of Your Business
As a business growth agency, know that we’d welcome the opportunity to consult with you about your business’ sustainable growth rate! During this unique 2020 season, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve worked with countless businesses that have not experienced any of the problems caused by growth (that is, code for they’ve seen leads, sales and profits decline). In most cases, we’ve been able to counteract these strong economic forces and put these businesses back on a strong growth trajectory.
Reach out and let us do the same for you!