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April 29, 2008

Planning for Profitable Growth – Who are you and What are you trying to accomplish?

Rather than mission and vision, let’s talk about what you want to be when you grow up.[i] The key questions to consider here are:

  1. What does or can your business do to make a difference in the lives or success of your customers?
  2. What will your success look like if you can satisfy those customers needs and wants?

Here are a few examples.

  • A technology reseller had grown by selling boxes and billing hours. But hardware margins alone no longer supported the business and billing hours required hiring more expensive staff. The new strategy involved delivering integrated technology solutions. Customers were crying for help and customized solutions effectively reduced competition.
  • A professional services firm had long relied on delivering compliance services but increasing price competition was eroding margins. The firm shifted its marketing and service delivery focus to helping clients solve pressing operational problems resulting in more relationship driven new work at higher rates with little or no competition.
  • A regional architectural services firm narrowed its focus to designing and building health care facilities and became the go to specialist in its market, thereby accelerating its revenue growth and improving its profitability while limiting its exposure to the more volatile commercial office market.

Mission drives the business. Vision lights the way.

[i] This is the second article in a series illustrating techniques used in planning for profitable growth.


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