In an environment where the airwaves are poisoned with toxic reasons why you can’t grow your business, we wonder: is business growth consistently attainable in this climate? If it is, what tools can help you get there?
The Long-Term Failure of “More With Less”
Eight years ago, things were a mess. The great recession was hard on most. The negativity of that environment left companies feeling forced into doing more with less, “rightsizing,” and generally searching for an equilibrium point near the lowest common denominator of making just enough and making it at all. Today we move from omnibus negativity to patent uncertainty with the election, the regulatory environment, taxes and global macroeconomic questions as the sound bites bombard our business decision making. But there will always be noise. There will always be a reason or twelve to pull you back from bidding on that larger deal or expanding with the new product or service. Somehow the “more with less” efficiency models of our new normal have been rationalized to equate to a responsible business operation. One problem, though: no great business story ever told aligns with the “more with less” strategy.
Reimagine Growth, Possibility and Prosperity
Jim Cramer of CNBC said, “I’m tired of playing out what happens if this candidate wins or that candidate wins. The one universal truth of business is that great companies will do great things regardless of who pops out of the machine.” The point here is that the great businesses move forward – even when taking a step back. The financial crisis forced many of these companies to make hard decisions, but the greats reimagined growth and positioned themselves immediately for the new way forward. This involves being aware and realistic about what’s going on around you, but always keeping an eye on the horizon by defining new possibilities and planning for their achievement. In an environment where the average and below were avoiding all risk, the greats were actively planning to take on risk and try new things. Paul Pilzer, a renowned economist said, “Prosperity belongs to those who embrace the new things the fastest.” Way to go, Paul.
Turn Off the Noise: A Few Tools to Grow
Quit waiting for something great to happen or the volume of the noise to come down and start to make it happen. Identify where the growth opportunities are and start talking to people about making them a reality. The best tool of all is building a growth story for your company. Craft a short narrative of where you want to go and what you want to be – even if it is a little out of reach today – and put a plan together, a simple plan that doesn’t have to be rocket science. Start evangelizing. Get your employees, advisors and even your lenders excited about finding a way to help. And if they are not excited, find new ones.
Consider using other people’s money. Taking a chance on growth requires money almost every time. Your money is generally the highest risk and most expensive form of business investment, even compared to the highest lender interest rates. Financing is as powerful a tool to grow your enterprise now as it always was. Tell that new great growth story to your lenders and be unafraid. Every “no” is a step toward an eventual success. Great lenders will offer a path forward even if they have to say “no” today.
Our goal at LEAF is to help your business grow. Putting more revenue-producing equipment in service is a great way to get there for business owners, and offering financing is an unmatched way to achieve growth. Tell a great prosperity story. We can help you be the star of it.