Stretch Your Business for Growth in 2013

stretch your businessMost economic indicators suggest growth is just around the corner as many businesses and consumers are increasing spending and gaining confidence.  Does your company have a plan in place to take advantage of the growing economy?  If you don’t, your competitors will.  I encourage you to get aggressive and take the necessary steps to building your business.

A few suggestions I would make include:

  1. Stretch yourself!  Create a sales plan for aggressive growth.  If you currently expect 5% growth, challenge your team to think outside the box about how you could grow 15%.  Review your distribution channels, clients, product lines, geographies, and competitive positioning to identify target opportunities.  Look for gaps in your company’s performance versus the market opportunity to identify investment opportunities – such as adding distributors in certain geographies, or replacing an under-performing sales representative.
  2. Assemble and prepare your sales team.  Your stretch goals won’t just happen with your same staff using the same approaches.  Review your sales process to ensure it is geared for the new opportunities.  Grade your sales team, using assessments to identify the gaps in sales rep profiles.  Increase attention to your under-performing team members.  Invest in sales training. Finally, recruit sales people to build a pipeline of candidates to replace poor performers and staff new positions to address the target opportunities.
  3. Amp up your presence in the market.  Align your marketing efforts to your new opportunities and increase your investment to drive increased income.  Consider adding communication channels you might not be using today.  Engage your team on LinkedIn – it’s not just a job seeking forum any longer.  There are multitudes of ways to use LinkedIn for business leads.  If your advertising budget doesn’t include Google Adwords today, it is a fairly reliable way to bring in new business and you can ramp up your spending as you realize sales results.

The key message is that you won’t grow if you don’t plan for it, align your resources behind it, and make some noise.  So, share with us.  What is your business doing to seize the growth in 2013?