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When You're Green You're Growing

Once fruits and vegetables have ripened, they begin to rot and become no longer edible.  Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s once said, “When you’re green you’re growing, when you ripe, you rot.” This applies to all of us, whether it’s in your business or your personal life.

A young business is always focused on growing since the business won’t survive in its infancy stage. However, as the business matures it’s easy to become complacent. Once the push to continue growth diminishes, typically the growth of the business stagnates as well.

So, how does a business owner get the business growing again if it’s become stagnant?  Each business is comprised of many components, so the first step is to do a diagnosis of the business to evaluate the areas that need to grow again.  The owner and management team should evaluate its operations, sales, marketing, products, services, customer base, finances, and the key people in the business.

There are many techniques to diagnose a business, but one of the most commonly used is a SWOT analysis.  A SWOT analysis is a review of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to a business.  This is typically completed by the management team to get a good overall view of the business.

Using the SWOT analysis, the owner and management team create a plan to improve the business.  Since the success of most businesses is reliant upon the growth of its team, a comprehensive strategy for training, managing and leading the organization is a key step in moving the business forward.

There are many great training programs offered to help train a team. Our local universities all offer excellent technical and management training programs. Most industries have programs to help with industry specific issues.  And don’t forget about yourself as an owner, what are you doing to grow and improve your leadership skills?

Once you have a plan, the hard part is implementing. Review my previous blog posts on The 4 Disciplines of Execution- Beat the Whirlwind, Act on Lead Measures, Keep a Compelling Scorecard, and Create a Cadence of Accountability.

It may seem like there are too many pressing challenges in the business to take time to analyze the business and create a plan. However, the rewards for getting the business growing again can be priceless.  Invest the time to become a green and growing business.