5 Ways to Rethink Strategic Growth – #2 Be Proactive

How many of you have ever purchased a home? Thinking back on your experience, did you sit around waiting for a seller to come to you or did you spend time looking for just the right house? My guess is that most of our experiences fall into the second scenario. In fact, if I waited for the perfect home to come to me, I would still be living in my very first apartment!

Not taking a proactive approach to buying home seems crazy, but unfortunately this is exactly what so many of us do when it comes to business opportunities. While one or two ideas may come knocking at a company’s door, there are many more opportunities that are out there. Relying on opportunities that happen to come your way rather than seeking out the best ones is not a robust plan for growth. In effect, by passively accepting whatever happens to come to your attention, you are leaving your success to chance.

Instead you should first determine what your ideal opportunity or opportunities looks like and develop a strategic plan based on this ideal. Next, search for growth options whether it’s a partnership, new technology or new product to help execute this strategy.

Another common mistake leaders make is allowing the competition to dictate their actions. For some companies their strategic plan revolves around what the competition is doing and they are constantly trying to keep up with the “Joneses.” Whenever a competitor introduces a new product or service, they do too. While it’s important to have an understanding of the competition, reacting will always mean you are one step behind. Instead leaders should take control of their own future by focusing on customer demand. Happy customers are the source of success for any company. Without them, there would be no business! Find out what they want and focus on that rather than competitors.

Don’t wait around for the right opportunity to drop into your lap or for your competitors to act. Success comes to those who take action.

Next post: How to grow your business with external growth.

This post is part of a series exploring 5 Ways to Rethink Your Approach to Strategic Growth. Read part 1 and part 2.

Photo Credit: Gael Varoquaux via Flickr CC BY 2.0