The Secret is to Reverse the Phrase

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Each week I close my peer-to-peer talk show with presidents of midsized businesses with the same message: “My wish for you is accelerated growth with sustained profitability®… and remember the secret is to reverse the phrase. First, you need to know what drives your profitability. Second, you must have a system to sustain that profitability. THEN, you can consider growth strategies like acquisitions, geographic expansion, franchising, or whatever. And fourth, you can step on the gas to accelerate.” Apparently, that concept needs to be reinforced in my blog.

Here are some examples. Suppose your company specializes in content management for large websites, and you view one specific program/language as the superior choice. You now lead with that software not just content management or websites. That one decision says that what drives your profitability is your ability to attract website projects that would be best served by the language you have chosen. If/when there is a great fit between the projects and your language, you can charge premium pricing. To sustain that profitability, you will need a marvelous system for recruiting, training, paying, supervising and retaining programmers who also believe in the language you have chosen. Until you can do that, several growth strategies will feel out of reach. The techniques you’ll consider will be survival strategies, not growth.

Let’s try another one. Suppose your company has an approach that dramatically improves your customers’ sales results. That’s pretty exciting, right? Perfecting the approach drives profitability for a while, but if you don’t find a way to protect your intellectual property (IP), your profitability will decrease due to copy cats, pirates, thieves (whatever you want to call them these days). If you do address sustainability, you can quickly move into growth strategies like licensing or franchising. It’s a “compliment” when people want to use your “stuff.” So instead of getting mad at that, make sure they pay for the privilege.

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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