Knowing your growth strategy and understanding four key growth approaches – organic, acquisition, new products, and geographic expansion – will help you be more successful in achieving the growth you desire.
You have to ask yourself – how does your business grow? Is it geographic expansion? Are you selling new products? Are you selling the same products to new customers? Are you growing by acquisition and buying other businesses?
What’s your overall growth strategy? You need to be able to answer this question. Look at your historical growth and where it came from. That’s usually a pretty good indicator of how your organization is going to continue to grow from here. Pull out your strategic plan and look at your marketing plan to see where the future growth is expected. Assess whether or not that sales and marketing plan is aligned with where the future growth is supposed to come from.
Different Approaches to Growth
There are some very common methods for growing and they all have very different economic profiles.
One way you can grow is acquisition. The economics of conducting an acquisition are you spend a lot of money up front to buy another company or portion of another company. You’re buying a large piece of the market when you do so. The way you make acquisition economics work out is you reduce the costs of the combined entities by looking at synergies.
So, you bought another company. Congratulations! You have two HR departments now. You have two marketing departments. You have two Legal departments and two IT departments. You have two of everything! How do you consolidate those and reduce costs? That’s the first source of economic value in an acquisition.
The second source of acquisition value is all about growth. Now you have a new market you can enter if the acquired entity was in a different geography or targeted a different market segment. You can sell your existing products into that new market. You can sell the products you acquired into the existing markets you were in pre-acquisition. That’s how an acquisition is going to drive top-line growth.