Only 20% of CEOs have clear business growth strategies according to a recent Australian study by the ANZ Growth Program. 80% of these CEOs lacked the ability to formulate and implement a business growth plan.
The information collected for the study included CEOs from small to medium-sized organisations. These companies produce $5 to $50 million a year in revenue, which is why they are so important in growing the economy. While no one can truly claim what will happen tomorrow, next week, or next year, it is possible to create a plan of sustainable growth for your business.
Overcoming the Fear Of Failure when creating a sustainable growth plan
The first (and possibly biggest) pitfall anyone owning a business should overcome is the fear of failure. Fear of failure makes the task of planning for the future a daunting one, and causes a great deal of anxiety and procrastination. It's actually what makes most people quit before they even start with owning a business.
"B-But how can anyone know what will happen in the future?"
you frantically ask.
One thing is for certain, and that is no one can know the future in the fullest sense of the word. That is an inescapable fact. The point is not to have every last detail of every single moment of every single day, week, month, year, or next 10 years planned out; the point is actually to have planned out manageable goals of what is most likely to happen, and to strategise ways around potential problems that can happen along the way.
How do we know this? We have owned and run businesses in all stages, growing them through the start-up phase, into maturity. Our secret? We don't sweat the small stuff. A trite statement, often, but it has worked wonders for us! Your plan should be detailed enough to show where you are now, what you are doing and where you'll be in the next few years--but is not detailed to the point where nothing but planning gets done. If too much focus is placed upon, say, crafting the perfect business plan, then none of the other work will get done, or at least done well.
Don't let the fear of failure kill your business. Stand guard over it! Building a solid plan of growth for your business is key to its success. Look at the success stories of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Richard Branson and many more; they all went out on a limb in spite of their fears (for quite a few, in spite of bankruptcy!) and built their empires. So get cracking! Breathe, set some goals, and get out there and achieve them!
Companies go through stages of growth
One of the findings in this growth plan study was that CEOs didn't realize their organisations go through different stages of growth. They found there were 4 stages of growth involved to reaching sustainability.
Most CEOs had the passion and the knowledge about their business, but failed to have the time to realize that the stage of growth requires certain actions by them. Each growth stage requires evolution by the CEO.
In this stage the CEO is the decision maker and tries to do everything on their own.
This stage requires the CEO to learn how to delegate. To achieve this they have to hire the right people and set the company in the right direction.
Rapid Growth Stage
CEOs now have to hire people who have the knowledge and technology that is greater than their own. The organisation has to function as a team.
At this stage CEO's have to become innovators and lead the company culture. Think Steve Jobs and Apple, the way they changed the world of innovation forever. Having a set of good company values is the main place to start.
Fear of failing
This was another reason why CEOs failed to reach sustainable growth. Having a good support platform with financial analytical capabilities helped them make decisions to overcome this. Getting help from knowledgeable people outside the organisation made them feel less isolated.
The study proved to be a success helping 75% of the companies to grow. CEOs need to develop plans to sustain growth using new technology and social relationships. If you feel like your business is stuck on a roller-coaster, download our infographic: Escaping The Doom Loop, to see how entrepreneurs like yourself, go to the next level.