Tag Archive for 'limitations'

Small business and the right growth strategy

“A man’s gotta know his limitations.” This is the wisdom of Inspector Harry Callahan, the detective played by Clint Eastwood in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Small business owners can learn a lot from Harry.

A friend of mine says, “if you’re not green and growing, you’re ripe and rotten.” He means that every business is headed in some direction, either up or down. For small businesses, moving up involves a lot of challenges because we often don’t have enough critical mass – capital, equipment, organizational talent, distribution, etc. – to take the next growth step on our own. So how do we still grow in the face of this limitation reality? Two ways:

1. Grow organically, which means one tiny step at a time by being a frugal manager, limiting debt and leaving as much of the profits in the business as possible, in the form of retained earnings.

2. Create strategic alliances, which could include financial, organizational or market partners who have something you need, such as capital, talent, contacts or a distribution network.

The first one is the more conservative option, but an excellent one. The second option is more aggressive and requires more sophistication on many levels, but can produce many advantages. Actually, most small businesses that find long-term success do so by blending both of these strategies to varying degrees over the life of the company.

Recently I interviewed two different experts on this topic: Gary Harpst is a management expert who helps companies develop growth strategies that work for them and author of “Six Disciplines Execution Revolution”, and Dave Morse, who is CEO of Location Based Technologies and PocketFinder- whose business model requires them to develop national and international alliances. Unless you like being ripe and rotten, take a few minutes to listen to my conversation with these guys on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. And be sure to leave a comment or a question.
For Gary Harpst:
For Dave Morse:

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