As an entrepreneur for over fifteen years, ideas for growth and innovation have been a constant companion. I started this company, The Northridge Group, with another telecom industry veteran who saw both an opportunity and a need for change in the market, just as I did. As the business grew, we expanded to meet the needs of our clients and those of a dynamic and evolving marketplace. Today, business leaders from many sectors are on the hunt for more growth and innovation – taking more risks and assembling larger groups of innovators.
Today, business leaders from many sectors are on the hunt for more growth and innovation – taking more risks and assembling larger groups of innovators.
Successful growth continues to require careful thought and long-term focus balanced with the ability to execute flawlessly. As CEO of The Northridge Group, I look to the future with “the high-beams on;” evaluating multiple opportunities to drive the strategic vision for growth. At the same time, I am balanced by a talented executive team of fact-based, decision-makers who help me narrow the focus to the best path. Together, we evaluate key ideas and opportunities through strategic filters to reach the right plan for growth. We look for ideas that drive new thinking for the firm, is impactful to our clients and key stakeholders, and is ultimately differentiating in the marketplace.
Of course, growth strategies rely on three key pillars: growth through business acquisition, growth through new customer acquisition, and organic growth by selling more into your existing customer base. Oddly, selling into your base is often the last choice strategy because organizations tend to believe they don’t have anything “new” to sell. Naturally, companies will need to innovate and diversify their products and services to continuously meet and exceed the customers’ needs. Innovation, largely conceptualized as a “no boundaries” approach to new ideas or methodologies, can lead to a lot of activity with little actionable results. So, as crucial as it is to have an open mind, business leaders need strategic filters. A few critical areas I always consider include:
- Listening to customer needs: Customers can provide a lot of insight if you listen for their pain points and look for ways your organization can naturally assist. Sometimes, it is an existing service, and other times, it is a new growth opportunity that already aligns with your firm’s core values.
- Trends in the market: Know what industries are growing, what technology is emerging and where consumers’ behaviors are changing.
- Keep learning: As business leaders, we are always reading, talking to experts, and bouncing ideas off of trusted advisors. By hearing different perspectives, it allows for a greater understanding of issues and opportunities.
- Look at lost opportunities: Examine why you lost an opportunity and figure out what the competitor offered that you didn’t or couldn’t. This can lead to great insight into potential new development and growth opportunities.
Growth and innovation are necessary constants. Business leaders must disrupt themselves before competitors disrupt your business for you. Seek areas to diversify, and don’t miss the opportunities that start with your existing customer base.
Looking for paths of growth for your organization? Contact us.