Why do some small businesses grow into multinationals while others seem to stay at a steady level for many years? One of the key answers to this is the desire of the owners. If a business and the directors have a clear plan with specific and stretching goals they are likely to grow quicker than one without.

Many businesses reach a plateau point where they are enjoying a certain level of success. Although they may have busy or even demanding lives they have achieved a comfortable lifestyle which is better than working for a large corporation. Many organisations can run quite happily in this way for years and even decades and some will ether sell or exit the business at the appropriate time. However, there is a hidden danger in this comfort zone as market environments can change quickly and dramatically and if your business is not prepared for a changing world it can soon fall into decline or be swallowed up by a major competitor, often not providing the value the owners had come to expect.

When you’re running a small business your focus is inevitably on the day to day and surviving the next couple of months or years. This is natural but if you want to really grow your business you need to take time out to plan and articulate your vision for the future. When I’m working with clients I often ask the question ‘ what do you want, really really want’- they often look at me rather strangely as they hadn’t had me down as a Spice Girls’ fan. However once you have identified clear personal objectives in terms of when they want to sell the business, or what they want to be doing in five years’ time, everything else starts to fall into place and you can plan and take action accordingly.

It is an obvious point to say that the world is changing but the pace of that change is now massive and whole markets can shift or disappear in a couple of years. Learning how to not just ‘survive’ but ‘surthrive’ is the key to success and helping you get what you really want – whatever that may be.

Paul Vousden May 2016