It is very usual for persons to either feel superior or inferior towards others around them because they compare themselves to these persons based on their strength or weaknesses.

The thing is, every individual is different and function differently based on their personalities. It is important to know yourself and your capacities. Your strengths are things you can leverage on, things you can use to push yourself further. On the other hand, your weaknesses are not your downfall rather they are areas you need to improve on. It is not something you lack, it is something you need to develop and build.

Growth is the ultimate test of business vitality, yet questions about it haunt business leaders.

How much will we grow this year, and beyond?
How much growth do we need?
What kind of growth do we need?
How should we balance revenue growth against margin improvement?
How far afield from our current business should we look for new customers?
Once we know where we want to be, how do we get there?

The best recipe for sustained, profitable growth is simple as a basic concept. It requires a capabilities-driven approach: that is making the most of what you already do well.  But it is also devilishly difficult in its details, because it assumes you will use any means at your disposal to achieve your goal.

Thus, before you pursue growth directly, you should have in place the three elements of a clearly defined, coherent strategy: (1) a value proposition that resonates with customers, supported by (2) a system of distinctive capabilities, combined in a way that competitors can’t match, with (3) a portfolio of products and services that are all aligned to the first two elements.

You can grow profitably and sustainably only from a position of strength. If your enterprise is struggling to maintain its economic lifelines, then there is a need for foundation work on strategy, organization, cost optimization, or other factors before any new growth strategy can succeed. Companies that enter new businesses to escape a weak position generally become weaker still, because they move into markets where they lack the capabilities they need for success.

Typewriter maker Smith Corona, for example, understood the needs of students and self-employed typists better than anyone else; this helped the company develop a successful line of word-processing computers in the 1980’s. But the company couldn’t sustain that business, because its efforts to expand into office supply distribution, kitchen appliances, daisy-wheel printers, and paints had left it without the resources to compete against other types of personal computers.

Strategies for improving Business strength

Let’s say you have that position of strength to start from: a capabilities-driven strategy and the wherewithal to exploit it. From there, you can chart a course toward sustainable and profitable expansion by combining four approaches to growth:

  1. In-market leverage: seeking out new growth opportunities among your existing customers in your core market as currently defined.
  2. Near-market expansion: pursuing opportunities in unfamiliar sectors or with new products. This approach is also known as expansion through adjacency.
  3. Disruptive growth: responding to dramatic change with entirely new business models and capabilities if and as appropriate. Though important at times, this is rarer than many business people think and should manage only if you have a clear idea of how to link your existing capabilities system to the new one you will need.
  4. Capability development: building distinctive organizational proficiency in a way that supports the other three forms of growth. This can be accomplished through a variety of means, including M&A, innovation, and operations improvements.

All four of these topics may seem familiar; they have been discussed over the years at most companies. But they fail to observe the linkages among them. By strengthening those linkages, your company can enter into a cycle of ongoing self-renewal.

Headroom for Growth

Companies frequently overlook the growth opportunities that are right in front of them. Sometimes they are tempted by attractive-looking opportunities in other markets, or lured by the idea of diversification into other businesses. Sometimes, they simply haven’t spent enough time trying to imagine how their approach in an existing market could be changed to unlock additional growth. The answer lies in finding headroom: potential new business in an existing market.

This cycle of continuous growth has given Cintas strong and consistent financial performance over the decades, and enabled the company to successfully weather the post-2008 downturn. Today, Cintas is one of the largest business services suppliers in North America; it employs 30,000 people, serves more than 900,000 customers, and maintains 430 facilities, including six manufacturing plants and nine distribution centers.

Companies that have struggled to grow consistently tend to think about growth in terms of contradictions: sticking with their current markets versus moving into new ones; leveraging versus enhancing their capabilities; growing their current business versus expanding via M&A; “staying true to themselves” versus leaving their corporate identity behind — but these are all false choices.

The art of continuous growth involves reconciling activities that only seem to contradict one another. Combining them will yield a capabilities-driven strategy that will generate continuous growth.


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