Business Growth – The C.O.R.E. of Your Business

C.O.R.E. Business Growth Workshops

Business Growth – Working on Your C.O.R.E.℠

A Strong Body includes a Strong C.O.R.E.℠ – So Does Successful Business GrowthCORE Business Growth

Your business’s strength is built by having the fundamentals defined, the processes in place, and a strategy for success. Business growth requires that certain key elements, C.O.R.E.℠ elements, be in place to enable profitability and growth. So your business needs to put in place the key elements from the start. The C.O.R.E.℠ Genesis program focuses our clients on those fundamentals during the start-up process. C.O.R.E.℠ Genesis is also used during a business redesign to enable us to restructure and realign the business to improve effectiveness (reach the customer) and efficient (maximize resource utilization).

Once the foundation is in place, then the business can work on C.O.R.E.℠Growth elements.

C.O.R.E.℠ Business Growth – Grow Stronger with Success Infrastructure

In C.Business Growth CORE Business SystemO.R.E. Growth, the company builds the infrastructure and systems that enable success. These growth factors are:

Customer — By establishing a clearly defined problem to be solved or a need to meet and who has that need, your business can focus its efforts, hone its message, and position itself to serve a segment of the customer market. Getting the customer is the realization of the market Opportunity identified in C.O.R.E. Genesis.

Operations — The systems and processes are the how you deliver to the customer, how you execute on your promises and pursue opportunities. Operations include the administrative elements of the business — accounting, human resources, purchasing, and the back office elements that impact the customer experience indirectly.

Results — Results are two-fold. In results, the business needs to understand the result it delivers to the customer, especially the benefits from the client’s perspective that provide value. The customer result is what enables the business’s result. The business results are the goals, performance metrics, and performance management system that allow the business to grow and thrive.

Execution — This is the make it happen element of the firm. If a company can’t execute, it can’t deliver to the customer the promised solution. If a business can’t execute, then it doesn’t matter how great the idea and business model are or how big the market opportunity is, the business will fail.

Business Growth – Align the Elements

So, every business needs growth. The growth target may be a conservative 1 or 2% or an aggressive 15, 20, or even 100%. The growth rate for your business needs to stretch you, but not break you. Growth is divided into three essential components: Revenue, Profits, and Cash.

Before you set your targets for the future, you need to know where you are now. Products, lines of business, and customers produce current revenues, and profits (which is not the same thing as cash).

A current client project provides an excellent example of the importance of aligning your goals with your C.O.R.E.℠.  This particular client company wants to go from being a small business/lifestyle company to a growth-oriented small business with the goal to grow strategically with the ultimate purpose of being acquired by another corporation.

The project began with an assessment of performance over the past five years with an emphasis on the complete last year of operation and year-to-date numbers for the current calendar year. The analysis revealed that of the seven lines of business, only four were profitable. This was an important revelation that led to the next question:

Does the client want to make changes to keep those lines of business or do they want to stop providing those products and services to decide which to keep, which to focus on improving profitability, and which to stop offering?

The next step included defining job roles, performance metrics, incentives, and compensation. So far the client is exceeding all performance goals set and the focus for next year is on growing the profitable lines of business and adding capacity.

Business Growth Requires A Laser Focus on the Problem

Business growth requires a laser focus a particular problem or need. The people who have that problem become your primary market niche. The customers within that niche, become your main focus. You generate growth by honing your message, your services, your solution to meet the need and solve the problem of that major customer.

Traditionally, the sequence most businesses go through to grow their business is:

  1. Decide what to sell.
  2. Decide tp whom to sell it.
  3. Start selling.
  4. Struggle selling.

Consider a different sequence.

  1. Identify the unsolved problem FOCUS Resources C.O.R.E. Business Growth Priority Pyramidor unmet you are capable of solving.
  2. Understand who has that problem or need.
  3. Identify who is willing to invest in solving the problem or filling the need.
  4. Create a marketing message focused on those customers who will invest in a solution.
  5. Make a connection with those prospects that recognize they have a problem, are in pain.
  6. Serve those prospects with valuable content they can use.
  7. Make an offer to those prospects demonstrating the result.

The C.O.R.E. Business System priority sequence enables you to build a foundation for growth from day one through the life of your business. Using this sequence, you will be able to adapt to market changes, the needs of your customers, and identify new opportunities when needed just by following these steps.

The C.O.R.E. foundation elements create the ability to build a successful, profitable business is the capacity to identify a problem to solve, find the customers who have that problem, and then address the problem for them. This then is the  C.O.R.E.℠ to business growth:

  1. The Customer
  2. Your Operations
  3. Targeted Results
  4. Your Execution

Articles and Podcasts

  • Organic or Cultivated Clients? Which Do You Want? (9/23/2016) by Lea Strickland - These days the term “organic” seems ubiquitous.  Organic has come to mean more than the traditional dictionary definition. In this instance, I want to talk about organic growth as it relates to a natural process that is without direct intervention or influence. Looking at that definition, let me clarify further. Organically Grown Let’s say you decide to open a retail store. It could be just about any retail product, but let’s say it is a clothing store. Now if you locate that clothing store next to a large retailer, say a grocery store in a shopping mall, you will have ...
  • Haste Makes Waste: Do It Right the First Time (9/21/2016) by Lea Strickland - Haste makes waste is a common saying. Another common saying is time is money. Time, like money, is always in short supply in organizations. Every moment is precious, so the question is: “If you don’t have time to spare, how do you have time to fix a problem when you did not have time to do things right the first time?” Now, I recognize that every person and business will drop the ball at some point. It is simply human nature that sometimes we will lose track of a commitment, have an accident, or Murphy’s Law will come into play. ...
  • Where is Your Business Located? Realist Road (9/14/2016) by Lea Strickland - Normally when I am writing about the location of your business, I am focused on the physical or virtual locations of the business. Today I want to focus on the mental or psychological location of your perspective on your business. In working with clients, the success of organizations is impacted by their leaders’ perspectives on events, opportunities, results, and the future. Leaders tend to locate their businesses one of three categories: Optismist Overlook, Pessimist Place, or Realist Road. Welcome to Optimist Overlook When you visit Optimist Overlook, the business may reside at the corner of WishfulThinking and Hope Is My ...
  • Strategic Plan: Your Five-Year Roadmap to Success (9/7/2016) by Lea Strickland - Too often, the owners of many businesses of all sizes and industries don’t see the need for a strategic plan. They make critical decisions on which deals to do, what systems to put in place, and who to hire based on the current vision of the business. They focus on the near term of the current year or at best the year to come. In the past month, I have met with non-profits and for-profits who have yet to even think about a budget for next year, let alone a five-year plan for their organizations. When pressed for revenue and ...
  • Is your Business Performance FINE? (9/1/2016) by Lea Strickland - Does your day start something like this? “How are you today?” “Fine.” This is a typical exchange that occurs for most of us daily. A variation is going to a networking event or business function and “How’s business?” “Fine.” But is your business really FINE? Financially strong, Increasing customer base, New opportunities to pursue, and Exceeding expectations. In today’s world, many businesses are fine, meaning simply “okay.” They are going along and if not thriving at least surviving. But don't you want more for your business? Wouldn’t it be great if you: Didn’t have to worry about having enough in ...
  • Business by the Numbers: Financial Oversight (8/24/2016) by Lea Strickland - Internal Controls and Financial Oversight When it comes to growing your business, you can't afford to not understand the financial perspective of their business. Whether it is the day-to-day performance, budgets, taxes, or other aspects of accounting for your business, you can’t afford not to do business by the numbers. Financial oversight cannot be fully delegated to employees or co-owners. You have to be in the numbers to monitor results. Unfortunately, for many small business owners, technology creators, and other innovators, the simple fact is that too few are trained on the ins and outs of the financial side of ...
  • It IS About the Customer! Know and Serve Them. (8/23/2016) by Lea Strickland - Whether our organization is for-profit, not-for-profit, or a government agency, what we do is about the customer. Sometimes we forget that. We get so caught up in "the business" that we lose sight of "the customer." What’s worse is that sometimes we aren't really sure who they are. A recent conversation with a marketing colleague centered on how many business owners and operators aren't clear just who their customer is. As a consequence, they don’t know where they need to focus their attention and efforts to reach them, and end up playing a guessing game: Is it the consumer? Is ...
  • Check Your Priorities: Real World Lessons Learned (8/17/2016) by Lea Strickland - Many years ago (I won’t say how many), I had a new boss (we’ll call him “Kevin”). He was actually my supervisor’s boss. Kevin had spent most of his career in communication roles (he created presentations and documents to give to the board.) When Kevin came from a part of the organization whose priorities were presentations (pretty ones) into the department I worked for he was coming into a working group that on a daily basis created transactions that enabled the business to produce products. In my case, I had double duty working with two different groups as their support ...
  • Looking Inside the Gig Economy with GigSalad CEO/Founder Mark Steiner (5/26/2016) by Adrian Bostic - If you are in the music industry or other creative endeavors (e.g., acting, speaking), then you have been living in a “gig economy”[1] for your entire career. Gigs have been around for centuries. However, the gig has come to a new level of visibility in recent years with technology platforms and economic shifts that have challenged businesses and talent not traditionally viewed as gigs to take a new look at how we do business. For those of us who live by the gig (yes, consulting is another type of gig), the biggest challenges are connecting our services, skills, and talents ...
  • 10 Elements of Successful Businesses (5/3/2016) by Lea Strickland - While every business has elements that are unique to it. Every successful business shares common characteristics with other successful businesses. Concept The first element of a successful business is a clear concept of what the business is and does. This concept is more than the idea for a product or service or technology. It includes and understanding that there is a market need and opportunity that seems to have the potential for profit. In the initial stage of defining your business concept you may not know the true market potential, but you have identified through observation, trends, or personal experience ...