Last edition I looked at how I help businesses when they are struggling — now it’s time to talk about how I work with companies who want to seriously focus on growth.

A starting point for this will be setting goals.

I often hear phrases like “I want to double the business” or “I want to sell it one day and retire”.

Yet when I enquire about the plan to achieve that ambition, the answer can often be fairly vague:

We have to work harder, maybe borrow some money”.

The idea of ‘just working harder’ probably won’t work. Why? If you just keep on working and thinking in the same way, nothing is likely to change substantially.

For example, I recently worked with a business owner who was looking to eventually sell and they even had a value in mind.

I asked about the plan, as their valuation represented a significant increase in the current position. Their answer was ‘to borrow and invest in a new sales person and see what happens’.

The date for their exit plan was five years on and I was able to plot a path to this point, using their own valuation and demonstrated that they would need to be doubling their revenue every year, assuming margins didn’t change.

The owner looked at the figure for the end of year one and went quiet for a moment and then responded with:

“The only way we could do that number is to take on two more sales people, put three more on the road doing installations, as well as someone else in the office. We would have to drop two smaller contracts and start bidding for some larger ones, then look at how we could improve the margins, reduce supply costs with better bulk discounts maybe…

I pointed out how their language, approach and energy had changed in seconds –just from setting a path towards a goal.

There was a huge ‘wow’ moment and produced a smile on the owner’s face — they had simply not thought in this way before.

We then spent time looking in more detail at how the targets might be achieved — where the margin could be improved, where volume break points would help, whether the current service and products had the potential and where other products or services would be needed.

This led to a growth plan which included expanded premises, a new software system, product development and most importantly, targeting a different tier in the supply chain.

This is the power of setting goals. They focus the energy and activities of the business in a way organic growth probably never will, transforming the chances of success and reducing the risks.

If I can support you to set goals and help your business grow, feel free to contact me for an initial conversation, free of charge.

Email or visit my website at