Many companies set high expectations for growth, but few manage to expand sustainably and profitably year after year. At Whitehawk Advisors we assist Business Owners build a sustainable business for the long term.
The attached Bain & Co audio and slide presentation struck a chord with me as it parallels a lot of what we do with our clients. In the slide presentation Partner James Allen talks about the “five pillars of sustainable growth,” It’s a 10 minute slide show so here’s a quick summary:
Roughly one in 10 companies grow sustainably and profitably. 90% of companies fail to hit the growth projections they’re putting in their own annual reports. When asked what the barriers to growth were, in the majority of cases the answer was the business’ own internal complexity.
Taking that feedback the 5 pillars to growth were developed. They are:
- You have to have a strong, well-defined core business that you drive to its full potential by focusing on a few things and doing them well;
- Be a leader in your field. Focus on those core businesses where you’re leading and get better performance from them;
- Be maniacally focused on customer advocacy. Worry about what you’re doing with your customers, first and foremost. Those companies that grow sustainably have twice the level of advocacy as the followers in their industry;
- If you have to move into businesses outside your core, make sure you’re incredibly disciplined, because adjacency expansions often kill businesses;
- Leverage a repeatable model. Figure out what it is that you do incredibly well that can be translated into a front-line routine and do it again and again.
In our experience, the ability to plan, focus, and execute continue to be the key attributes of a successful business. The 5 pillars discussed in the presentation simply confirm our view. Enjoy the video!