As many firms in our industry are still reeling from a tough market for what they do, it is becoming almost blasphemous to suggest that they get back to a growthphilosophy. It’s not that most people who own firms in our business don’t want to grow. They would LIKE to— but it’s risky. It may not pay off. They got burned the last time they went through a growth spurt and ended up with too much overhead. And they don’t have the capital to grow. None of these reasons, of course, overshadow the good things that come from the simple pursuit of growth. These include renewed motivation levels of the staff (don’t underestimate this one!) with the increased production capacity that comes along with everyone working harder. Or, how about the increased effectiveness of recruiting efforts for top talent? When the place is energized and committed to growth, good people actually want to work there. And you cannot forget that de-emphasizing cost control and redirecting energies toward growth is just much more fun. Once growth actually materializes (as contrasted with the process of making efforts to grow), the benefits become even more apparent. Profitability increases because revenue starts growing faster than expenses. New economies of scale evidence themselves. Larger firms get bigger projects from better clients. Value goes up and the stock becomes more sought out. People are happier and voluntary turnover decreases. So, tell me: am I making any sense here? Isn’t it time to stop looking back as if the best times have already come and gone, and to instead start looking forward?Take some risks! Announce your plan. Decide and act! And if things aren’t going well, make a new decision and act again! It may be a cliché, but in 2010, “grow or die” is more true than ever!Originally published 7/19/2010
About Zweig Group
Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
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