Is my company ready for growth?

The ideal state for an entrepreneurial endeavor is profitable, ongoing growth. Such a firm has scalable processes and knows how to attract and retain new customers. The value of this company will increase year after year while ongoing operations provide a healthy cash flow to the investor.

Few companies achieve this level for very long if ever. However, a formula for the ideal state exists for every firm and reaching that state is a reasonable and worthy goal for anyone that wants to start the journey. However attractive this ideal is, you probably have some doubts about your firm’s ability to succeed with a growth initiative. This short assessment will provide some indication of your current state and what a reasonable next step would be in your journey to the Ideal State.

Answer each question by choosing the most honest answer that reflects how your company behaves:

1. You are offered a guaranteed opportunity that will add 50% more business at a time when you are at full capacity. Which response is most like you?
Ask your team what they think
Agree to the work then announce it to the team
Try to negotiate a smaller, more manageable piece of the project
Turn the work down citing capacity issues
IDK, never had an opportunity like this before
2. When new opportunities come along, which area of your business is most likely to object
Finance – we can’t afford the receivables/investment/additional payroll
Sales – we can’t service the accounts we have now
Operations – we can’t work any harder
Supply Chain – our suppliers cannot meet the demand
None – we never turn down new business
3. A key longtime employee leaves the company. Do you…
Immediately promote his/her direct report
Place an ad for the position
Try to run without that person for a while and see what happens
Hire one of the many candidates you have standing by
Look at ways to restructure before replacing the role
4. You hire a manager from outside the company and they introduce new processes. Does the team…
Resist changes from an outsider
Go along with ideas without question
Try the ideas out before deciding whether they will follow
Work with the manager to design new processes
I have no idea how they would respond
5. Your biggest customer announces that they want the same product/service for 10% less or will immediately switch to a new supplier. Which response is most like you?
Agree – we can’t lose the business
Reject – we can replace this work with something more profitable
Attempt to negotiate changes in the product/service that will allow cost reductions
Agree – but reduce service levels
Reject – and consider immediate employee layoffs
6. How would you BEST describe your company’s revenue over the past FIVE years
We grow steadily every year
We grow/shrink year to year but stay roughly the same size
We are very flat year to year
We do more work for the same money
We have been declining in revenue
7. How would you BEST describe your company’s profits over the past FIVE years?
Profit increases steadily every year
Profit rises and falls and I don’t know why
Profit rises and falls due to tax management decisions
Profit seems to be steadily falling
Profit is steady but owner benefits are shrinking