In a highly competitive worldwide market, companies get only a tiny chance of making it big. Less than a quarter of the software, internet, and IT services companies reach over $100 million in revenue. But even if they do, what’s even more important and worthy of attention is this: success is fleeting.
Last year, QUALITANCE made it as a supergrower (with a top 283% growth rate from 2011 to 2014) in two prestigious reports: Deloitte Fast 50 and, more recently, Inc. 5000 Europe, being the 4th Romanian software company in the top. We already talked about what our 7 rules of company growth are were but there’s another essential variant in the equation: maintaining fast-growth. Around 85% of supergrowers are unable to keep up their own pace and once they lose it, less than 25% are able to gain it back.Even if they do, the recaptured growth scores around half of the initial rate. What’s that fatal mistake? Are there big “no-no”s for companies in order to maintain their growth? There’s no universal recipe, of course, but we comes to those three rules:
1. Management should actually DO stuff. The difference between a company that grows constantly at a spectacular rate and one who doesn’t is in what they do, not in what they know. When management gets strictly strategic (and talky), that’s when things break. Because they think up big programs and big ideas, but delegate too loosely the implementation – I gave my guys the strategy, the idea, so from now on it’s simple, right? Wrong.
2. Do the little things. There are a thousand ideas that can make small differences in your business. And you know them all. And some are really really simple: fix that printer on the second floor so people don’t have to come all the way down, or move that shredder that drives people nuts with noise out of the open office space. Literally thousands. But how many such small improvements have you accomplished this week? Oh, the CEO was doing strategy, and he’s too high up to think about the little stuff? Bad news.
3. Define what growth looks like for you, more than in numbers. Sure, you want to triple your revenues and double your profit margin. That’s great. And, generally, metrics are great – they’re like the pulse of a human: it doesn’t say that someone is healthy, but it can definitely tell you when someone is sick.
A) metrics are of many types, not just financial. How about customer satisfaction? How about how happy the people in the company are?
B) beyond metrics, you need purpose. What is your moonshot? What are you trying to accomplish in the world? What is the star you want to reach and pocket? If you don’t have one, and are just trying to lift a plane as high as possible, well, you’ll hit your limits pretty soon.