The possibilities may be endless, but your resources are not. For many business owners with limited time and money, deciding which ideas to pursue can be a challenge. Here are three ways to prioritize your options for growth:

1. Start with your company vision

The best way to make sure you’re moving in the right direction is to take a step back from all of your ideas and begin by looking at your vision for your company. Who do you want to be as a company? When you have a clear picture of your goal in mind, it will be easier to visualize what steps you need to take in order to achieve it. Without a clear vision you could end up pursuing options that actually drag you in an opposite direction.

2. Use tools to stay objective

While it’s natural to be somewhat subjective, after all business growth is exciting, you don’t want to make decisions based on emotions alone. Try bringing objectivity into your decision-making process by using tools to evaluate and compare your options. When it comes to external, growth, we typically use the Market Criteria Matrix to evaluate the best markets for growth and the Prospect Criteria Matrix to evaluate acquisition prospects. This tool can be adapted to evaluate any opportunity for growth.

Keeping your vision in mind, develop about six key criteria of your ideal opportunity. Next, you develop metrics to quantify the criteria. For example, if one of your goals is to expand your operations to the West Coast, one of your criterion would be location and the metric could be located on the West Coast. Give each option a rating using a 1-10 scale and see how well the options compare to each other and to the criteria you’ve established.

3. Gather data

Making a decision without the proper information can be a big mistake. Conduct research to validate (or invalidate) your assumptions. You don’t have to uncover every granular detail, but it will be helpful to have an understanding of trends and how they will impact your market in the future. One of the best sources of information about the marketplace is your customers. Try identifying the needs and wants of current and future customers. It may even be as simple as conducting a customer survey or asking your sales department for input.

While it can be overwhelming to process through all your options for growth, the good news is that you have many options! Hopefully these three suggestions will help you organize your thoughts as you plan your next steps.

Photo Credit: Bs0u10e0 via Flickr cc

When you think growing your business in 2017, you probably picture hiring more sales people, opening a new branch, developing additional products or acquiring state-of-the-art technology. Today I want to introduce a new concept for consideration: growing by exiting a business. Before you immediately dismiss the idea, take a moment to challenge your assumptions about company growth and allow yourself to be open to a new perspective. The reality is in some cases exiting may be the best path for growing your company.

Here are three ways exiting can help you grow.

  1. Get Focused – By exiting non-core business lines you can be focus on what you’re really good at. Take P&G for example. Over the last few years the company has adopted a strategic focus and shed over 105 brands in order to focus on 10 fast-growing categories. Shedding these non-core business lines will help P&G become more profitable. You may have some business lines you want to divest so that you can refocus your strategy and resources on what you truly excel at.
  2. Avoid Losses – If a part of your business is no longer profitable, you should evaluate whether or not you should keep going. Maintaining a business simply because you’ve always done so is not a good reason. The world changes and it may be that your customers no longer have a need for this product. For example, it would be crazy to continue manufacturing VCRs in today’s world.
  3. Grow Your Bottom Line – While overall sales or number of customers may shrink if you exit a market, your overall profit may grow. We once worked with an American manufacturer who made millions of die-casting products for various industrial customers. Unfortunately, many of their customers were purchasing cheaper products from China. Faced with this competition, our client decided to reinvent themselves into a maker of specialty components for the aerospace industry. They sold their old equipment and purchased the latest technology. As a result, their customer base shrunk tremendously, but profit rose.

When we hear the word “growth,” we automatically think about “more,” “bigger,” “expanding” not “less,” “smaller” or “shrinking.” While many would never consider exiting a business in order to grow, I encourage you to consider it as you develop your strategic growth plan.

Learn more about growing your business in our webinar 5 Options for Growth.

Photo credit: Maxime Guilbot via Flickr cc

Ford announced it would acquire Chariot, a shuttle-van startup based in San Francisco, in order to expand beyond auto manufacturing and become a mobility company. This is the first acquisition by Ford Smart Mobility, which was established in March of 2016 in order to focus on “emerging mobility services.” Ford reportedly paid $65 million for Chariot.

Chariot uses 100 Ford Transit vans to offer rides to commuters along 28 routes in the San Francisco Bay Area. After the acquisition, Chariot will leverage Ford’s expertise in logistics and vehicle operations as well as use data algorithms to schedule trips in real time. Together Chariot and Ford plan to expand to at least five more markets. Ford already has shuttle programs in Kansas City, Missouri, and Dearborn Michigan. Ford intends to focus on other forms of transportation including bikes, dynamic shuttles and more, according to Jim Hackett, the chairman of Ford Smart Mobility.

Ford will also partner with Motivate to expand a bike sharing program in the Bay Area. Through the partnership, the program will grow to from 700 to 7,000 bikes and be renamed Ford GoBike.

Auto Manufacturing in Decline

To put it nicely, the outlook for auto manufacturing is pretty bleak. Competitors like Zipcar, Uber and Lyft and new technologies have disrupted the traditional automotive industry. Consumers today are buying fewer cars and option for public transportation or car sharing instead. The trend is not limited to millennials, in fact, according to a study published by University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, fewer middle-aged adults in their 30s and 40s had driver’s licenses in 2014 than did in 1983. Ford is by no means the only car manufacturer to see that its market is shrinking. Earlier this year GM invested $500 million in Lyft to invest in self-driving car partnership.

How to Grow in a Shrinking Market

What’s your market outlook? While your business may be profitable today, if you’re in a shrinking market, future growth will be challenging. Faced with a declining market, now is the time to consider your options and next steps to ensure long term growth. You made focus on building your own solution organically or you may decide to partner with another company to rapidly gain access to a new market. In the case of Ford, the acquisition will allow the company to rapidly gain a foothold in the growing market of ride-sharing and alternate means of transportation.

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr cc

Sometimes, a business must first become smaller in order to grow. What I mean is that in order to focus on your strategic goals and respond to changes in demand and in the market, you may need to less of something. This includes stopping a specific product line, shedding customers, or even divesting of an entire business line. This way, you can adjust your strategy and refocus resources (both time and money) on your core competencies so that your business can grow long-term

Take Nestle, as an example. Over the past two years the company has divested of underperforming brands like Jenny Craig, Power Bar and Juicy Juice in order to concentrate on its core businesses.

Most recently, Nestle announced that it is in talks to form a joint venture with R&R ice cream. Nestle stated that it “would contribute its ice cream businesses in Europe, Egypt, the Philippines, Brazil and Argentina to the new joint venture. It would also transfer its European frozen food businesses, excluding pizza.”

By separating its ice cream business from its core businesses, Nestle can focus more on businesses that are aligned with its goal to be a recognized leader in Nutrition Health & Wellness. In addition, divestiture allows Nestle to rapidly adapt to a changing world and market. The mass ice cream market in particular is shifting as consumers demand healthier, fresh food or premium brands. Nestle also has struggled to compete with market leader Unilever. Forming a joint venture with R&R may allow Nestle to focus on more lucrative brands and increase the profitability of the company as a whole.

If, like Nestle, you can identify an area in your business that is not performing well, you may want to take a moment to pause and consider your options. Has customer demand changed? Are all your product lines profitable? You may want to rapidly respond to these changes. It may be as simple as discontinuing a product or service, dropping unprofitable customers, or even selling an entire piece of your business. While it may seem strange to get smaller in order to grow, these activities will help you align your business with your overall growth strategy and position your company for future growth.

Photo credit Christian Kadluba via Flickr cc

 

Most companies are seeking growth outside of their core business through organic means or mergers and acquisitions, according to a new survey by McKinsey.

What’s interesting is that although many companies want to expand beyond their mainstay business, most do not have the capabilities to do so. Here are three best practice steps noted for successfully growing in new categories:

  1. Scanning for expansion opportunities
  2. Evaluating expansion opportunities
  3. Integrating new activities into core business

By following these best practices, companies are two times as likely to be successful; however, McKinsey reports that only between 27% and 33% of those that they surveyed did so.

When it comes to exploring new opportunities, business leaders are often too caught up in day-to-day activities to think about the bigger picture. Many are overly concerned with their competitors or simply are at a loss when it comes to generating new ideas for growth. This also means that once an opportunity is identified, it’s often the only one considered – so of course, the company has trouble properly evaluating the single opportunity and determining whether it is a good fit. And if an opportunity is not the right fit, there will be difficulties in integrating it into the core business.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, or simply wish to improve your capabilities, here’s some advice to help with your growth efforts.

  • Start with strategy – It should go without saying, but strategy is key to success. The survey emphasized the importance of having a clear, long-term strategy: “When executives say their companies have a clear strategy for expanding into new activities, for example, they are four times more likely than those whose companies have no such strategy to report significant value creation.”
  • Consider all your growth options – Did you know there are FIVE options for growth? They are: organic, external, minimize costs, exit, and do nothing. While you may be leaning toward one of these pathways, it’s best to consider it in the context of the others. This gives you a chance to seriously evaluate all of possibilities and provides a more complete picture. By considering all five options, you will either gain confidence about the decision you’ve already made or uncover a new path for growth.
  • Use tools to generate ideas – We use tools like the Adjacency Map and the Opportunity Matrix to generate, organize and evaluate new opportunities. We find that a brainstorming session using these tools gets the ideas flowing. No idea should be off the table, no matter how remote or crazy it may seem.
  • Evaluate opportunities with criteria – Develop criteria that match your ideal opportunity. Which aspects are most important to you? Market size, demographics, technological capabilities or something else? For example, if your overall strategy is to expand into Latin America, location is clearly important. Those opportunities that allow you to expand south of the border will be evaluated more favorably that those that don’t. Once your criteria are established, compare all options against the same criteria. This will help you remain objective and strategic.
  • Develop an action plan – You need a clear plan for executing and integrating the newly acquired business (or new product or capability) with the rest of your current business. For M&A, especially, integration is the number one reason for failure – so start planning early. Your plan should, of course, be guided by your long-term growth strategy.

If you’d like to continue exploring your options for growth, download your free copy of “Finding Opportunities for Growth: The Opportunity Matrix.”

 

Have you considered all your options for growth?

I have found that some leaders are limiting their potential for company growth because they fail to examine all the possible ways to achieve it.

Some are stuck in copycat mode, constantly mimicking the strategies of their competitors and playing catch-up. Others struggle to come up with new ideas. Even leaders of companies that are growing may be missing out on key opportunities.

Five key options to consider when it comes to company growth are organic growth, minimizing costs, external growth, exiting the market and doing nothing.

Even if you think you know which option is best, I recommend you consider them all to create a complete picture of the possibilities that lie before you. This equips you to make an informed decision about the best way to grow your company.

Capstone will be exploring the five options for growth in our upcoming webinar on December 11.

You will learn to:

  • Define the five growth options as they apply to your company
  • Understand why external growth (acquisitions, joint ventures, etc.) can be the best option for your company
  • Gauge the current state of the M&A market using relevant statistics and indicators
  • Begin to develop a step-by-step M&A process for your company

Don’t let opportunities pass you by. Learn how to best position your company for success by joining us for this foundational webinar.

Date:  Thursday, December 11, 2014
Time:  1:00 PM ET
CPE Credit available.

Register: http://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3419240731938664450

Capstone CEO David Braun will present “Strategic Alliances, Joint Ventures and M&A – the Route to Success?” at the 2014 European Base Oil & Lubricants Summit in Alicante, Spain on September 18.

The two-day conference brings together leading executives and experts in the lubricant and base oil industry from established Western Europe and U.S. markets and from emerging markets, including Central and Eastern Europe, India and the Middle East.

Over 150 C-suite, senior-level executives, directors and managers will attend the summit, including representatives of such industry leaders as Chevron and ExxonMobil.

In his presentation, David will challenge attendees to consider their five options for growth as the base oil and lubricant markets face new challenges and regulatory developments. Strategic alliances, joint ventures or mergers and acquisitions can help companies identify new opportunities and ways to grow.

“I am eager to engage leaders in discussion about proactive growth and hear their analysis of market dynamics and trends,” he said.

The conference will focus on the global base oil trade, analysis of the European lubricant market, challenges and opportunities for automotive and industrial lubricants, regulatory developments and technology advancements in lubricants.

Photo Credit: Lars Plougmann via Compfight cc

Choosing the best option for growth.

More often than not we find our clients have too many choices rather than too few. The difficulty lies in prioritizing options and determining which one is the best path forward.

You may find yourself in a similar situation. With so many options how can you choose?

Although it may be tempting to tackle this challenge by deeply analyzing each option, first take a step back and evaluate your own business.

  • What is your core competency?
  • What are your current capabilities?
  • What are you strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is your vision for the future?
  • Where do you want to be tomorrow? In a year? In five years? In 10?

This self-evaluation is critical in determining your best options for growth. After all, if you don’t know where you are going, how can you possibly select the right path? With the foundation set you’ll have a clearer idea of which options will actually help you meet your goals and take your business down the right path.

The polyolefins industry, like so many others, is evolving significantly. Growth in emerging markets and Asia has skyrocketed while European and North American markets have matured.

Last week I was invited to speak at the Future of Polyolefins Conference 2014 in Dusseldorf, Germany, where top executives from key industry players such as Borealis AG and Clariant gathered to discuss industry dynamics and trends.

A resounding theme throughout the conference was the seismic shifts in demand and production the polyolefin industry. In the near future Europe will move from a net exporter to a net importer as it closes several polyolefins facilities and reduces capacity.

If regulations change, the U.S. will export more polyolefins to fill part of this gap in production. China is also ramping up its polyolefins production to match growing demand in Asia, but even with additional capacity demand will soon outstrip production over the next ten years.

Several speakers also stressed the need for diversification in order to smooth over volatility in the industry.

In this new paradigm leaders are reassessing their growth strategies and are considering external moves like strategic alliances, joint ventures and acquisitions.

In my presentation, “Strategic Alliances, Joint Ventures and M&A – the Route to Success,?” I encouraged conference attendees to consider their five options in building their growth strategy:

  1. Grow Organically
  2. Exit the Market
  3. Be the Low-Cost Provider
  4. Do Nothing
  5. Pursue External Growth

It’s important to realize you have a choice when it comes to planning your growth strategy. By evaluating all five options, you are better equipped to make the right decision and confidently execute your plan.

Photo Credit: Ian Sane via Compfight cc

Let’s admit it right away: This is a trick question. The correct answer is usually not the first answer.

Here’s a classic example from the annals of corporate America: Union Pacific thought they were in the business of railroads—the commonsense answer. In reality, they were in the business of mass transportation. Had they recognized this early enough, they might today be flying planes or building hybrid cars.

Here’s a more recent example. A client of ours supplying the upper end of the bicycle industry thought they were in the business of making brake mechanisms. Their special capacity was in lightweight solutions, and we resolved that they were in fact in the business of making racing bikes faster.

This realization led to a strategic expansion into gear systems. It took a process of careful self-examination to discover what now looks obvious but was not when we began.

So exactly what business are you in? Among all the mass of activity your company is engaged in, where is the beating heart? Step back, look at the big picture, and ask yourself: ‘‘What is our business really about?’’ The answer should be as short as you can make it:

  • ‘‘We are in the custom car auto parts business.’’
  • ‘‘We are in the investment advice business.’’
  • ‘‘We are in the residential community planning business.’’
  • ‘‘We are in the organic fertilizer business.’’

You may need to take several shots at this. There is a tendency to either be too granular (‘‘railroads’’ rather than ‘‘transportation’’) or too global (‘‘creating exceptional customer satisfaction’’). Remember that growth is your purpose. You need to define your business in a way that sets a trajectory broad enough for expansion and focused enough to stay on track.

So what business are you in? Don’t underestimate how powerful this apparently simple question can be. Your decision will almost certainly impact the trajectory of growth you choose.

What makes this so important is that in a world of rapid change and expanding global markets, you face an almost intolerable surfeit of opportunities. Without being anchored in a strong, unmistakable self-definition, you will be easily dragged this way and that.

*This post was adapted from David Braun’s Successful Acquisitions, available at Amazon.com

Verso Paper announced that it would acquire NewPage Holdings in a deal worth $1.4 billion. NewPage rejected a similar offer from Verso in 2012, also valued at $1.4 billion. So what changed this time around? Quite simply, it’s the environment: Both paper companies realize the paper market is shrinking and that’s not about to change any time soon.

One of the top reasons for acquisition is to expand in a declining market. Acquiring a bigger portion of a waning market allows a company to maintain or even increase revenues while waiting for the market to rebound. The Verso Paper-NewPage acquisition fits into this category.

The paper industry is facing stiff competition from online and digital media and is under pressure from environmental issues. According to the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), production in 2013 was flat compared to 2012 and the market is expected to grow just 1% in 2014. Compared quarter-by-quarter, paper production momentum declined by 6%. To survive, the two paper companies need each other. By combining they can own a larger slice of a smaller market and leverage cost synergies from economies of scale.

If you’re in a static or declining market, don’t despair! There are plenty of creative solutions to ensure your company grows despite what’s happening in the market. Analyze your current position, think about your growth options and develop your strategic plan.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out using the comment box below.

Photo Credit: Kristina D.C. Hoeppner via Flickr cc

As we close out 2013 and look toward 2014, many are evaluating their strategic plans for the coming year. Over the past year, with the economic downturn and regulatory uncertainty, many companies have stood on the sidelines unsure of the best path forward.

I invite you to join me for a webinar on Finding Opportunities for Growth on December 13.  I’ll explore how you can evaluate your current situation and develop a strategic plan for growth.

After attending this webinar you will be able to:

  • Define the five growth options for your company
  • Explain why external growth (acquisition, joint venture, etc.) can be the best option for your company
  • Describe the current state of the M&A market using relevant statistics and indicators
  • Begin to develop a formalized step-by-step M&A process for your company

Click here to register: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/209451942

CPE credit is available

Photo Credit: Adam Selwoodvia via Flickr cc

If your company’s organic growth has hit a plateau or is in decline, leaving the current market may be your best option. If the odds against your success are rising steadily, I strongly encourage you to think about divestment.

After seven years, British supermarket chain Tesco is exiting the U.S. market. Tesco is selling its Fresh & Easy stores to Yucaipa, owned by American Ron Burkle. Since entering the U.S. market in 2007, Tesco has unsuccessfully sought to accelerate growth and reach profitability in its stores by changing store interiors and product ranges, and through stronger marketing. Tesco’s investment in the U.S. has cost about $2.85bn in losses.

Some executives find it hard to even consider divesting a business. They may feel the need to stay the course, given the time and effort spent or because they are emotionally attached to the business. It’s important to avoid using these “sunk costs” as a rationale for blindly continuing down a loss-making path. I recommend using measurable criteria to determine if the market is the best place for your business.

Remember, getting out of one market may allow you to enter another market better suited to your core competencies.

 

Photo Credit: Ian Muttoo via Compfight cc

When you think about your company’s growth, ask yourself, “What is our risk tolerance?” The answer is key to formulating your strategy.  You cannot succeed with a plan for growth that pushes too far beyond the level of risk that is acceptable in your company.

If you are the sole owner, the level of risk tolerance is fairly easy to establish.  If there are multiple owners, as is often the case, then answering the question is a little harder.

So, how do you discover the risk tolerance of your company?

From my experience as a consultant, I have found that while asking people directly about their risk tolerance yields some useful information, it is more valuable to look at what they actually do. We often misjudge our own relation to risk and imagine our tolerance is lower or higher than it actually is.

Here are two simple ways to discover your company’s risk tolerance:

1) Look at your balance sheet.

Is your company cash-rich and debt free?  That tells you your tolerance for risk is probably very low – more common than not for privately held companies.

If there is a significant debt-to-equity ratio, you have an enterprise that is willing to exploit the benefits of leverage and assume the inevitable risks that come with debt.

 2) Study your process for buying capital equipment.

If the buying process is fairly swift and is delegated to relatively few individuals, risk tolerance is probably quite high.

If the process is laborious, with complex approval procedures, risk tolerance is more likely to be low.

Knowing your risk tolerance is important because it impacts the kinds of growth tactics and financial models you will be willing to adopt.  Risk tolerance will also impact the kinds of acquisition partner you will feel comfortable with.

If you have a low risk tolerance and you acquire a company comfortable with high risk, you may experience a backwash of anxiety. Conversely, if you are fairly adventurous and buy an extremely risk-averse company, you will face constant headaches trying to move your new partner into action.

 

*This post was adapted from David Braun’s  Successful Acquisitions, available at Amazon.com

Photo courtesy of topher76 cc

The fifth and final pathway to growth is external growth. Here, expansion is achieved by engaging with entities outside your company. There are many forms of engagement, of which acquisition is but one. External growth can be one of the most exciting paths to growth and in many cases, it should top your list of potential strategies. However, I want to ensure that you see external growth within the context of the other four alternatives we’ve been looking at in recent posts, so you can make an informed decision. Once you have considered each of the five pathways to growth, you can carefully assess which pathway would best serve your company.

This post is part of a series on considering your options for growth. Read the introduction here. The five pathways to growth are:

  1. Grow Organically
  2. Exit the Market
  3. Be the Low-Cost Provider
  4. Do Nothing
  5. Pursue External Growth

Of course, doing nothing is rarely if ever a pathway to growth. However, it is a choice that companies actually make every day. ‘‘Choice’’ may be an overstatement. Few executives or board members sit down, open their flipcharts, and plan a careful do-nothing strategy. They drift into it by default. When things seem to be going more or less satisfactorily, we all get tempted to keep doing what we are most accustomed to. However, the long-term costs can be disastrous.

Take a couple of well-known historic examples: Montgomery Ward and Kmart. These two retail giants both assumed that past success was a guarantee of future performance. But the world changed around them: Consumers became more demanding both for price and quality, while the supply chain was transformed by globalization. Now the companies are two great symbols of corporate failure.

What does this mean for you? The main lesson is that the do nothing strategy can creep up on you. Take a look at your current business strategy and ask if you are assuming a future that is simply a repetition of the present. Continue to actively ask “What if?” questions and always remember to focus on future demand.

This post is part of a series on considering your options for growth. Read the introduction here. The five pathways to growth are:

  1. Grow Organically
  2. Exit the Market
  3. Be the Low-Cost Provider
  4. Do Nothing
  5. Pursue External Growth

 

Photo Credit: Fey Ilyas via Compfight cc

Sometimes organic growth can be achieved by dramatically cutting costs. I call this the “jellyfish strategy” : you go up when the tide is up and out when the tide goes out. There may not be many natural predators, so you will survive, but this approach is unlikely to drive long-term expansion.

Note, that being the lowest cost provider is distinct from being the lowest priced. We have a client that makes quality dog food cheaper than any other player, but they sell it at market price. Their strength lies in their operations and technology, and all the benefit goes to their bottom line.

This post is part of a series on considering your options for growth. Read the introduction here. The five pathways to growth are:

  1. Grow Organically
  2. Exit the Market
  3. Be the Low-Cost Provider
  4. Do Nothing
  5. Pursue External Growth
Photo Credit: Tracy O via Compfight cc

If your company’s organic growth has hit a plateau or is in decline, leaving the current market is an option that should be seriously considered before you embark on any other growth solutions. As I previously mentioned, growth does not necessarily mean getting bigger. Sometimes the best pathway to growth is to get out of the market you are in. For example, last year, Nike divested Umbro and Cole Haan. This will allow Nike to focus on its core competencies and the areas they want to grow.

Nike

Divestment will allow Nike to focus on its core competencies

This post is part of a series on considering your options for growth. Read the introduction here. The five pathways to growth are:

  1. Grow Organically
  2. Exit the Market
  3. Be the Low-Cost Provider
  4. Do Nothing
  5. Pursue External Growth
Image courtesy of llamnuds

In my previous post, I mentioned the five pathways to growth. The first pathway is organic growth.  Organic growth is business as usual. It is growth through acquiring more customers or selling more products. You may be reading this blog because on some level your organic growth has stalled. But before you rush to adopt another strategy, consider some creative ways to re-energize your organic growth.

For example, one of our clients produced galvanized steel for railings and protective barriers. One of their main competitors was concrete – a viable alternative for building barriers – which has one simple advantage. You can paint concrete, which makes for a wider choice of looks than galvanized steel. This company needed to rethink who they were. They had become so identified with zinc that they neglected to realize they were in the business of providing solutions for railings and barriers. After this realization, they launched a new product line: paint for steel. Now they could add color to their product and provide a choice of looks to fend off the competition.

When organic growth stagnates, be prepared to go back to the fundamentals. At the same time, be prepared to think outside the box and search for less-than-obvious solutions.

The five pathways to growth are:

  1. Grow Organically
  2. Exit the Market
  3. Be the Low-Cost Provider
  4. Do Nothing
  5. Pursue External Growth

As you focus your attention on the growth of your company, there are five key pathways to consider:

  1. Grow Organically
  2. Exit the Market
  3. Be the Low-Cost Provider
  4. Do Nothing
  5. Pursue External Growth

Before you even start planning an acquisition, remember there are other growth options available. It is an important realization that you do have a choice. This way, you can make an informed decision and understand exactly why you chose your path to growth and not another.

In my future posts I will discuss the five pathways to growth in more detail.