Learning Module F- Growth Strategies

1        Growth Strategies

The word growth has many different interpretations. It can mean, “to grow in physical size” or, “the process of increasing amount, value, and importance.” In the business world, growth is an essential part of the survival of a company and business. Business growth can be achieved by increasing profit by selling more products and boosting the service income, or by minimizing costs. It is important to implement strong Growth Strategies to allow for optimal success and to grow your business in positive ways.

 

1.1       Strategies

When looking at strategies that can work for business, there are four main strategies that all form the Product-Market Expansion Grid. These strategies are Market Penetration, Market Development, Product Development, and Diversification.

 

  1. Market Penetration- increasing the market share of an existing product, or promoting a new product through different strategies
    1. Market Penetration is used by marketing existing products in the same market it has been using, but the business must increase the market share. Market share is the percent of unit and dollar sales in a market compared to other competitors. To increase market share, the prices can be lowered.
  2.  Market Development- creating or offering a product to a larger variety of a market, whether it be into a new demographic or geographic.
    1. Market expansion is a smart strategy when looking at competitor’s markets. If they are unable to expand into new markets, you have the upper hand because they will not be able to increase the sales and profits. A small company may also use this strategy to find new uses for its product.
  3. Product Development- creating a new product, or adding on to the current product that is being developed.
    1. A company would typically use this approach when current products are no longer selling. New capabilities and skills may be required by the company to successfully develop products. This strategy is likely to be more expensive than the market focused tactics and requires more time. Emphasis needs to be placed on a detailed analysis of customer needs, research and development, and early introduction to ensure products are first to market.
  4. Diversification- introducing new products to new markets
    1. Diversification is the riskiest of all the approaches. This strategy requires the highest amount of investment of both time and resources. While this approach is likely to be the costliest, diversification offers a company security and an advantage should it suffer in one part of the business because it can then rely on another.

1.2       Product Market Expansion Grid (Tanner)

The Product Market Expansion Grid also called the Ansoff Matrix, is a tool used to develop business growth strategies by examining the relationship between new and existing products, new and existing markets, and the risk associated with each possible relationship. The matrix aids growth plans through the introduction of existing or new products, in existing or new markets.

 To understand the Grid, one has to understand where the best opportunities are given and take a look at your current situation as well as resources. While the grid is useful for understanding how to think of business growth options, it stops short of explaining what actions you should take. Once you have identified your position on the grid, you must then conduct extensive research to allow you to take action in growing your business.

Week 8 Blog Post- Honesty

 “No legacy is so rich as honesty”

In the book “It’s a Jungle In There”, Steven Schussler states how important trust is in the business world. He talks about how being honest helped him land one of the biggest deals in his career. In life, especially when growing up, you are faced with bad situations that you could get out of with a “little white lie”. But in the long run, lying is the worst thing you can do because of the even worse situation it can put you in.

My father owns a business called Versa Technologies, and he always talks about who to hire and what to look for. Just like Disney knew about Steven Schusslers earlier doings, my dad also would look up information on future employees. He would look at their records for parking tickets or speeding tickets. He would ask the interviewee if they had ever had any of these problems and most would be honest, but some would try and hide the fact that they did these things. They obviously were not getting the job.

My dad would always tell me that trust is the easiest thing to lose but the hardest thing to get back. Once you are caught in a lie, even if it may be small, your credibility goes down the drain and many people will not be able to trust you.

It is important to tell the truth because it can lead you to better situations. Even though you may have consequences, they will be small compared to the consequences you will have if you are caught in a lie.

Week 7 Blog Post- Special People Do Special Things

Everyone feels better about themselves when someone gives a compliment. A lot of times it will increase productivity and drive, because the feeling is so intense. To be successful, incorporating this method of complementing people can improve the productivity that is in your business. In the book, It’s A Jungle In There, Steven Schussler discusses using this method in the community where he had one of his restaurants. He said that it made it easier to communicate with the people because he was involved and cared about what was going on there.

From personal experience, playing football you usually get praise or get broken down. From watching film with your coach, you can either get a good job or a terrible job. I have learned to realize that you should never let the highs get too high and the lows get too low, and I believe thats what was implemented in the meeting room. You want to praise people for a good job, but you can also not let them become complacent. It is important to know when to compliment people. Schussler talks about just giving compliments or acknowledging a recent success. These are great ways to make people feel special but you can also make them feel special by recognizing the work that they do. Being constructive and giving them positive criticism is a great way to make people work harder and respect you. If you implement this in your work space, people will want to work hard and do their best.

Schussler, S. (2010). It’s a Jungle In There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurship Daring. Sterling Publishing. New York, NY.

Week 6 Blog Post- No Days Off

Life is no bed of roses, bad things are going to happen and its going to be hard. Steven Schussler, the writer of It’s A Jungle In There, states in his book that he has been beaten down and hit hard, but he has been able to pick himself back up. He says he has never had a bad day. Being able to stay positive during hard times gives you a huge upper hand in your life and in the business world.

For the past 5 years I have played football for Western Carolina University. I have had good seasons and bad seasons. I have been beaten by three points and by 51 points. No matter what happened, I still woke up the next day with the same attitude to get better and to better my teammates. To motivate someone when they do not want to be motivated is a great feeling and is very important. Having a positive attitude is sometimes hard, but something to remember is that, to have the opportunity to wake up everyday and be with friends and family, be able to walk and talk, is more important than anything bad that can happen in your life.

To be able to wake up everyday and and live by the motto, “I have never had a bad day”, is a great achievement and they are words to live by. If you can live by those words and wake up thankful for what you do have, you will never have another bad day in your life.

Schussler, S. (2010). It’s a Jungle In There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurship Daring. Sterling Publishing. New York, NY.

Week 5 Blog Post- Keep On Keepin’ On

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination”

In Steven Schussler’s book, It’s A Jungle In There, he talks about persistence and having mental toughness to stay determined and not to give up. For many people, having the mental toughness to make it through hard times is almost impossible, but when someone is able to make it through, they come out better then when they started. A lot of mental toughness can be seen in the training of the military and athletes, but anyone can become mentally tough. People believe that to be successful, you have to be the smartest or best person in the room. That is actually very untrue. Research has shown that achievement is created by only 30% percent of your intelligence (2017). The research is showing that mental toughness is becoming more important to the success you have rather than what you know. It is not the brains or qualities of a person to be successful, but it is the perseverance and passion to achieve long term goals.

These days talent is overrated. Everyone is good at everything, but its the person who works the hardest who becomes the best. Someone who has the want- to and drive can be great at anything they put their mind to. Being mentally tough isn’t hard. It’s doing the right things all the time. In a business, it means to build people up around you, getting things done on time and working on reaching a goal everyday.

If you are persistent, you will get it…If you are consistent, you will keep it.

Schussler, S. (2010). It’s a Jungle In There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurship Daring. Sterling Publishing. New York, NY.

Clear, J. (2017, October 30). The Science of Developing Mental Toughness in Health, Work, and Life. Retrieved November 29, 2017, from https://jamesclear.com/mental-toughness

Week 4 Blog Post- Who Are You Again?

Many of my friends have graduated from college already and its time for them to be shipped off to the “real, adult world”. Before they can be completely on their own, they must first find a job. To many young people, the art of finding a job can be very hard because of the interview process. In the book, It’s A Jungle In There, Schussler discusses people won’t buy what they do not know. The same goes for a business hiring you. You will not get hired if you are not remembered and if they can’t get to know you. In this blog I am going to be talking about some interview pointers to land the job you want.

Some key pointers are:

  1. Conduct research on the Employer, and job opportunity
    • Just how the employer is learning about you, you want to learn about the employer. You want to know what the interviewer is like to get a better idea of how to handle the interview. The more research you conduct the better you will be prepared to answer questions as well as ask questions.
  2. Review common interview questions
    • Ask the hiring manager what type of interview will be conducted, will it be one-on-one or will it be a group. You want to know what kind of interview questions will be presented to you so you can have a plan in your head to the responses you will give.
  3. Dress for success
    • It’s always better to be over- dressed rather than under- dressed. Plan an outfit that fits the organizations culture you are trying to become a part of. Make sure to keep accessories and jewelry to a minimum, and if you can, try not to eat or smoke right before.
  4. Arrive on time and be relaxed
    • Be prepared, and arrive 15 minutes or more before the scheduled interview. This will give you time to review noted for yourself, as well as get a look at the workplace environment. Get extra copies of your resume as well as bring a pen and note pad. Remember to turn off your cell phone and relax.
  5. Make good first impressions
    • Make a good first impression the moment you pull up to the building. Whether you are talking to a receptionist or other staff members, be polite and have a smile. Many employers look to see how you treat the other employees when you first get there. When you meet the interviewee, have a smile, eye contact, and a firm handshake.
  6. Be original, enthusiastic, focused, and confident
    • Try and keep your responses to questions enthusiastic but short and too the point. No matter how much an interviewer baits you, do not bad mouth a previous employer or co- worker. Keep your responses truthful and sharp.
  7. Body language
    • As stated before, good body language is standing up straight with a smile and good eye contact. Some forms of bad body language are, looking into the distance, messing with a pen, slouching over, mumbling, chewing gum, or touching your face.
  8. Ask insightful questions
    • Studies have shown that interviewees who ask questions are more likely to be hired. It shows drive and motivation to learn about the company. It shows that you have done your research and that you are curious.
  9. Sell yourself
    • The most qualified applicant isn’t always the person who is hired, but its the person who does best responding to questions and showing how you can fit into the role. Be able to communicate with the interviewer as well as dressing up are good ways to sell yourself.
  10. Thank the interviewer
    • Finally, once you have finished the interview process, thank the interviewer at the location. Also, send a thank you note or email to the interviewer as soon as possible. This will not land you the job but it will give you the upper hand.

These tips are not set in stone, and there are many more tips out there but this a good foundation on where to start when in the interview process. If you want to land a job, it is important to prepare yourself to answer questions as well as sell yourself in a positive way to the interviewer and business.

Schussler, S. (2010). It’s a Jungle In There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurship Daring. Sterling Publishing. New York, NY.

10 Best Job Interview Tips for Job-Seekers | Quintessential LiveCareer. (n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2017, from https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/job-interview-tips

Week 3 Blog Post- All The Small Things

In the book It’s A Jungle In There by Steven Schussler, he opens up a chapter with the quote of, “The Devil’s in the details”. This is completely true, with anything that you do in your life. In middle school you’d get in trouble for not putting your name on your paper, in high school it was important remember a locker combination, and in college you were forced to remember to call your parents. These seem like small things and easy to remember but a lot of times they are hard.

Since I have been playing football at Western Carolina, our head coach Mark Speir has harped on doing the little things right. The big things, like winning games, is a result of doing the small things to perfection. As an offensive lineman, I was forced to do the small things right. If I did not perform, the running back was getting tackled in the back field or the quarterback was getting sacked. Some small things that I had to perfect were my eyes, hand placement, stance, and first step. Now these things seem like they would be so easy, but after playing 60 plays and going on a 75 yard drive, they get a little more difficult. You may be tired and want to hang your head, or get lazy and get your hands wide. These things will ruin a football play and can cost you a game.

In the business world, there are a lot of little things. Maybe its checking and making sure the numbers have been put into a spreadsheet in the correct order, or possibly a meeting right down the hall that starts at 3 p.m. No matter what it is, they are all important. To be able to get the big things done, you must make the small things a priority and do them to perfection everyday.

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

John Wooden

Schussler, S. (2010). It’s a Jungle In There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurship Daring. Sterling Publishing. New York, NY.