Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Jason Blumer, Chief Innovation Officer at Blumer CPAs and Founder of the Thriveal CPA Network.
I love the subject of growth. I talk about it a lot, write a lot about it and coach creative business owners how to do it effectively. Business growth strategies are often misunderstood (which is why I wrote an eBook on the subject you can get here) and counterintuitive. We often believe that if you want to grow, then you should go get more clients, sell more stuff and hire more people. But that may not be your best avenue to the best growth. I’ve learned some amazing lessons from the most counterintuitive growth strategy – pruning.
Pruning? Yep, saying “no” is one of the greatest business growth strategies to the best growth, not just any growth. And that is our goal: to obtain the best growth. Size by itself isn’t a strategy, and thus, getting bigger often brings more trouble than it’s worth. To that end, our growth strategy should be centered around obtaining intentional good growth.
Pruning is defined as strategically cutting clients, services, people, activities and thoughts out of your life that are keeping you from doing your most excellent work. Here are four reasons why pruning can be your next greatest growth strategy:
When you say yes, you are also saying no to something
. We move through our companies saying yes to anything that will seemingly allow us to grow. But, when we say yes, we are also saying no to something else. What are you saying no to? It turns out, that we are often saying ‘no’ to the very things that will help us achieve good growth in our companies. Don’t say yes to good growth if it means saying no to great growth.
We prune because we are growing
. If you see a company in today’s fast-paced world that is not changing their business model to take advantage of new thoughts, new ideas, new business models and new profitable markets, then you are observing a non-strategic company. To be the best in today’s world, businesses must mature, grow and change. And when you change, clients you served two years ago will inevitably not be best for your new business. Pruning is a sign of strategic change and better growth.
We prune to eradicate mediocrity
. Pruning makes us choose the things we do best. Instead of trying everything, hoping it all works out, pruning makes us keep only the things we are excellent at. And that is how companies in today’s world will be successful – by focusing only on what they do best. Pruning is a strategic way to say no to mediocrity.
Pruning frees your mind
. To do your best work and focus only on your strengths you need to clear your head from the complaints of low-paying clients that often require more work and managing huge amounts of subcontractors for unthankful clients. The minute you say “no” to the low paying clients that complain all the time, you mind will immediately move to how you can obtain better clients for better pay. Don’t believe me? Try it out yourself and see what happens. Identify the client or customer for which you do the most work for the lowest rate. Then tell them it’s time to part ways. You may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
If you are interested in putting these strategies (and many more) into practice, join Jason and his team for the 2014 Creative Coaching Course starting January 2014.