How to Grow in Slow Growth Markets

Today the IMF is likely to lower its forecast for US economic growth in 2013. This is in large part due to the stupidity of the US government using austerity budgeting when growth and job creation should be the priorities. (Austerity budgeting is even more stupid when the European results of austerity budgets are so clearly negative).

In light of another year of slow or no market growth, how are unsophisticated, cash strapped middle market companies and their Private Equity firms supposed to generate the alpha growth they need to build value?

One answer is to get back to basics and to use a straight forward planning process that is:

  • Fact based – Leverage a company’s greatest asset – its management team to gather and interpret the company’s basic business issues and implications.
  • Consensus driven – Use the buy-in of managers to drive success.
  • Speedy – Develop integrated plans in weeks not months.
  • Repeatable – Build in sustainability and repeatability.
  • Focused – Never stray too far from a company’s core competency.
  • Measurable – Develop clear KPIs to make plans easy to monitor.
  • A win-win – Link plan objectives to compensation.
  • High Impact – Always “shoot for the stars”.

We have seen basic plans with these elements work with dozens of companies. Unfortunately we have seen many more companies squander their growth potential simply because they never took the time to put these simple steps or any other basic planning process in place.

Based upon the IMFs forecast, most companies cannot rely upon a wave of market growth to carry them. Don’t hesitate any longer to put a basic planning process in place at your company. Take the steps above yourself or reach out to a facilitator to help your company to find the growth within it that is just waiting to be leveraged.