What to do after you achieve business success
by Mashum Mollah Business Planning & Opportunities 24 August 2018
Growing a business to the point of thriving health and stability is a remarkable accomplishment. For some, it is the pinnacle of their career and the payoff for all their hard work. For others, it’s just the beginning. Here’s what’s next.
Re-enter the business life cycle. It’s a challenging reality, but all organizations go through a cycle from start-up through growth to maturity, which is the beginning of the decline. Once things get comfortable, you’re steps away from going backward, unless you kick-start the cycle all over again.
A word of caution: trying to keep your staff and businesses in the start-up phase indefinitely or continually is unwise and potentially disastrous. There has to be a natural ebb and flow of energy and effort in any business. Too much pressure and people start developing symptoms of overwork and health crises. Too little challenge and people get bored and start moving on to other projects with other employers.
Healthy ways to kick-start the growth cycle include introducing a new project, product, initiative or division. In general, diversification is often the challenge you need, regardless of the business type. It stretches you as a leader, your business resources, and involved team members. It also provides insulation against market fluctuations, downturns, and other risks.
Always keep an eye on the horizon for the next thing. It might be a new product, a new niche, a new region, or an entirely new area of business. Don’t jump too soon and risk the health of your original business venture, but be prepared to introduce growth by diversification once your other ventures reach a place of health and stability.
To take your thriving business to the next level, reinvest profits into diversification. The right challenge will energize the team and grow your influence while generating further opportunity and eventual profits. Just be cautious not to drain away resources needed by your original business to continue thriving. Also, consider that you and any team members involved in both or multiple ventures need to be supported and delegate tasks and responsibilities in order to have the capacity to contribute to success.
Invest in people. You saw the value of having the right people in place when you grew your first business. Invest more into the ones who’ve stepped up already. Seek out underutilized team members who have the ability and desire to grow with you. Strategically add team members who can fill gaps and bring needed skills, experience and connections to the next phase of growth, whether that’s the subject matter expertise to contribute to a new product or service offering, regional understanding and connections to help you gain access to new areas of business, or leadership and management skills to take on some of your responsibilities so that you can broaden your focus.
Look to established business leaders to see how this works. Azmi Mikati, also known as Taha Mikati, is now the co-founder of Beirut-based holding company M1 Group, but his business career started on a much more approachable level. He initially sold satellite phones in Lebanon. The next phase of diversification was into a related telecom field, building cell-phone towers, and into new markets in other countries.
This kind of accessible, staged diversification is generally a wise move. It is not without its risks but offers the opportunity to use established skills and experience to grow into new areas, providing the potential for extended earnings and greater insulation against risk.
Mikati’s strategy clearly proved effective. M1 Group now invests in the telecom industry as well as retail fashion and international real estate. As your experience and capacity grow, you can start moving further afield with your diversification efforts. Your personal role will move into high-level leadership as you establish capable teams and leaders to directly manage each business and sector.
Partnerships can be another avenue to take after you’ve established a thriving business. You’ve proven your skills, making you more attractive to work with. Pooling efforts with another proven business leader can extend your reach, bringing new opportunities to your company. This could look like a joint venture, an informal or formal alliance, or even a buy-out where you simply buy up a competitor or an established company in an appealing niche or sector, instead of starting up your own venture from scratch.
You need a plan to take your thriving business to the next level. Diversification can be the key that you need to bring your team back to the early stages of the growth cycle and avoid decline, while also offering the benefit of insulation against many types of business risk.
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