A few weeks ago, I talked to two different companies.  Both were lamenting at how difficult it was in growing their company.

I delved a bit into each one’s respective operations.  I could not find anything major that they were doing wrong.  In fact, both businesses were growing.  One had just landed a major customer, although only on a trial basis, but still, a significant step forward.  The other continued to gain new customers, even though each new one was small and only added a fraction to sales.

I’ve been involved in tech startups in the past and when people ask me about those experiences, I usually tell them the following:

      “In tech startups, you can do everything right and still fail”

I think when you have the smartest people and the most money chasing after tech, odds are pretty good that you’re not the first one with your idea, so your success requires an element of luck. Maybe that is just an excuse to make me feel better because I ended up crashing two of those startups.

After speaking with these two companies, and thinking of the above statement, I’ve come up with another statement:

      “In starting and growing any company, you can do everything right and still struggle with generating new sales and growing your business”

Doing everything right does not automatically mean you will grow your company along a steep curve.

So, what should a company do when it is struggling for each new sale? Three things come to mind:

  1. Innovate.  Develop a new product or service or just find better ways of doing things in your company that save time and money.
  2. Save time.  Figure out ways to do things quicker and more efficiently to save you time so you can work on that next innovative product or service or go after more sales.
  3. Save money.  Wring out all the costs in your operation so that more flows to the bottom line.

Those were the easy, no-brainer ones to write down.  I think most business owners will think of that themselves.  But there is one more thing I want to add:

4.  Ask questions.  Find your peers in other companies.  Call them up and starting asking them questions about how they do things.  Offer to share how you do things.  Schedule a quarterly coffee or lunch that brings a few of you together.  Learn from each other.

As owners, we get caught up in our companies and the countless things we have to do to keep them moving forward.  It probably occurs to us to talk to our peers, but it’s low on the priority list.

Who can you think of right now in your industry that you can contact?  Call them.