Hi and welcome to Audacious Conversations Live, a show were we provoke discussions on business growth and leadership.  Our conversations are aimed at SMEs, whether you do business from physical premises or you business is done online.

Today we are Talking about Growing Gazelles – How Serious Are You About Growing Your Business?

Today I want to chat with you about the growth options available to you as a business if you want to develop a business that is a Gazelle or High Growth Business.

Firstly, what is a Gazelle company?

The term Gazelle Company was first defined by David Birch in 1979, when he identified small companies as the biggest creators of new jobs in the US economy at the time.  Birch estimated that these Gazelles made up about 4% of all companies in the country, but accounted for more than 70% of the new jobs created.  He noticed that these businesses out paced the Fortune 500 ‘elephants’ and the Main Street ‘mice’.

These Gazelles are often identified today as high-growth companies which have grown by at least 20% up to as much as 35% per year each year over the preceding 3 years and are characterised by their growth rather than their relative size.  So Gazelles are businesses that are focused on growth that is rapid and sustainable.  This is however a retrospective view.

What about the future?  What about you business this year, next year and the year after?

You may be sitting there saying ‘I want one of those.’  ‘I want a business which grows by 20 – 30% a year every year.  I want to grow a Gazelle company, but how can I take my business there?’

You may be asking, ‘How do I start a business and grow it into a gazelle company quickly?’

Irrespective of your environment, you can grow your business to produce consistent and sustainable growth if you apply the right principles.  But what are the options that are open to you?

Growth Through Organic Scaling – Organic Scaling is growing by simply doing more of what you are already doing with the products and services you have.  Increasing your customer or client base, crossing selling products and services that your existing clients don’t already buy from you, finding needs your clients have that you can fill with new product or service lines which are complementary to your existing offerings, sourcing new products and bringing in new expertise to offer new services which are supplemental to your current lines (that is the products and services which outside of the core of your business).  All of these constitute Organic Scaling.

Growth Through Organic Innovation – This is growth through designing and developing new products and services which either don’t exist in the market place, but for which there is a need or innovative re-designs of existing products and services which are in the market.  This can be a costly option.

Growth Through Competitor Acquisition – This is growth by purchasing of or merging with, a direct competitor, who may have similar products and services or may have products and services you don’t have and has a complimentary market you are not in.

Growth Through Non-Core Acquisition – This is growth through acquisition of or merging with a non-competitor, who may have access to markets that are complementary to your existing products and services or may have no relationship to your existing products and services, but service your growth and diversification plans.  This is likely to be the most challenging option and the learning curve would be steep.

Gazelle and cheetah

There a few things to note about Gazelles that roam the grasslands of Africa.  They are adaptable, agile and flexible.  They have explosive speed and stamina allowing them to outrun their attackers over a sustained distance, incredible eyesight which allows them to see a long way over the grassy plains and amazingly good hearing and are alert to the presence of other animals.  They can see and hear what is coming and where they are going when at full sprint.  They know their territory and defend it against their competitors, but work with them in times of danger.

These are characteristics of Gazelle companies as well.  They are agile, adaptable and flexible.  They they have vision, are highly aware of their market space and have both a long and short game strategy.  Quick and alert to opportunities and have the fight not only to survive, but to thrive.

Does that describe you and your business?  Or is your goal to build a Gazelle over the next 3 years?  Is your business currently flexible, agile and adaptable?  Have you got a vision of where you want to take your business over the next year, 3 years, 5 years?  How well do you know and dominate your market space?

For more information of how we can help you grow a Gazelle company, please email me directly or call me on 07986262496.  I look forward to hearing from you.

It has been great chatting with you today.  Please follow me Twitter, Connect with me on LinkedIn or like us on Facebook and I look forward to chatting with you again tomorrow on Audacious Conversation Live where we will continue this discussion about business growth.

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