Article:

Accelerating Growth in the Era of Collaboration

24 August 2017

Growth is certainly on their agenda with the latest figures showing that 88% of businesses are planning for positive growth in the next year. Yet, relatively few are choosing a step-change in their growth pathway to achieve scale and drive breakthrough growth needed to make it in today’s highly competitive market and be strongly positioned for the historical cycles in our industry.

GROWTH APPETITE

The New Zealand building industry is a nation of small businesses, abundant in innovative enterprises that have the potential to compete on a national or global stage - yet very often lacking the commercial skills and mind-set to leverage it.

Part of the reluctance to take a more aggressive growth pathway stems from New Zealand’s size which has bred a business culture of self-doubt and commercial naiveté.

Running a business has become increasingly complex in today’s digitalised and highly competitive globalised economy. Consumer behaviour and expectations have changed and businesses need to develop new capabilities alongside management and leadership, bringing expertise in innovation and design and tapping into external resources to achieve scale.

But, for most businesses, the growth curve tends to be organic and slow. Businesses following an organic growth journey will focus on building strong internal capability, a pathway which can take 20+ years. If they are in business for the long-term then organic and sustainable growth may be comfortable.

GROWTH JOURNEYS

However, for businesses with big goals, organic growth has significant limitations. With small staff bases, these businesses tend to be reliant on the business owner and structure, may not be confident about pushing the boundaries without the external expertise and resource that can come from partnerships or mergers and will find it difficult to get significant funding.

Quantum Growth is a new alternative growth journey for businesses looking to accelerate their growth. Its foundation is a market insight-led strategic approach to scaling a business actively encouraging local, national and even global transactions and partnerships to accelerate a business’s growth on a national or global scale. As the following comparison demonstrates, the internal/external dynamic is what makes the difference.

Scale can be achieved quickly through collaborating, or more formally, by merging with others or by the outright acquisition of a complementary or competitor business. But such pathways are not a strong focus for most businesses.

Businesses choosing to take Quantum Growth pathways focused on market insight strategy and deal-making can result in fantastic outcomes/returns and have a significant impact on the economy.

While Quantum Growth may be seen as high-risk, with the right support and advice it’s an important consideration for the abundance of New Zealand building industry businesses that have such huge potential to leverage the opportunities presented. Technology has increased access to markets and expertise beyond region, beyond nation and into a global landscape with an era of collaboration.

Growth pathways aside, ultimately success in business depends on many things. Most of all, it depends on ability to recognise and grasp opportunities, anticipate issues before they become problems, distinguish the important from the urgent and motivate teams to share vision. Indeed one of the cornerstones of growing a business is vision, goal-setting and planning.

Very often it comes down to risk and reward, what motivates business owners and whether or not they have the energy for the ‘quantum’ growth journey. If they are looking to build value and scale and to exit their business with significant returns, then they should consider the Quantum Growth journey.

Ultimately, New Zealand’s small-to-medium enterprise economy needs to wake up to the alternative growth journeys to the organic model.