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This is a discussion for those who want to know about growing a business.  This discussion is not for growing just any business but for those interested in knowing how to grow a significant business.

In today’s environment (in the initial period of the 2000’s millennium), many people would opt to starting their own business instead of seeking a long term employment career.  For those people, it is important to know there is a difference between starting your own business and building a business for growth.

It makes a difference between opening a restaurant or growing a chain of restaurants.  The problem starts when one first believes that the method of owning a business and growing significantly a business are the same when in reality they are very different.  To grow a business you have to be more savvy in finance and financial strategies, while in owning a small business is more tactical like making a sale, satisfying your clients, clearing a profit, managing cash flows.

Opening a small business such as a restaurant, or discount store requires less attention to market demographics and research and positioning than to client acquisition and retention – more tactical than strategic in nature.  While market research can always apply to a small business, it is not necessary however for a growth oriented business it is absolutely necessary.  Thus, the approach and thinking is dramatically different.

Does An MBA Help

While MBA and business education gives some tools for running and growing a business, most MBA schools don’t prepare one for starting and growing a business.  Neither they prepare you to own your own business.  Most prepare you to administer a business, many times is managing someone else’s business.  Some schools are beginning to offer a curriculum to teach entrepreneurship yet that is still very limited.

Here are several concepts that are important if one is to pursue building a business for growth.

Accounting As a Language of Business

Any business that is develop for growth must have a solid accounting system in place and the entrepreneur should use accounting to manage its business including planning future developments.  Accounting is the most effective way to describe, understand, and plan a business.  The spoken or written language is not the best method to analyze and understand how a business works and how it can grow.  Financial statements derived using accounting methods is.  There is the historical financials and there is the future (ProForma) financials.

Market and Market Share

To grow a significant business is necessary to be in a business providing products or service with a large enough market size and that the company is able to be a market leader meaning it can have a significant portion of the share of its market.  You have to be first or second in that market space in order to be of any meaningful value long term.  If you are developing 1st to market products like we did, you are the leader by definition however you have to maintain the competitive edge as other competitors come into the market to erode your market share.

Have A Competitive Advantage

The right word is to have an “unfair” competitive advantage so that other competitors do not erode the market share of your company.  This was the case of Microsoft.  Also, Coca Cola with its name brand is a formidable competitive advantage that is clearly unfair since there is no ability in present times to have a more recognizable brand than Coca Cola and Coca Cola’s customers would not easily switch to another brand.

And a Mighty Strong Personality

To grow a significant business, a strong personality is vital.  It is not for the weak at heart and mind.  Because most failures are because the entrepreneur does not have the staying power, staying will, strong discipline,  (for more on the needed personality and discipline, watch the 50 Billion Dollar Man).