While shoveling snow this past week, the song Changes, from David Bowie came up randomly on my iPod. You know the song, Ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strange. It got me thinking about today’s business environment and the challenges many businesses face, especially the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Change seems to be the only constant in today’s business. While most SMEs aspire to grow their business, ironically enough, when the growth starts to happen, many SMEs are woefully unprepared.

Often times, the management and staff at SMEs lack the experience, resources and capabilities needed to meet the challenges of growth. This can be due to lack of capital, lack of relevant experience, lack of a plan, or a lack of focus and/or generally poor procedures. Some companies spread themselves too thin or over commit, while other companies choose to ignore risk in the assessment of their growth opportunities. Any or all of these factors could cause a company to stumble or worse yet, fail.

Many of these challenges can be overcome by developing strategies and plans to identify and seize the growth opportunities. This should include addressing capital requirements and cash management techniques; conducting skill assessments and resource assignments; developing project plans and clearly defined procedures; and focusing on longer term objectives and true risk assessment of the growth opportunities.

When a business is successful and begins to experience real growth, managing the business growth requires a plan to achieve the desired end result. You should spend time up front developing the strategy and tactics needed to be employed to achieve the growth. Always look to the future and project where you’d like to be. Growth should be less opportunistic and more strategic.

Is it time for your business to turn and face the change?


Pat Clusman is the Chief Operating Officer at Innovationedge. Innovationedge is an innovation consultancy that drives creativity and growth by transforming products, brands and businesses. – Learn more at:


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