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A look at four different growth strategies and what they mean to you as a manager


A manager's job is to manage employees and established business processes. Nevertheless, a manager can play a significant role in the growth of the company. He and his working staff are very close to situations where good ideas could help the company grow. He should be aware of opportunities to help expand the business, and capitalize on them.

Let's look at four different strategies a company can use to expand, and how managers, supervisors, and the working staff can help implement these as part of their jobs.

  1. Market penetration

    There are times when a company finds itself in the position of having the resources and know how to compete in a specific market. In fact, the thought may arise, "We can do better than they are doing!"

    When you find your company in position to consider entering a new market, you have two choices: you can seize it as an opportunity, and decide to compete in this particular market, or you can shrug you shoulders and move on. It takes considerable resources and knowledge in order to develop a product. Much of this knowledge exists in the work force. Part of a manager's job should be to gather this knowledge from the work force, compile it, and make valid recommendations to company officers. They will then have the data they need to decide whether or not to venture into a new market or not.

  2. Market development

    A company does not exist in a vacuum. A manager must stay active in the industry and promote the market in which his company intends to participate in. He must establish his relationship with prospective suppliers, prospective customers and even competitors. Part of a manger's job should be to gather as much information about the market in question, and pass that knowledge on.

  3. Product development

    Once a company has decided to go for it, then the real work begins. Company officers are not in a position to make detailed decisions about products. This must be done through the work force. Managers must use their crews to make good decisions about the product. Some of this knowledge will come over time, after the product has been marketed to the public, and improvements will constantly need to be made. This is where the knowledge and expertise of a manager can have greatest impact. After all, if your product isn't any good, what else matters?

  4. Diversification

    Conventional wisdom for investors says that you should never put all your eggs into one basket. On the other hand, it has been said that you should stick with what you know or do one thing better than anyone. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Every time a new product is introduced, it requires resources to maintain it, improve it, market it, and make it a success. The product can make a company successful. It can also be a liability that sucks up resources that could put to better use. But if only have a few products, and they fail to perform, your company is in danger of complete failure.

The world is changing all the time and old products become obsolete, and need to be updated, abandoned, or replaced with a new product line. Without adapting to the changes of the modern world, a company is doomed to go out of business, or at least lose market share to those who are better able to adapt.

As a manager or supervisor of employees, it is your job to know how well your department or division is able to handle its work load. You know what your group is capable, what it can do well, and where it needs improvement. This information, if it is not used by the decision makers, is like throwing gold into the trash can. A manager must communicate to the company officers on a regular basis. He must make them aware of the strengths and weaknesses of his team. This will enable the officers to make accurate decisions about what products to support and promote.

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