It’s an honor to be blogged about

ruth-griggsThe Business Growth Center has been working with The Creative for awhile now - helping us get our brand refined, our website fine tuned (especially the calendar!), our social media strategy implemented.  And, if you’re reading this, it must be working because blogging is a big component of that.

Ruth Griggs, one of The Creative’s principals and pictured here, BLOGGED ABOUT ME recently.  That’s a new thing for me.  It’s humbling, and also an honor.

Thanks, Ruth!


You Know You Want to Grow

The televisi14158_056on ads during the Super Bowl are legendary. We all have our favorites and suffer through the duds. This year, it was Chevrolet’s “You Know You Want a Truck” slogan for its new Colorado truck that caught my attention. It is so simple and effective.

At the Business Growth Center, our slogan for capturing the attention of existing business owners could easily be, “You Know You Want to Grow.” If I was going to run a half dozen television spots, I might feature several versions of business owners— dreaming about their growth goals, more capabilities, more customers, more sales, increased profitability and more employees. These are the kinds of things business owners are focused on when they walk through our door or call our office. They are seeking growth.

So how do you grow? If only it was as easy as buying a new truck. [Read more…]

Five Key Areas of Growth Focus

Most business owners want to grow their business to achieve increased revenues, higher profits and streamlined operations – and to employ more staff and have more time. But knowing how to get from your current state to that growth place can be challenging and requires focus.

In a recent blog post by Kabbage, an alternative small business lender, I was thrilled at how articulately the author laid out key points a business owner needs to consider as their business grows. The information was presented in the context of knowing when your business needs more financing. Reading it made me smile as it was all so familiar; these five areas come up often in our Growth Advisory Program meetings.

Here are the areas Kabbage cited that often indicate a business should seek financing; they are likewise five themes that emerge and re-emerge as business owners talk with their mentors about growing their businesses:

[Read more…]

Grow Your Business Into 2015

Take time now to plan, strategize

For many business owners, December is a hectic time.

Marla Michel

Marla Michel, Director

If you’re in retail, you’re likely working 80-plus hours per week to keep up with your customers’ demands and are exhausted. If you’re in the service sector, you may be working frantically to get those final contracts signed and are frustrated that no one’s calling you back. Whatever your mode, give yourself a break and take a few minutes to think about how your business is doing.

At the Business Growth Center in Springfield, Mass., we think the end of the year is always a good time to reflect on the previous year. Indulge yourself and your business by thinking about next year. Get a head start in growing your business.

[Read more…]

How growing a business is like going to the moon


Karen Utgoff, Karen Lauter Utgoff ConsultingRunning a business isn’t rocket science. Yet, in preparing for the start of the Stronger Businesses Program™, I am reminded of President Kennedy’s famous observation that we were going to the moon not because it was easy but because it was hard. Kennedy inspired a nation and half a century later got me thinking about three characteristics that a nation undertaking a daring quest and a business aiming to accelerate growth have in common.

Risk and uncertainty are part of any complex endeavor. Until the first Apollo astronauts landed and returned safely, it was unclear whether a safe trip was even possible. The outcome of each new moonshot was uncertain. Facing and overcoming risks was essential to ensure the project progressed. Turning a blind eye to risk and problematic trends can cause an established business to stagnate or even fail.

Hard work builds strength. As the space program moved forward, it was necessary to create new technologies and learn new skills. Leaders were faced with a dauntingly complex project that demanded hard and smart work from all involved. Trivializing or ignoring the demands and opportunities involved would likely have frustrated even the best on the team and made success impossible. When business leaders overlook or downplay the challenges that their employees face in continuing to grow, they can demoralize and even lose staff. [Read more…]