Strategy and Company Growth

Explore how to craft a robust and actionable strategy for the future.

Apple’s growth has slowed significantly. USA Today reports that its gross margin dropped for the fifth straight quarter to 36.8% of sales and that iPad sales are down by 16%. Apple CEO Tim Cook has recognized Apple is in a mature, slow-growth market.  If a company that grew steadily through the recession and whose stock […]

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American individuals and corporations are playing it safe, according to  The Wall Street Journal, contributing to a slower employment rebound:  “[After the recession] of the early 1990s, it took 32 months for payrolls to rebound fully. After the even milder recession of 2001, it took four years. Today, nearly four years after the end of […]

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The future looks cloudy. IBM, Salesforce and SAP all announced big deals in cloud this week. IBM announced it would buy Softlayer, a cloud computing company, in a deal estimated to be worth $2 billion. IBM plans to use Softlayer to bolster its cloud services in a growing market. Salesforce announced it intends to buy […]

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Do you have what it takes to get the deal done? Successful negotiation during an acquisition demands a breadth of business awareness and informed understanding of the many dimensions of M&A. Join me this Friday, May 17 for a webinar on Successful Negotiation Tactics. Learn to negotiate for what you want while protecting your relationship […]

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* Guest post by Paul Marin, Research Analyst at Capstone Did you know twenty of the fastest growing economies are in Africa or Asia?  William Blair reports in the first quarter of 2013, the Americas invested $7.0 billion in Asia-Pacific in cross-border transactions, a 4.6% increase from 2012.  This means many of the opportunities for growth […]

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Yesterday, Apple sold $17 billion in debt offering to investors, the largest corporate-bond deal in history. Apple’s first debt-offering in over 20 years is part of its plan to return $100 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015. This plan is a response to pressure put on Apple to use their excess cash hoard […]

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Research is essential to the success of any business plan, including acquisition. The demand-driven, “markets first” acquisition process that I advocate requires thorough research. Only thorough research uncovers the most appropriate markets, helps you identify the best prospects, and sets you apart from other potential buyers. There are two levels of research to consider: primary […]

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When you think about your company’s growth, ask yourself, “What is our risk tolerance?” The answer is key to formulating your strategy.  You cannot succeed with a plan for growth that pushes too far beyond the level of risk that is acceptable in your company. If you are the sole owner, the level of risk […]

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The key to growth is future demand. Any acquisition you consider needs to take this factor into account. There are multiple ways to look at demand, and it’s essential to know which one is most appropriate for your company.  I use a simple but powerful tool I call the Opportunity Matrix. It’s a way of […]

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I always emphasize to my clients the critical value of painstaking market research and selection before considering individual prospects. Simply by conducting thorough research, you immediately separate yourself from the majority of company buyers and place yourself at an important competitive advantage. Choosing Market Criteria Choosing the correct market criteria may be tricky. Here are […]

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The fifth and final pathway to growth is external growth. Here, expansion is achieved by engaging with entities outside your company. There are many forms of engagement, of which acquisition is but one. External growth can be one of the most exciting paths to growth and in many cases, it should top your list of […]

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Of course, doing nothing is rarely if ever a pathway to growth. However, it is a choice that companies actually make every day. ‘‘Choice’’ may be an overstatement. Few executives or board members sit down, open their flipcharts, and plan a careful do-nothing strategy. They drift into it by default. When things seem to be […]

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Sometimes organic growth can be achieved by dramatically cutting costs. I call this the “jellyfish strategy” : you go up when the tide is up and out when the tide goes out. There may not be many natural predators, so you will survive, but this approach is unlikely to drive long-term expansion. Note, that being […]

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If your company’s organic growth has hit a plateau or is in decline, leaving the current market is an option that should be seriously considered before you embark on any other growth solutions. As I previously mentioned, growth does not necessarily mean getting bigger. Sometimes the best pathway to growth is to get out of […]

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In my previous post, I mentioned the five pathways to growth. The first pathway is organic growth.  Organic growth is business as usual. It is growth through acquiring more customers or selling more products. You may be reading this blog because on some level your organic growth has stalled. But before you rush to adopt […]

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Join me for a webinar next Thursday, January 17 at 11:00 AM EST on Finding Opportunity for Growth Growth is in the very nature of business. Once a company loses its appetite for expansion, it is almost certainly settling into decline.  It’s time to look outward and forward. It’s time for growth. You will learn […]

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As you focus your attention on the growth of your company, there are five key pathways to consider: Grow Organically Exit the Market Be the Low-Cost Provider Do Nothing Pursue External Growth Before you even start planning an acquisition, remember there are other growth options available. It is an important realization that you do have […]

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As we begin the new year, I am reminded of the importance of looking to the future for growth. One of the tools I use at Capstone when we begin work with clients is Michael Porter’s ‘‘Five Forces’’ model for analyzing a company’s relative position in the market. It invites you to look at the pressures […]

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As you move from developing the strategic foundations for growth to implementing your growth plan, think about the different pathways to growth. Choosing the right pathway for growth is considered to be the heart of business. In the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG)  blog, I outline some of the strategic pathways you can take for growth, […]

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Last week, Wendy’s announced it is divesting the Arby’s chain and focusing on growing Wendy’s.  Exiting or divestiture is one of my Five Options for Growth and many executives often think of it as retreat rather than growth. I say otherwise.  Yeah! to Wendy’s.  As the Wall Street Journal reported today this… “is an industry […]

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