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Grow your business by growing yourself

 15 January 2018     Donald Cooper 

You can’t grow your business without growing your people or growing yourself, for that matter. What skills, training, coaching and encouragement does each person on your team need to do their job better in 2018 and to be prepared to take on more responsibility or a new position in the future?

Will you sit down with each person who reports to you and ask them where they’d like to be and what they’d like to be doing in their business and their life in two or three years…and how you can help them achieve their career and life commitments and dreams?  Then determine what skills, training, and coaching they need to get there. One of the best ways to get team members to help us get what we want is to help them get what they want. If they don’t have an immediate answer about their future, that’s okay. Ask them to think about it and schedule a time to get back together.

By the way, some people just aren’t into growth. My experience is if they don’t want to grow themselves, they’re likely not interested in helping you grow the business. If you have many of those people on your team, the business will stall and then decline.

When you’ve created a development and growth plan for each person, determine what additional talent and experience you need to ‘import’ into the business from the outside to achieve your commitments for 2018 and to prepare the business for success over the next three to five years.

For this you will need a clear vision for the future of your business so you know what kind of talent you need. Here’s a thought: if you don’t have a clear vision for the future of your business, your business as you best understand it is your business as it just was. And you train and hire people who can help you become what you’ve already been – not what you must become.

Here’s one specific management development tip. Have your head of accounting and finance, or your outside accounting firm deliver a two-hour presentation to your management team about how to read financial statements, how to use them to be more effective managers and also on the ‘math’ of profitability. If we don’t understand our numbers, we don’t understand our business and we end up making some pretty crappy decisions.

If you don’t have a clear ‘operational’ vision for what your business must become to be a profitable market leader in three to five years, you might want to purchase my 34-page Vision Critical Guide for $24. Or, you could pay a consultant $10,000 or more to come up with some vague, airy fairy, feel-good Vision Statement that achieves nothing. I’ve spent seven years noodling through what a clear, specific and measurable one-page Vision Statement should look like and the Vision Critical Guide, complete with clear insights, tough but important questions and step-by-step implementation templates is yours for just 24 bucks at

Many business owners understand the importance of growing their people, but they somehow believe that they, themselves, are a perfect finished piece of work, just the way they are now. Not true. So, how must you grow as a leader, manager and listener to guide the business and your team to a more extraordinary and more profitable future? What’s your growth plan for this year? If you have the guts, sit down with your team and ask them in what ways you need to improve to provide them with the clarity, direction, communication, empowerment and encouragement that they need to do their jobs better.

Phoenix AMD
This HGO article was written by:
Donald Cooper
Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. Now, as a business speaker and coach he helps business owners and managers throughout the world to rethink, refocus and re-energize their business to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.

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Home Goods and its accompanying newsletter - HGO This Week - covers the furniture, bedding, appliances, consumer electronics, accessories, lamps and lighting and floor coverings product sectors of the big ticket home goods market in Canada. HGO is also a forum for the dissemination of market research and hard-hitting articles on best practices for Canadian retailers.

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