Felipe Villarreal
Alian Plastics
Expert Contributor

Success Must Be Translated to Growth

By Felipe Villarreal | Wed, 09/21/2022 - 16:00

As Benjamin Franklin aptly put it "Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning." 

In my last four articles I wrote about how I see the “5Ss” to win in today´s business environment: Speed + Simplicity + Self-Confidence + Sacrifices = Success

This is the formula of 4 “Ss” that give us as a result the fifth “S” that all look for in business.  

This fifth “S” is Success and should and must be translated to growth. This is the real meaning of working with all these Ss. Where are you driving your team and your business is where the word Growth comes in and where it takes its meaning. 

During your work journey, learning should remain active and unique on a daily basis. As you keep learning in an everyday business environment, you continue to reinforce your mind and guide the efforts toward fantastic growth. 

In our case, in the manufacturing environment of plastic injection, the expertise and knowledge that each team member needs in order to offer absolutely outstanding quality and on-time deliveries to customers is one of the basics for ensuring an excellent performance and, due to this performance, their current customers keep believing in them and give them the honor and opportunity to create new production programs. And yes, this is business growth. 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought too much suffering for many people. There were many losses of loved ones. There was the time lost to be together with family and friends. We learned from it. 

Personally, it reminded me how vulnerable we are. 

Why am I talking about the pandemic and feelings regarding it? Because we learned from it and learning gives us the strength to be passionate about what we do. It reinforces in us the meaning of serving, of helping our people, our employees, our suppliers, our customers; a strong chain will soon convert into business growth. And not only growth in business. It will also lead to your own growth. 

Importantly, along the learning path, you must also learn from your mistakes.

Driving a business strategy and performance is not always a linear, straightforward and happy journey, as you might know. Remember the chorus from the Alanis Morissette song, You Learn?

“You live, you learn

You love, you learn

You cry, you learn

You lose, you learn

You bleed, you learn

You scream, you learn”

Yes, you live, you learn. You might set a strategy and make things happen only to see that it actually doesn’t come out too well. Learn from it and move on to the next step, the next strategy. Learn from your experience and improve it. 

Several data points can be highlighted to show a company is growing. Among these are sales, profits, revenue and company value. To increase sales, profits, revenues and company value, the business needs us; the business needs people to make it happen. The most important factor is having people who are intent on growing at the head of the business. One of our roles as leaders of an organization is to empower our people to serve our customers in a way that these customers continue to trust our companies, our teams. This also leads to us gaining new projects with existing and also new customers. 

But a strong strategic plan needs to be in place. Every company needs a strategic plan to know where it’s headed, to get ready for change and build a strong, aligned team. Focusing on growth,the strategic plan will lead to concrete actions to achieve your goals.

Process control and discipline in manufacturing and infrastructure are also required to facilitate growth, along with enough funding to make the above possible.

I highly recommend certifications to ensure proper procedures, control and discipline.

Certifications can also provide you with even more potential to grow. For example, to gain projects in the automotive business, you must have IATF-16940 certification. ISO 9001-2015 is needed in some other industries.

There are several avenues of growth that can create potential for each business. 

Mergers, partnerships, acquisitions, and/or strategic, internal or organic growth are six possible ways to move to the next level and drive your business along the growth path. 

How can you grow your business in one, five or 10 years? It all depends on your vision and passion and where you see your company’s name over those periods of time. You also need to set goals for each. How can I achieve growth in one year? Being more realistic, how can I achieve it in five to 10 years? Plan and work for it. 

As Ernest Hemingway aptly put it: “Never mistake motion for action.” Growth will happen with action and execution. If you move, it doesn’t mean that you are taking action to make things happen. Growth needs action and execution. 

I invite you to take on the heat of “Growth Business Determination.” As Tony Robbins said: “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”

Photo by:   Felipe Villarreal