COLUMN: Adrian Slade


Your purpose sets the foundations for business growth

From my years of experience working with business owners, and as a business owner myself I’m a firm believer that without the right foundations most businesses will struggle to achieve their true business growth potential. Understanding and appreciating the full background of a business is just as essential as developing plans for the future.

When you make the decision to start a business you do so for very personal reasons. To leave a lasting legacy, to get out of the corporate rat-race or to finally be able to build a life around something you’re passionate about. At the end of the day your business is there to fulfil your personal goals, and without staying true to the reason you started it can begin feeling like just another job, and an all consuming one at that.

Much like planning a journey you’ll need a map, your strategy for reaching your end goal. If you keep losing focus on why you started, how will you keep moving your business forwards? Your history is your brand story, your credibility, your reputation and how people know you in the market. It is this that differentiates you and gives you a competitive edge. If business growth comes at the expense of your purpose, the positive effects will be relatively short lived. Sustainable business growth requires you both to stay true to your brand, and consider every business decision in the context of your long-term strategy and end goal.

As businesses grow, you as the business owner will grow also. Your role and expertise will evolve, and in time you’ll have a team behind you that also must understand your brand, vision and growth strategy. For some business owners letting go and trusting others can be one of the most daunting parts of business growth. However, if your decisions stay true to your brand and background, and is based on genuine industry insight it makes the process a lot easier to understand and communicate.

Growing a business is a steep learning curve, you need to be constantly anticipating and adapting to changing market dynamics whilst staying true to what you stand for. It can be challenging, and most (if not all) business owners have hesitations regarding their business and the path they’re taking. At times like these it is important to focus on the successes so far, and trust that your vision will guide the growth of your business.

Adrian Slade is a Strategic Brand Specialist, Senior Associate Lecturer at Henley Business School, CEO and Founder of MK Group, a strategic brand and business growth consultancy based in West Sussex. To find out more visit, or follow Adrian on twitter @AdrianJSlade