Book Review: The Growth Story

Book Review: The Growth Story
10 June 2013 John Moore

Successful Business Growth Strategies used by Women Entrepreneurs charts the journeys of women entrepreneurs and the strategies they adapted to turn their ideas into multi-million businesses.

Today women owned businesses are becoming a powerful force in the world’s economy. This book aims to inspire more women, as well as men, to build growth businesses by sharing case studies of nine women entrepreneurs from the UK and North America who have all used different strategies for growth. Most of the businesses featured are trading globally and include Jazzercise, the world’s #1 fitness franchise and a leading Canadian retailer of gluten free products. Also included are fast growing ICON Information Consultants, with revenues of over $150 million and a UK company in the children’s day care sector.

The author, Sue Stockdale, is a success in many different areas of her life, a characteristic which is so evident in successful entrepreneurs. She is a coach, the first British woman to ski to the North Pole, an athlete who has represented Scotland in track and field and she is also the London Chapter Chair of Women Presidents Organisation. With all of this, it is her insight into business growth strategies which makes this book such an interesting read.

To demonstrate the different strategies used by the women entrepreneurs featured in the book, Sue devotes each chapter of The Growth Story to a different growth strategy. The book concludes with a section on “Top Tips for Growth” or lessons learned from applying that strategy.

Some of the strategies discussed are geographic expansion, organic growth, growth through acquisition, joint ventures, partnerships, licensing, franchising and distributors.

The book does a great job highlighting the support networks women can and need to access for peer-support whilst pursuing growth. Sue stresses the importance of accessing high quality network support as an integral part of an entrepreneur’s journey which can at times be a lonely journey. Businesses that are more than 51% owned, managed and controlled by a woman or women, can be certified as such to help in their application for tenders and contracts with larger businesses. The book highlighted this as a contributing factor to the growth experienced by some of the businesses profiled.

The final chapter of the book “Making it Happen” provides some resources on how the reader can attempt to implement some of the strategies in the book although the information is still very high level.

The book is divided into ten chapters entitled:

  • Chapter 1:  Geographic Expansion
  • Chapter 2:  Organic Growth
  • Chapter 3:  Growth through Joint Ventures and Partnerships
  • Chapter 4:  Using Certification
  • Chapter 5:  Using Distributors
  • Chapter 6:  Franchising
  • Chapter 7:  Acquisition
  • Chapter 8:  Finding Investors to Fund Growth
  • Chapter 9:  Licensing
  • Chapter 10: Making it Happen

The book is easy to read and showcases a diverse range of businesses from different industries. It also includes stories of women in male dominated fields, the challenges they had to overcome in those industries and how they still managed to achieve success. The Growth Story is a story and not a how-to guide. It provides lots of ideas that can be applied to most businesses. The book proved to be an enjoyable read and is well structured with bite-sized information and advice shared throughout it. It’s ideal for those looking for inspiration and ideas.

The Growth Story will inspire anybody thinking of starting or growing a business.

John Moore has over 20 years experience of training and developing Managers, Coaches, Consultants and businesses. As Managing Director of Exponential Training, John researches, speaks, blogs and writes about how to improve performance. He also designs and delivers engaging, fun and interactive learning programmes. John is a Fellow Chartered Manager and has worked with managers and organisations in over 20 different countries.

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