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GTG Introduction


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GTG Introduction

  1. 1. Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses Part I INTRODUCTION Ed Hess
  2. 2. Focus of the Course  First, this Course is NOT about starting a business.  This Course is about the common challenges of growing a business.  It’s a Course about learning to scale a business—making it bigger and better.
  3. 3. Why is this Course important?  Growing a business presents challenges that are different than starting a business. If not properly managed, those challenges could destroy the business.  This Course is based on my research of 54 high growth, private, U.S. businesses—the challenges they faced as they grew.  From these examples, you will learn how to prepare for your own business growth challenges.
  4. 4. Purpose of the Course  To help you prepare for and grow a business. To learn the meaning of SMART Growth.  To give you a better appreciation for and a researched-based approach to business growth.  To help you understand the risks of growth.  This Course is not anti-growth. The aim is to present a realistic view of the challenges of business growth.
  5. 5. Course Themes  Business growth is like Mother Nature: She can be kind or she can be destructive.  Too much growth too soon, or growth that’s not properly managed, can overwhelm a business.  As a business grows, it needs more people, processes and controls.  As a business grows, the entrepreneur must “grow” too.
  6. 6. Course Themes  Growth requires scaling.  Growth rarely is smooth, predicable or linear.  Growth is a learning journey—one that has ups, downs, zigzags, and mistakes.  Growth is change, and change is constant as the business grows.
  7. 7. Course Logo  I chose this logo because it reflects that growth: • Requires caring hands • Small businesses are fragile, just like young plants.  To grow a small business successfully, you need the right amounts of the right ingredients at the right times.
  8. 8. Course Format  All of the business cases and workshop examples we will read about and discuss are true stories. This Course brings real-life business growth challenges to you.  You will also hear directly from real, private business builders who will share their experiences and knowledge with you through short video interviews.
  9. 9. How will you learn?  This Course is based on the principle that one learns by doing.  You will have both required and optional readings.  You will be asked to apply concepts in the Workshop exercises.  You will gauge your understanding of concepts through in-video quizzes.  Through the Discussion Forums, you will learn from each other.
  10. 10. Creating a Course Community  This Course is an opportunity for you to learn and grow together. I encourage you to participate in the Discussion Forums and create your own Study Group Forums based on geography, your type of business or profession or any other attributes you wish.  Please carefully read the instructions on our Course page regarding posting comments on the Discussion Forms and creating your own Study Groups.  You may also choose to get together with your Study Groups through Meetups.
  11. 11. A Few Course Ground Rules  This Course is offered by the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia for free because of the school’s mission to positively impact society.  I expect that everyone taking this Course will act respectfully toward classmates. Everyone is here to learn.  During the Course, you will have the opportunity to raise questions and offer feedback. My goal is to make this a great learning experience for you.