Mindset of High Growth: market expertise is the main factor

All elements of the business growth mindset can be learnt through experience, rather than being innate qualities.

Challenging the perception that successful entrepreneurs are born and not made, this is the finding of a study conducted by The Centre for Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University on behalf of the Business Growth Service (part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills).

The Mindset of High Growth study identifies six main elements in the outlook and approach of entrepreneurs that contribute to their success.

Market expertise was revealed to be the biggest contributor to the growth mindset.  The research suggested that the thinking processes of successful entrepreneurs are geared for generating sales, but that the true driving force behind growth is a broad understanding of the market and opportunity.  

Proficiency in selling is not just about making new sales.  It also means understanding and navigating the market in which a company operates.  
The study is based upon research with over 100 owners of high growth businesses, a number of whom have repeatedly grown businesses, and an extensive review of existing literature.

The full six elements identified by the study are:

  • Market Expertise, defined as the cognitive processes used by growth entrepreneurs towards making sales and marketing;
  • Business Vision, when business leaders have a clear strategy and the ability to visualise and plan;
  • Active Decision-making is the ability to adapt thought to minimise risk, and draw on the influence of other people and formal processes;
  • Growth Drive is classed as having the distinct aspiration of wanting to grow a business;
  • Sales Drive is a strong drive and passion to achieve sales;
  • Innovation Drive is being able to sense new opportunities, markets, products and services.

Rob Turner, head of the Business Growth Service’s research team GrowthObservatory, said “Though there has been a significant amount of research into entrepreneurship, there’s far less which explores entrepreneurship specifically in relation to business growth.  This study tells us that the leaders of successful growing businesses combine deep understanding of their markets, a vision of what the business will look like in the future, and a fundamental commitment to achieving set goals.

“This visionary leadership enables businesses to innovate products and services that they have confidence in.  With certainty that the business is offering something of value to its customers, selling becomes a given.”

The report can be downloaded from the Manchester Metropolitan University website here

The Business Growth Service has designed an online Growth Mindset Online Tool to help entrepreneurs understand where their mindset stands today, and where it needs to be to drive high growth in their businesses, available here:

Posted on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 under University news

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