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10 Qualities That Distinguish Retail Companies Poised for Growth: Part One

The Epicor global growth tracker survey discovered the top 10 qualities that differentiate retail organizations poised for sustainable growth. Epicor calls these companies "grow getters," and defines them as people and organizations that understand what it takes to grow in today's dynamic business environment. "They know what growth looks like for their business and have the vision and drive to act on it,' says the study.
The survey determined 10 principal characteristics that separate the grow getters from those in their wake. In this and our next post, we will spell out those qualities.

1. Focus outside the business, beyond the business per se.
High-growth companies are two times more likely than low-growth businesses to focus on external opportunities to grow their enterprises. Low-growth companies rank cost management as the highest factor in business growth, while high-growth companies see a focus on expansion as key. The main takeaway: retailers will be well served by adopting an expansion mindset and refocus their growth strategy on external opportunities.

2. Bring strategic planning to the forefront.
High-growth companies are nearly twice as likely as low-growth ones to see planning and strategy as important for growth. Surprisingly, only a third of companies consider planning and strategy as critical to business growth. Forty percent of high-growth companies see this critical link, while only 26 percent of low-growth companies do. Making strategic planning a priority to support growth objectives is key for growth-oriented retailers.

3. Don't stress it.
High-growth retailers have a different perspective on growth than their low-growth peers: High growth companies are more than three times likely than low-growth ones to find it rewarding as opposed to stressful. Consider how high- and low-growth companies rank their descriptions of growth:

The American philosopher William James once noted, "The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."
Implicit in this statement is the idea that stress frustrates decisiveness, and in today's fast-moving retail environment, the ability to make informed decisions quickly is a real advantage. The survey's point: high- and low-growth organizations have inverse attitudes towards growth that become reflected in their performance. Among what low-growth companies clearly need to achieve: an attitude adjustment towards growth itself. 

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4. Be optimistic. 
James also noted, "Pessimism leads to weakness; optimism to power." It seems the same principle applies to retail growth. Ninety-five percent of high-growth companies were optimistic about the year ahead, while only 38 percent of low-growth companies expressed similar confidence. It's not just coincidence that high-growth companies try to look forward with optimism.

5. Believe in yourself. 
Grow getters believe in their capabilities. Eighty-six percent of high-growth companies believe they are well placed to respond to growth opportunities, while only 43 percent of low-growth companies think this way. Regardless of growth characteristics, companies ranked better technology as the number one essential in overcoming business growth challenges, but high-growth companies cited it at levels nearly 20 percent higher than companies as a whole.

Part Two of this extended post deals with the final five growth qualities. If you'd like to take the initiative and get a jump on better orienting your retail organization towards growth, you can go here.

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