The following is a guest post from Robert Herzog,
Founder and CEO of Zog Sports.
Grow or die! Right?
There is a lot pressure to grow one’s company in order to capture market share and achieve financial returns. While the news reports growth rates and provides analysis on how a company is growing, there’s rarely coverage about why companies should bother growing.
As I see it, growth for the sake of growth makes no sense. Financial growth for the sake of shareholders is neither inspiring nor sustainable. A company must have a better reason to grow.
I started ZogSports (now ZogLife with two separate businesses: ZogSports and ZogCulture) fifteen years ago and we have grown every year since. Despite turning down opportunities to expand beyond our core competencies and take outside money, we are larger than ever with over 150,000 people participating in our community every year. We have stayed focused on our mission of creating real personal connections, caring communities and infusing a sense of play into people’s lives and that has made all the difference.
So, why do we continue to grow?
1) To make change happen for our community.
Okay, okay, we’re not curing cancer or slowing global warming, but there is a crisis building where fewer people are creating real personal connections. We are heads down, only connecting online, and completely inundated with demands to the extent that there is less time to connect with people in real life.
Our core business, ZogSports, brings young professionals together through team sports to help more people connect with likeminded folks in their city. Our second business, ZogCulture, helps employers show their employees that they care while making it easy for coworkers to bond. Unlike the majority of companies, ZogLife spends time and money on making our employees’ lives better. Our approach is working, we want to share our expertise with the world and that is why we need to grow.
2) To spread our vision beyond our immediate community.
For ZogLife, it’s about making the world a better place through real personal connections, caring communities and a sense of play. We grow because if we can help a recent college grad feel more at home in their new city or help employees make friends at work and feel more connected to their companies, then a whole lot of people will be happier. In turn, those happy people will likely be better friends, better workers and better spouses. There’s a cascading effect starting with our vision and we want to maximize the positive impact through our growth.
3) To provide more opportunities for our team.
Let’s face it, some jobs get boring after a few years. However, as our business grows new opportunities arise for our team to take on fresh risks and more responsibility. For example, when ZogSports expands into a new geographic area, we offer the leadership of that growth opportunity to a member of our existing team. We want to encourage the team members who have been around for a few years and are closest to our customers to take risks, make mistakes and learn! Growing our business is the only way to provide these new opportunities to our ever expanding team.
Every business needs to grow, but should be growing for a reason. Find your reason and you’ll find that not only does your business grow faster but you and your team will find a deeper level of satisfaction in achieving your mission.