Book Review: “The Growth Story”: Strategies for Million $ Businesses

Griselda Kumordzie Togobo reviews Sue Stockdale's new book about business and growth strategies, The Growth Story: Successful Business Growth Strategies used by Women Entrepreneurs.

It’s the aspiration of many female entrepreneurs to build successful businesses. How you plan to achieve such growth is one of the challenges that most small business grapple with.

Sue Stockdale’s The Growth Story charts the journeys of women entrepreneurs and the strategies they adapted to turn their ideas into multi-million businesses.  

Sue Stockdale is an inspirational speaker and coach and the first British woman to ski to the North Pole, having represented Scotland in track and field athletics. She is also currently the London Chapter Chair of Women Presidents Organisation. 

Sue gives some sound advice that resonated with me such as:

 “Growing organically made us a lean company and gave us the opportunity to become experts in all growth stages.

"We did all the work in-house and this allowed us to save money and have the cash available for growth” Brenda VanDuinkerken

To demonstrate the different strategies used by each of the women interviewed, each chapter of The Growth Story is dedicated to a different growth strategy concluding 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.

What I liked the most about this book is the focus on how women use networks and certification of women owned businesses to tap into international and large corporate contracts.

I felt the book did a great job highlighting the support networks women can access for peer-support whilst pursing growth. This is particularly important, as an entrepreneur’s journey can most often be a lonely one without these support networks. 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 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 (as clearly highlighted in the title) and not a how-to guide. It will give you some ideas that you can apply to your business.  I would have loved to see more situational examples and an expansion on some of the tips. This I felt would have given the book more depth as and I found myself wanting to know more. On the whole I found the book to be an enjoyable read. It is well structured with bite-sized information and advice shared throughout the book. It’s ideal for those looking for inspiration and ideas.

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

In addition to The Growth Story, Sue Stockdale has also written articles for the NextWomen about focusing your business through the use of powerful questions and how to launch a business with an exit in mind.

Griselda Kumordzie Togobo (ACA, MPhil) is a Business Growth Consultant to independent professionals and small business owners. She specializes in using high-impact but low-cost business growth strategies to improve profitability.  She is very passionate about supporting women in business through her educational workshops, seminars and speaking engagements. Griselda runs AWOVI Consulting, a consultancy whose vision is to help business owners increase their profitability, cash flow and productivity. She also writes on entrepreneurship, personal development and small business management issues for various publications, at her blog and at Huffington Post UK.

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