By Peter L DeHaan, PhD
Although there are exceptions, most TAS owners want to grow their business. (Even those who want to keep the operation at its present size need to add new accounts to make up for cancellations.) To grow your TAS, there are but two ways: through sales and marketing or through acquisition.
Sales and marketing allows for controlled expansion at a steady and manageable rate, without taxing staff or infrastructure. This requires no extra stress or additional work, and other projects aren’t put on hold.
Acquisition provides a nice jump in size all at once. A team spirit develops as staff pull together to integrate the new accounts or another location into an existing operation. The effort is intense, and then things return to normal.
Considering which method best fits your goals is a great place to start. However, don’t overlook your own strengths. I always desired the methodical predictability of the sales and marketing approach, yet I had trouble finding the right sales staff and managing them to succeed. What I was good at was acquisitions: the pursuit of the deal, the negotiation, and the integration afterwards.
Both growth options are legitimate considerations, but don’t do what everyone else is doing; pick the option that works best for you and your staff.