Growth as an Obsession

If you want to grow, making it an obsession might be a good start.

Shortly after buying the local Jiffy Lube, we spent scarce and precious resources on a marketing study that helped us identify the nature of the demand for oil changes. The results revealed dissatisfaction with the current delivery systems. Market trends, such as conversion of garages to self-service gas stations and an aging population, meant the quick-lube concept would be well accepted. Critically, the study also revealed that the 30 largest markets in the United States had room for at least 1,000 specialty oil-change shops.

Penetrating those top 30 markets became the core of our growth strategy. We understood, all too clearly, that our only competitive advantages would be our brand name, Jiffy Lube, and our understanding of the operating system necessary to deliver quick lube service (much like McDonald's for delivering quick lunch service) — both of which we would need to develop. Our commitment to growth became a frenzied obsession with first-mover advantage and brand-building. We had to dominate the top markets to create a critical mass for marketing and achieve economies of scale in advertising.

You should always set your goals high, but be warned – growth for the sake of growth can kill your cash flow and your business.