Business Growth: Are You a Mover or a Head-Shaker?

It’s been a rough three years. That’s not news.

And, with last week’s released GDP, it looks like we may not have a light at the end of the tunnel for another 14 or 15 months.

Despite the tough economy, there is a set of businesses, dubbed “movers”, according to Chicago-based Anchor Advisors, that continue to grow.

In their recently released study on 130 mostly founder-led small businesses, they found leaders are made up of “movers” and “head-shakers.”

Anchor found five important differences that set movers apart from those who are content blaming the economy for their business troubles:

  1. Work hard, play hard. The movers worked more hours than shakers, but also took more vacation time. Research shows if you can unplug, you come back to work completely refreshed and with a clear brain.
  2. Keep talking to customers. Movers spent more time in direct contact with their customers. While it may not be possible to spend time with all of your customers, consider using technology (Skype, for instance) that allows you to have face-to-face time without having to get on a plane.
  3. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow. The movers spent more time reviewing company performance and planning for the future.
  4. Avoid time-wasters. At the thriving businesses, the owners also spent less time in meetings and resolving employee issues. Meetings tend to be a waste of time so spending time away from them leads to increased profits.
  5. Think and grow rich. The movers were more likely to read business and personal-growth books in an effort to improve their business-management skills and their level of satisfaction with their life.

Some of these may not come as a surprise to you, while others are a nice reminder of going back to the basics.

Also consider adding things like working on the business, instead of in it, negotiating new terms with vendors and partners, and outsourcing work where you need specific expertise. Not only will you save money for the business, you’ll begin to drive more profit.

It’s up to you. Would you rather grow your business right now or blame the economy and watch your business falter?



Thanks for the coverage of our research study! It is up to the business owner to get things growing again.

Personally, I'd like to hear more about how you are using Skype with clients. We are doing more and more, but there's a learning curve!

Stop by EnMast again sometime soon.


petercanthony moderator

@blfarris Brad, our customers are in Asia so technology is important for our use in communicating with them. I make a trip there every other month (typically), but, as you well know, it's not enough for great customer service.

Thanks for the study and for stopping by.