Have you defined business growth strategies? You would be surprised how many of our clients say they are happy with their size and therefore don’t have a plan for a growth strategy.
The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.
In the life of a business, there are only two options … you can either keep up or surpass your competitors through a business growth strategy or lose market share. Business growth obviously can be planned in various degrees. If your business is at the size you desire, a minimum or status quo strategy may be the best for you. In any case, you need to execute some form of a growth strategy to at least maintain the status quo.
In a time of overwhelming competition, increasing rate of marketplace change, and significant marketing message noise and clutter, even maintaining your current customer base is difficult … and real growth even harder. We define growth capabilities, as shown in the figure below … with four necessary components.
Related post: Building Collaboration and Sharing Skills in your Staff
Growth depends on effectively adapting to change, improving your customer insights, then turning them into improvements in customer experience and service. It also depends on engaging and building communities with your target customers, improving the effectiveness of your marketing to be heard and remembered, and adding creative channels to communicate your value propositions. And it certainly depends on the quality of your employees, their training, and their ability to operate as a team.
Let us discuss each of these important growth components:
Build Customer Relationships and Trust
Customers choose businesses based on their confidence, strength of relationships, and trust.
Today there are many communication channels to engage your customers, build communities, display your brand’s values, deliver on your promises and ultimately build relationships and trust. Every customer touchpoint in each channel is an important marketing opportunity.
Business growth strategies … integrated marketing
Creating marketing messages that will be heard, remembered, and, most important, talked about, is very difficult in a world where customers have precious little time to listen.
Achieving creativity in your marketing messages delivery is essential to winning your customers’ choices, and then their loyalty.
Business growth strategy … adaptability to Change
The digital and network revolutions have unleashed rapid and significant marketplace changes that impact your ability to engage customers … and the rate and amount of change is accelerating. Businesses must interpret and understand the implications of these changes and rapidly respond with creative ideas and innovations to maintain their competitive edge.
Business growth strategies … building an effective team
Your team is your business, quite literally. It is only as good as the weakest link and your ability to provide strong and effective leadership.
You, as a business leader, must be a talent hound for future hiring, be a strong mentor and coach, and continually work to build your leadership skills and a staff that works effectively as a team.
An example of my best business growth lesson. It is tough to name just one as I have done much learning over the years and I will never be done.
I have been in management and leadership positions in the military and business world for forty years and I often get asked what the best lessons I have found. Surprisingly (or not) my list of lessons probably have varied to a degree, depending on when in my career it was constructed.
The following lessons represent my favorite lessons on business management and growth that I believe could make the biggest impact. If I was starting my career over and could take business leadership lessons back in time with me, these are the ones I would choose:
Create an environment of continuous learning
It is absolutely necessary that business people be good learners. They need to instill this in all their team. Theymust learn from their mistakes. To be most successful, managers must acknowledge, understand, and improve on their shortcomings. And they must encourage their team to also focus on continuous learning.
Be a multiplier
Multiplier business managers know that at the apex of the intelligence hierarchy is NOT the lone genius. Rather, it is the genius who knows the importance of bringing out the smarts and capabilities in everyone in the team.
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Both managers and leaders know their job with their teams is about building lots of connections. They make people feel theyhave a stake in common problems.
It is vital that you let your team know you are interested and will listen to their concerns and ideas and contribute to solutions to any and all problems.
Offer recognition and always share success
Focus on building team confidence by publiclyrecognizing their efforts and achievements. Think of it this way; anything ispossible if you share the glory. Giving others a chance to claim credit is aneasy, and effective, way to magnify results.
One of the key jobs of a manager is to be an effective decision maker. Employees are never comfortable with managers who make slow decisions and the frequently change their minds. Quality managers make decisions quickly and stick with them.
Building and maintaining trust
Always do what you say and set good examples. Demand from yourself the same level of professionalism and dedication that you expect from others. Trust, once broken, is seldom restored to its original state. It is the most fragile yet essential attribute of leadership and management.
The bottom line
To be effective in this new era, we as business people need to see our jobs differently. No more just focusing on metrics like clicks, video views or social media shares. We must successfully integrate our function with other business functions to create entire brand experiences that serve the customer all the way through their experiences throughout the business.
We can do better. Much better. But first, we need to stop seeing ourselves as crafters of clever brand messages and become creators of positive brand experiences as well as growth.
There can never be enough focus on continuous improvement on business growth, independent of how well the business is doing. It seems we all are looking to take our success to a new level. This is an excellent time to make a statement with their brand marketing. Changing before you have to is always a good idea.
As a business you can either grow or shrink … where is your small business growth focus?
Are you satisfied with your progress?
Do you have a growth story to share with this community?
Need some help in capturing more improvements for your staff’s leadership, teamwork and collaboration? Creative ideas in running or facilitating a team or leadership workshop?
Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.
Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.
When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.
Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Are you devoting enough energy innovating your social media strategyg?
Do you have a lesson about making your advertising better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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