Here are the 7 Ps that can help your business build a solid foundation for growth:
If there’s one thing that has surprised me over the years is that not everyone wants their business to grow. I had always just assumed everyone did. And almost every leader says that business growth is important. But from what I’ve observed, some truly do and some don’t.
In order for an organization to grow, there needs to be an underlying desire to grow. And that desire is usually based in a clarity of vision about the organization’s future. And you must also be clear about the “why” of your growth plan. What’s the fundamental reason why you want to grow your company. Is it to serve more people in your target market, to earn more money for investors, shareholders, and employees, or, as in the case of nonprofits, reaching out and improving the lives of more people in the community.
The “why” for every business might be unique, but the need for a reason (and clarity about what that reason is) must be clear. Without this driving desire, this passion, growth becomes very difficult and a dedication to any growth strategy lacks depth and is often short-lived and unsuccessful. Passion is required to ensure a long-enduring focus needed to make a growth strategy successful.
At the core of any good growth strategy is clear knowledge about your company’s position in the market – and how that compares with what you want that position to be. You must have a great understanding of what sets your organization and it’s products/services apart from the rest of your market. How is what you offer unique?
Obviously this also presupposes a great deal of knowledge about the needs of the market that you are trying to address as well as how others in your market are doing the same thing. And, finally, you have to know exactly how you are different and unique.
From all this knowledge you can build a clear brand promise that speaks to your market. This is where market and communications becomes so critical to your growth. Delivering market messaging that supports the positioning of your company is a difficult challenge. It requires you taking knowledge of your market and knowledge of the positioning you are trying to develop and then building a creative, memorable marketing and brand communications strategy around it.
With clarity about “why” you want to grow your organization you can then dedicate yourself to finding the path forward. Designing that plan requires an investment of time thinking about how you will get where you want to go. These are the goals and strategies you put in place that will help you take steps toward growing your business. I know, I know. Planning. Yikes. But, trust me, without a guiding map you can easily lose your way.
Developing business processes that interact with your customers and others need to serve the needs of your market and deliver on the promises you have made. Too often business processes are set up to benefit the company and not its customers. Return policies are restrictive – and imply distrust of customers. Pricing and billing practices lack transparency. Ordering is overly complex. Customer services is more “company service” and adversarial. Don’t just give it lip-service, really design your business around your ideal customers. The pay-back will be well-worth it.
Nothing great gets done without the right people in place. Being able to have a great staff that understands what you are trying to achieve and their role in making that happen is a huge part of growth.
At its core business is (and always will be) about people. Plans are just plans. Processes are only processes. It’s people that make those processes work and live. Consider your hiring and training systems. Do they result in having the best people in place to represent your organization the way you want them to? Identify, bring on board, and support great people and your business can take the next step in its growth.
With all the other pieces in place you should feel comfortable showing your personality and your company’s personality. (Yes, of course companies have personalities!) Obviously social media comes to mind when I say that doesn’t it. And honestly I think social media can be a smaller, growing business’s secret weapon. By now you should have pretty good clarity about the image you are trying to create amongst your target market. Delivering that through social media is a great way to demonstrate that – by the items you write and share, by the words you use, by the way you say things, by the discussions you engage in, etc.
So, you want your business to grow? Make sure you follow my guide and put the right pieces in place. You will set the foundation and start to see your prospects for growth take off!
Please feel free to reach out and get in touch and let's explore how I can help you and your business succeed. No pressure. Just an informal discussion to explore some ideas. You can reach me at (713) 907-8429 or BCohen@IDiscoverConsulting.com I hope you are enjoying these blog posts If so, please help spread the word. Tell others about IDiscover Consulting Group and IDiscover Journal. Share these posts. Comment on them. I’d really love to hear your ideas!