Looking to start a business? Want to grow your existing business? Engaged in a business with a physical office location and real-world activities? In this article, let’s try to understand the basic concepts and strategies to start and grow a business on the fast track. As basic principles are universal, the strategies will apply to both online and offline businesses, or even a hybrid business model.
If you apply these basic concepts in your business plan, you should be able to create the right product for your next online e-commerce venture or a service for your digital consultancy that you have been planning.
Make Value Your Business
If you want your business to grow exponentially, you have to provide a product or service that offers real value to your target customers. So, what is value?
For a business product or service, the challenge of offering real value can be solved in different ways, depending on how you want to position your business. Some businesses deliver value through cheap pricing, while others might be interested in offering the top-notch quality. Both are real values and can be used to build and grow your business.
For instance, low price provides immediate satisfaction and encourages repeat business. You get immediate acceptance from price-conscious customers. In contrast, value could also be something of exceptional craftsmanship whose value appreciates over time.
How to Find Exceptional Product for Your Business?
Unfortunately, it’s not something that can be dished out to you. You, and you alone, discover the right product or service offering through experience and research. It’s like finding the secret formula to a new recipe. You create it on your own. You don’t find them in cookbooks.
Explore the market that you want to enter. Learn about the demand and challenges. Based on your research, you will be able to discover what could be the next Windows (operating system), Google (web search) or iPod (now out of fashion music player). Windows was the leader in graphic interface based computing. Google was able to offer the best search experience for the web. iPod tapped an unexplored domain and solved a problem by packing hundreds of songs on a small device. You know what an exceptional product is, and must have realised that you alone have to discover the one for your business.
Once you have a product that captivates consumers with its remarkable value, your business will grow exponentially.
Of course, you will also have to market it with the same zeal, establish customer loyalty, optimize your business process, and do an incredible job at branding the product.
Don’t ignore marketing and branding. Steve Jobs is a recognized name, but the original product that established Apple was created by Steve Wozniak. Jobs only marketed it.
Once you have started out on the success track, you need to keep the growth momentum. You need to focus on mastering the fundamentals of sustainable growth. After your business has achieved the initial success, you need to follow these stratedies to maintain the exponential growth trajectory.
1. Deliver Exemplary Customer Service
Every business is about keeping customers happy. Assuming your growth has been due to the development and marketing of an exemplary product, consumers look to you as the go-to resource for further help with the product. In some cases, they may have to bring back the product for repair or replacement. In online businesses such as e-commerce, you will have to go out and deliver products in fast and reliable manner.
More online businesses require to interact with their customers in the real, physical space. Get an outstanding team for such home visits for product deliveries or services. You might like to outsource the task of product delivery to logistics providers, but if your product is unique, you might also need your own field service agents.
Let us assume you start an online real estate business. You have an online business, but a lot of work needs to be done on the ground by your field service team. Such specialist tasks cannot be outsourced. In this case, you need to train your staff for offering the right kind of service. You will aso have to deploy some sort of field service management (FSM) software to organize the day-to-day work of your field agents in an efficient manner. Using technology-driven system makes it possible for your field executives to meet customer expectations, and improve productivity. Without a good system, it will be difficult to control costs, determine the quality of work, or build your business reputation.
2. Keep Your Troops Motivated
Nothing leads to a traumatic death for businesses than an incompetent and unmotivated staff. Would you be buying from a store where the salesperson isn’t enthusiastic about the opportunity to make a sale? A cold response from the staff of your company can spell doom for your business. Keep your employees and team members enthusiastic and motivated towards the growth of your business.
Create a corporate culture around a mission statement that instills a deep sense of authentic purpose in employees. Usually this is a slogan rather than a dry statement. For instance, Google’s mission statement is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” while Coca-Cola’s mission statement is “To refresh the world. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness. To create value and make a difference.”
While these slogans may sound contrived to outsiders, they are akin to a revolutionary song for your organization.
Also, provide your employees a sense of ownership in your business venture. It can be accomplished in many ways, without even having to offer shareholding to employees. One needs an attachment and sense of belongingness to work towards the benefit of the organization. A collective reward and recognition of individual achievements can also motivate your staff members.
Let us take example of a digital marketing agency. If one of your employees delivered great results, facilitate her within the company. You can also reward the person by acknowledging their achievement in public forums such as your company Facebook page. A mention on your website, social media page can be very rewarding and gratifying for the employee. Recognition is a great motivation.
3. Become Unforgettable
If a rousing mission statement instills enthusiasm in your business team members, a memorable brand stirs a deep sense of loyalty in consumers.
Are Apple’s products technologically superior to other similar products by other companies? It depends whom you ask. An Apple loyalist has associated Apple’s innovative use of aesthetically pleasing products with technological superiority. For Apple enthusiasts, the answer is always “yes.”
Brand positioning and visibility is very important for sustained high-growth trajectory. You must focus on building your brand that stays with your customers like an edict on a rock. Once you have etched your brand on the minds of your target customers, you will find your going smooth.
In conclusion, it’s important to remember that taking your business to the next level after you’ve initiated a process of exponential growth is a complex process. While you will make substantial progress with developing superior customer service, creating an enthusiastic corporate culture, and building an unforgettable brand, many other factors go into making a good company great. For instance, many companies trace their large market share to partnerships and joint ventures, customer retention strategies, and a constant and never ending improvement to sustain repeatable sales.
For all this to happen, you need to discover your valuable product and build your business around it. Existing entrepreneurs can start towards improving their products or services. Wannabe entrepreneurs should invest time discovering the right product. Take action and start today. Your first step marks the start of a success story.