It is one of the perennial questions in business – how do I grow my business?
Well rest assured there are no magic answers but I’ve jotted down what I consider to be seven steps/areas/elements that WILL affect business growth. Being efficient, adding value, being flexible and having a willingness to change will all help you to move the business in the right direction.
But of course you need to add processes, targets and measurements as well. Here then are my seven steps to business growth.
- Operational Efficiency
Focus your time/energy/resource on activities that put you in contact with the customer. Remove/delegate/out-source all NYGA’s (non –income generating activities)
- Add Value
Do not sell on price!
Look to add value to every step of the customer relationship from initial contact (e-mail/brochure/awareness card should emphasise your service benefit) to first meeting (take samples/portfolio) to delivery (on-time, to spec but most importantly – ‘Friction Free’) to after sales (considered/interacted follow-up)
- Create your own Value Proposition
Understand your core customer base and establish (and communicate) what you can do for each of them.
Note: “Either you create value for the customer – or you will lose them to someone who will”.
- Be prepared to change
Customers change, become more demanding increase their knowledge and are ultimately more sophisticated. You must be prepared to change to remain one step ahead.
Note: “Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, your customers and business” Mark Sanborn
- Invest in Customer Deliverables
Three areas of focus:
- Provide a friction free service by minimising the need for the customer to get involved
- Deliver business solutions which you and the customer can measure (in terms of value)
- Low hanging fruit – always take the easiest profit opportunity first (money in the bank!)
- Have a Sales Process!
A good sales process should focus on three core areas:
- New Business (how many targets per week)
- Key Accounts (getting, keeping, developing)
- Improving Margins (through adding value)
- Set targets/objectives
- Customer communication
- Key account development contacts
- Marketing activity
- Business review/planning
Note: The list is almost endless