Over the last 3 years in Australia, I have worked with various small businesses with revenue ranging from $1m- $3m annually and they all have one common problem – GROWTH. Growth comes from innovation and expansion. And although these are obvious things, it becomes little hard to absorb when you consider the fact that the ecosystem in Australia is largely sales-centric and averse to risk taking when it comes to Marketing. This I believe is the stumbling block for various small and medium businesses and it does not allow them to grow. So what can businesses do to grow? While I am trying to answer this in an easy, but here are 4 steps that you can follow to get your answer.
- Who are you and who do you want to be? Are you wanting to be an Amazon or Apple?
To understand this one has to know what it takes to be what, what your business model is, what is your product, are you in a commodity market or a product market? Do you own a product or a supply chain? Can you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
2. Focus on building your strengths / Innovation
Once you have decided on who you want to be you need to define what and how you will be , what you want to be. How do you strengthen your distinction- is that via technology, price,product, partnership, reach, service. List down everything you can do to take your business a notch higher. Don’t restrict yourself, go crazy with as many ideas as you can. You may not be able to do them all but it helps to put them together and choose what can be done or is prioritized to be done.
3. Build Goals to strengthen your Distinction first
Once you have decided on what you will be good at and invest in, go ahead and make it part of your goals.Now you could have multiple goals and thats fine. But everything you do should make a difference to that Goal. Make that a part of your KPI. Measure its impact on your Topline and Bottomline.
4. Communicate your Strengths/Distinction
You breathe and live for your distinction. Make sure your distinction is part of your communication- both internal as well as external. Your every touch-point should speak of that distinction. Introduce it in every step of your business. From every-time a prospect gets in touch to an existing customer. Every moment with another person is your chance to instill that message in other’s head.
While these can be considered as axioms of growth for small and medium businesses, what is more important is how you measure and review them regularly. Remember this is one strength you have that the big business does not have, to be able to be agile and make changes to reflect that one is on course.