Speed of business is getting faster and faster and in this new era of “get more done in less time”, the demand for companies to be able to juggle a multitude of tasks simultaneously in order to grow their business has become a major hurdle to overcome.
The irony is that the advancement in technology in recent years should have, in theory, made the process of growing one’s business easier, more efficient and achievable. The reality is, most companies are faced with limitations in time, resources, staff and budgets and are challenged with achieving growth despite their best efforts.
According to The National Center for Middle Markets 4Q 2015 Middle Market Indicator, 100,000 middle market companies (revenue between $10 million to $1 billion) regardless of their efforts, investments or tactics will either remain flat or decline in growth.
Despite a plethora of reasons that experts attribute to why a business can struggle to achieve growth, one major obstacle to ponder is that ‘the old way of doing things no longer is working’. This might be stating the obvious, but in this new digital realm, the paradigm clearly shifted.
Critical business areas that once impacted growth through traditional tactics and processes of yesterday have morphed exponentially into new business Specialties. And these highly focused Specialty areas require a brand new approach, skillset, level of experience and expertise combined with a dedicated allocation of time and commitment to effectively plan, coordinate, execute, measure and quickly adjust that many companies are not equipped to handle.
So unless your company has the means to recruit and hire a new breed of specialty experts coupled with large sums of dollars to allocate towards new software and systems, there is a lot for you to consider in how your company approaches growth
With the ability for customers to access practically anything, from anywhere, anyway they want it, has forced businesses to maintain a more vigilant and robust watch on the competition, both legacy and new entries as well as new market trends.
Every area of a business has been touched or heavily impacted by the advancements in technology over the past two decades. A once small IT department whose sole focus was to keep the computers working, has evolved into the mission-critical backbone essential to a business’ success or failure.
Customers want to be heard and they desire brands and companies that listen and work hard to meet their individual needs that go beyond offering simply functional feature and benefits. To be relevant with todays’ customers, companies have to make an emotional connection that requires proactive engagement and interaction on the customer’s terms - which many times, translate to being accessible 24/7.
Innovative Products and Services: To meet the needs of highly scrutinizing, well informed and demanding customers, businesses must constantly be thinking about new and unique ideas, products, and services that they can offer their customers in exchange for their loyalty.
In lieu of outdated sales tactics like the almighty rolodex and the strength of your team’s individual contacts and networks, companies need to develop a robust lead generation approach. This will require the implementation and universal ADOPTION of a CRM system and an effective sales funnel in order to qualify and distribute relevant leads to a heavily mobile-dependent salesforce.
The ability to access, reach and communicate with the right customers on a consistent and measurable 1-to-1 basis has replaced the traditional 1-to-many approaches. And with this multi-channel marketing approach, a critical touchpoint that must be included in the mix is social media. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are no longer a new trend. They have become the standard in customer engagement.
But be warned, just like TV and Radio back in their prime, social media is inundated with clutter and noise and in order for brands to stand out and make an impact, establishing an authoritative reputation and presence with customers is paramount. This of course, is all contingent on the ability to create excellent and consistent content that will resonate with and influence the customer.
With so many sources for vital data that can impact a business’ ability to grow, just collected it is just the beginning. To get the most out of your data, the information must be aggregated, analyzed and translated into actionable insights in order to have the best impact on your ROI.
No matter what industry your business is in, the need to stay current and comply with an influx of governmental and industry statutes and regulations has heightened in recent years.
With so many new critical impact areas to account for, where should a business begin? I believe that the old adage “work smarter not harder” has never been more applicable to a company’s ability to achieve growth than in today’s fast-paced business environment.
So if your company is currently operating in a lets “Get-‘Er-Done” manner and is scrambling to put out fires on a daily basis, perhaps its time to put on the breaks and consider switching your business growth approach. I recommend an approach that replaces being in a state of constant reactivity to one which centers on developing and incorporating a comprehensive and overarching strategy to achieve sustainable growth.
According to Sun Tzu, “Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” Translated into terms of today’s message - Before attempting to juggle a hatchet, flaming stick and rubber ball for the first time, its best to develop a strategy first.
Visit the Inventis Strategies website to learn how we can help your company build and sustain growth.
In part II. of my blog series that addresses the importance for organizations to develop, improve, and practice daily business fundamentals in order to achieve organizational success and growth, the focus will be to offer suggested steps that fall within the area of Corporate Strategy.
According to Tony Dungy, who became the first African American NFL head coach to win the Super Bowl when the Baltimore Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.
“It's not necessarily who has the most talent but what team sticks together and executes their fundamentals the best.”
The critical concept here is “Sticks together.” Despite many championship teams that had one or a few pivotal super star player(s) that were extremely instrumental in the team winning the title, the fact still remains that the team, as a complete entity, was successful because of a strong bond and chemistry, a shared vision and drive, and the collective blood, sweat and tears of every member of that organization, not just a few, working towards a common goal.
Establish a Common Purpose
As a company matures and expands over time, it is easy to stray off course losing sight of its unique story and delivering on its value proposition. A common purpose endorsed and driven from the leadership team down throughout an organization will unite a company, inspire and align its people and give clear definition and direction as to what the company holistically is working towards; ultimately making employees become believers.
Focus on What Your Company Does Well and Do It Better!
A common mistake many organizations fall victim to is losing focus and departing from a continuous effort to make their products and services better. A status quo position may be sustainable for a period of time - albeit brief, but getting too comfortable can have dire consequences.
As with an athlete’s quest to be the best through ongoing physical conditioning, daily practice and mental preparation, a company equally needs to be disciplined, focused and driven to ensure its products and services do not lose their competitive edge.
Build a Great Company Culture
A company, like the dynamics between a team’s players, coaches, trainers, medical and support staff, can only be successful contingent on the whole organization coming together and working towards common goals that go way beyond just making money.
Today’s workforce is made up of multi-generational segments (Millennials, Generation X, Baby-boomers, and Traditionalists) that are fundamentally different in how each group sees the world and how each of its members wants to live and work in it. Now more than ever before, a balanced work-personal life is being embraced as the norm and companies are struggling to identify, attract, engage and retain the best people. It is no longer exclusively about who can pay the most in order to keep employees happy.
People are looking for and desire to work for organizations that place a heavy emphasis and focus on creating a unique culture where everyone can contribute to the success of the organization. A place where employees are recognized and respected as individuals, given a voice and are encouraged to share: who they are, their interests and what drives them, their dreams and passions and are expected to offer feedback, suggestions, and ideas. After all, great ideas and innovation do not just live in the C-Suite anymore or have to come from someone with 25+ years of industry experience.
The bottom line, employees make the difference and are truly the most important asset of any organization. If given the opportunity and allowed to develop and blossom, every employee has the potential to be instrumental in helping his or her company achieve its growth objectives.
Look for my next post in this four-part series that will include steps that can be taken to increase company growth and success that fall within Market Analysis.
Vince Lombardi is arguably one of the greatest NFL football coaches in history and what he truly believed created a championship-team was mastering the fundamentals:
“Some people try to find things in this game that don't exist but football is only two things - blocking and tackling.”
Michael Jordan, also arguably the greatest NBA basketball player of all time, is a believer that no matter what you do in life, success is only possible when fundamental excellence serves as the foundation to every action.
“The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether its proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”
Today’s B2B landscape has changed dramatically in recent years making it more complex and incredibly competitive resulting, in business owners having to rethink how they grow their organizations in a once “price-driven” and “delivery of excellent customer-service” marketplace.
71 % of B2B customers are indifferent or disengaged with their current solutions provider. No one industry is immune from this circumstance. -Gallup Poll B2B Organic Growth 2016
Now more than ever, the practice and mastering of daily business fundamentals and principles, in lieu of searching for quick-fix solutions, will be critical. Over the course of a four-part blog series, I wanted to share some practical business fundamental strategies and steps that every business can begin to put into practice for achieving long-term growth and success. These will include:
At the end of the day, every company wants to succeed and hopes to create a “championship-level” organization, culture, and environment capable of generating year-over-year growth. This is a feat many organizations are challenged with because they don’t know where to begin. Borrowing legendary NBA Coach Phil Jackson’s words - “The ideal way to win a championship is step-by-step”.
Look for my next post in this four-part blog series that will include steps that can be taken to increase company growth and success that fall within Corporate Strategy.
If you interested in learning more please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org