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.