Working Smarter Not Harder to Make your Business Grow Successfully
I have been asked so many times by business owners ‘what is that I need to do to make my business a success?’ My advice is always tailored to the needs of that particular business at the time as each business will be in a different stage of its growth and each will have its own challenges. However, in my experience the following three concepts are essential components leading any business to grow successfully:
Business Growth By Testing
Sell Sell Sell – So many business owners that I have come across believe that if they have a good product and simply open their doors, a flood of customers will come rushing in to buy. Wrong. As a wannabe entrepreneur the one single most important thing you will ever do is make your first sale. Without sales you will not have a viable business. So forget picking out furniture for your new office, or titivating the new website – they will not in themselves create sales. Instead concentrate on testing out your intended marketplace(s). Find out if you have actually got a product that will sell whether it is cupcakes, jewellery, insurance, newspapers or anything else, before you commit substantial time and money. Ask friends, neighbours, colleagues. Sell at flea markets or ask existing retailers to sell for you on a ‘sale or return basis’. Only once you have done this will you be sure that there is a market and that you have workable business proposition for a business and business growth.
Business Growth By Value Pricing
Value Pricing – It is all too easy to fall into the trap of pricing the product or service that you offer based on cost of time and materials. After all it is a very old and well-used technique utilised by lawyers, accountants, architects, consultants etc etc. What this does however is put a ‘glass ceiling’ on what you are able to earn as there are only a limited number of hours that you can work. You can also be confident that when Apple (by way of example) launched the iPod and iPad they didn’t simply multiply the cost of manufacture by 2.2 to come up with a selling price! Instead, begin to think of the value that the work that you will do or the product that you are selling will add to the customer. If you are being asked to consult it is because you have knowledge and expertise that the customer does not. If the result of your consultation is an increase in profit of £1million what should your expertise be worth? It is exactly the same with a product – what is the perceived value to the customer and how much is that worth will help you business to grow?
Business Growth From Competition
Make Competition Irrelevant – Build an innovative strategy for your business that places your business proposition in a marketplace all of its own – no competition! To do this you have to stop focusing on beating the competition in your current marketplace and create a leap in the perceived value of your product or service that renders the competition irrelevant. A great example of this is would be cinemas. There are a number of high brand well know cinemas complex companies out there who compete for the same customers. What if one of them thought differently though and decided to attract new customers, customers who don’t usually frequent the cinema. Asking why people don’t go to the cinema is possibly a more pertinent question than ‘how do I attract more of the customers who already frequent the cinema?’ For example, there are many parents with small children who do not frequent the cinema because of childcare problems. By providing a crèche facility at the cinema where children can play and will be fed a healthy meal whilst Mum and Dad go and watch a movie a whole new opportunity opens up. By building an innovative strategy around attracting customers that do not already frequent the cinema they open up an entirely new market – one that the competition is not in on. So by being innovative and creating an innovation strategy that eliminates your competitors which in turn will allow your business to grow successfully.
Louise Woods: Innovation Strategist & Mastermind Coach
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Filed under: Innovation Strategist
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