Almost every company on the planet wants to grow their business. But ramping up successful and sustainable growth takes careful planning and execution. Are you and your company ready for this challenge?
Trying to grow without a plan and an appropriate support system in place can result in the exact opposite result. A poorly conceived growth push may not only lose you good customers, but also valuable employees in the process.
Much has been written about gearing your company up for growth. There are great sources of insight available online, in business publications, through your professional network, and, importantly, from your own experience and instincts. These can all be great sources of guidance.
The first step, however, is asking yourself the right questions.
I would like to highlight some of these as reference points toward developing your growth strategies and execution plan.
1. Is my company “growth-ready”?
A growth-ready company should have a compelling plan for how it will generate new business and, in parallel, the supporting sales and marketing resources to drive this effectively. Get all your new business development ducks in a row.
2. Are my sales reps equipped for growth?
Sales reps, like soldiers, need to go into battle properly equipped in order to win. This includes providing them with the governing structure of repeatable sales strategies, a strong knowledge of how to go to market, an understanding of key competitive differentiators, and the right sales support tools to execute effectively. Get them armed to succeed!
3. What does my brand look like?
Brand is all about reinforcing your message across multiple platforms – across traditional and new media venues. Your branding efforts should be consistent in both image and theme, up-to-date with your growth plans, and shared generously on digital and social media. Get your brand ready.
4. Can I administer the new business?
New business requires administrative support. Making sure your admin staff can effectively scale their support is critical. This typically necessitates repeatable, track-able processes and the automation of labor-intensive tasks. Empower admin with good procedures and effective technology systems.
5. Will my technology platform help me to grow my business?
Technology can be our best friend or worst enemy. There are so many individual solutions and applications available for business enhancement in the marketplace. These single-point or partial solutions can focus on CRM, order management, billing, digital marketing and much more. IT can spend inordinate amounts of time and effort on sourcing, purchasing, integrating, updating, maintaining and training on these many and new versions of applications. Upgrades are often an implementation and integration nightmare in terms of getting the different versions of software to work together effectively. As a result, IT, managers and users need to spend significant amounts of their time on this – time that would be much better spent on improving overall business operations and productivity.
With a complete and integrated technology solution – one that is purpose built for your business and includes all your required functionality - everything already works as a complete system and there is a single support and upgrade environment. Users are ensured of optimal performance on all features and functionality with limited downtimes. In short, the system will work the way it was intended with reduced IT complexity and cost and greater process efficiency across the organization. A growth-oriented business demands this. Get the right technology for your team.
6. Can I deliver on my client promises accurately and systematically?
Customer experience is everything. A good, consistent customer experience from the first point of contact to order delivery is fundamental to a growing business. This means having in place a transparent and repeatable sales-to-delivery process that connects each team member and leaves little to chance. Get these vital steps in place.
7. Can I finance the new business until I get paid?
Generating growth can be expensive if you need to finance the new business push.
Is your line of credit ready? Consider accommodating terms for new clients like incentives for down payments or quick payments. This can help your cashflow and mitigate the risks. Have a finance-friendly plan in place.
Ramping up business growth can be an exciting and rewarding journey. Do it right. Start by asking yourself the right questions.