How to grow your business
Do you want results faster. We all want to multiply our turnover, not in next 25 years, not in a decade, but as soon as possible-and how about it in one year?.
Whatever may be the business you are engaged in all sustainable businesses have an organic growth. An organic growth simplifies the complexities of a business from time to time. We use all kinds of resources and information to make our business grow. By using resources like man power, capital and applying right strategies and having the access to the right information can help us succeed. Therefore your focus must be on gathering as much information as possible.
That includes customer information, market information, information about competition and their offerings, information about what is going on in your industry and what is likely to happen in the future.
In terms of using resources, you must be able to leverage them and able to use them at the right time. Then you need strategies and systems in place. One of the major keys to unlocking business growth potential is having the right systems and processes along with the discipline to ensure they work every time. Many global business giants like McDonalds, Coke, GE and Toyota started out small and grew through having robust systems and processes in place which are not dependent on one individual alone.
Finally, to double your business turnover, you need a turnover plan and growth strategy in place.
Here are seven ways discussed and when applied strategically can help you double your business turnover in one year.
1. Set a high target.
Raising the expectation is easy and believable if you have a clear plan about how you are going to achieve them. But we seldom raise our expectations, because we tend to think realistic, we look at our past performance and results as a bench mark to determine how much we can expect in the future. The truth is as famous motivational speaker Tony Robbins says, ‘the past does not equal the future’. We can achieve more. The fact is that we are not using our complete potential. We delude ourselves thinking that we doing our best. But are we?!
Setting a high target is one side of the equation; the other side is about equipping oneself and the organization to reach that level. Remember, the current results are produced by the current way of thinking and doing.
If you want to double your turnover, you need to double your efforts and not necessarily on the same things you are currently doing. Doing things differently is the key, but it all starts with- thinking differently.
You can meet any expectation if you can also raise your standard. Therefore you can reach any target as high as you are able to reach your standards for achieving them. Remember that achieving a superior result is always an outcome and a direct reflection of the standard that you have already achieved in your organization.
The question is- how do you raise your standard? I must say that, it is the same way you have done it already- through education.
Don’t be afraid to set a big goal or a big target, but remember to equally raise your standards of thinking and doing. Support yourself by constantly applying your knowledge and insights to work. But remember that, learning is not everything, putting them to action is more important. As Late Jim Rohn says “your learning must not lead to knowledge, but it must lead you to action’.
2. Expand geographically.
Always look for new customers in new geographical locations. There is a saturation point for the products and services we sell or market, if you focus on them long enough to serve only in few territories. The key is to develop and implement a successful model in one territory and then replicate the same system in other geographical locations as well.
Your customers are everywhere. They must know about your product and services. You must reach out to them and serve them when the need arises. Take a blank sheet and write down those territories, you think your product can have a great reach and acceptance. Never prejudice on the market or its customers. Sometimes market surveys do not tell the truth completely. Very often‘test marketing’ is useful but make sure you make a smart entry. Devise any strategy from ‘penetration to viral or sweeper’ but make sure you enter new markets when the time is ripe. Revise your strategy based on the feed backs you receive from the market. Adapting to the conditions and breaking through challenges can give you the edge to capture your market. Be flexible. What works in one situation or place might not work in all places.
3. Add more value to your offering.
Customers may be loyal, but they all expect something more from you as time pass by. You need to keep adding value to your offerings. Customers seek variety and surprises. They want more from what they consume. They have some expectations from their brand- that the brand will offer better product or service in comparison to what was offered last year or last season.
On one side you maintain quality, but on the other side you improve as much as you can on features and benefits. Constant improvement is essential. Customers should feel that the brand is getting better than the last time.
Be generous in your offering. Customers love generosity. It keeps them connected to you and addicted to you. Sometimes the values you add may not mean much to the cost of your offering, but it can mean a lot to your customers. Before you make your generous proposition, find out first ‘what your customers value the most, what can be improved, what is that one area where some customers show disappointment etc. Understanding your ideal customers and their primary concerns are essential in developing and delivering a value addition to your offering.
Some value offerings can increase the transactions. You can also deploy the ‘rehash’ strategy. Every time a customer makes a buying transaction with your business you suggest an additional, complimentary product to go with it. You can increase the volume of the sale also by suggesting annual plans. Make a customer commit to a long term business relation by offering discounted subscriptions and annual plan. Here, instead of a one- time purchase and single turnover, you have established repetitive business and customer retention.
4. Innovate new products and services.
New Product innovation (NPI) gives you greater opportunities to increase your turnover. Adding new products/services to your existing product/service line can get more attention and business from your customers and prospects. First of all loyal customers are willing to buy anything new from you. If you have already built reputation for something, then adding new range of innovation can immediately find its (early adopters and early majority) customers. But all brand extensions you think as an innovation need not be successful always. There are certain innovations that gain market acceptance while many will just remain as mere inventions.
First of all, when you innovate, it is important that you are the first to be in that category. If you are late in your innovation, you must learn to distinguish yourself from the innovator. Divergence and differentiation is essential at this point, and if you fail to do so, you will be perceived a copy cat.
5. Innovate new channels of marketing and sales.
In today’s changing market place, the idea of innovation is not only about introducing new products and services but also about developing and implementing new sales and marketing models. Amazon developed a distribution system ‘on line’ to reach out to its customers, so did Domino’s Pizza with a 30 minute delivery model and Dell with its direct marketing model.
Innovative marketing strategies are the need of the hour. You need to develop new strategies to develop more leads. If you can increase the numbers of your prospects list, especially ‘the hot list’, and then you know whom to target and ask for the business.
There are so many products innovated and failed because they could not gain market acceptance, let alone they never knew who their customers were. In fact there is a museum in Ithaca, New York called “the Museum of failed products”. Products and services that do not get market acceptance are not innovation but inventions.
Individuals and organization must innovate new ways to reach out to customers. Customers are bombarded with marketing messages. They are interrupted and they have developed a deaf ear to marketing messages. Conventional advertising model is not the only thing to reach out to customers. You must define your ideal customers and reach out to them in many ways at many times, so that they will get your attention and you get their positive response. Therefore you must innovate new ways of communicating your product benefits to customers.
New delivery models have to be designed to meet customer’s rising demands. Customers appreciate faster delivery, no hassles and free of tension while doing business with you. The real question is how you can make those happen.
6. Identify new customer demographics and psychographics
There is a new market opening up all the time, but the irony is that the market will not express its need to the manufacturer or the makers of the product and services. You must identify a need or you must trigger a ‘new want’ in customers. Demographics give you information of who your customers are but psycho graphical information gives you information why they choose to buy your product or services. Everything we buy and consume is to satisfy a human need. The ultimate need for most of the consumption is to feel good in our own terms. In order to increase your business, you must identify new demographical and psycho graphical markets. In India, ‘Fair and lovely’ cosmetic company made a market for men and women in fairness crèmes, Toyota innovated the Lexus brand to serve a psychographics of premium and upper class customers.
You can always create new categories for a different gender, age group or build a brand on a criteria that it will serve the purchasing power or tastes and preference of customers.
7. New acquisitions and diversification
Investing back into your business is essential for more growth. New acquisition, take overs and joint ventures along with a sound diversification strategy paves more ways to make that investment solid. Diversification and acquisitions help you enlarge the pond faster. You must learn to treat your company as an entity that is capable of providing several products and services.
Global consumer giant P&G is started by William Procter ( a candle maker), and James Gamble (a soap maker) and it was incorporated in the year 1890, but today they have more than 300 global brands. Multiple acquisitions made Laxmi Mittal, the biggest steel maker in the world. ‘Virgin’ brand created by millionaire Richard Branson has over 100’s of business diversifications bearing the ‘Virgin’ brand name. The surprising fact is that the Virgin Group has pursued diversification into completely unrelated business areas like vodka, books, airline, mobile phone etc.
Diversification strategy can include the development of new products or markets, acquisition of a firm, alliance with a complementary company, licensing of new technologies, and distributing or importing a products line manufactured by another firm. Very often diversification is a combination of many strategies. Long term vision and an eye to observe the emerging market opportunities are essential in this area for diversification.