28 Jun 2019, 07:00 — 5 min read
Success in business is never an overnight process. It’s often the result of perseverance, and hard work after experiencing multiple failures and setbacks. For your business to succeed, you need to consider the following essential things that can make or break your business:
1. Focus on the market, not just your product.
When I say market, I’m not just talking about individual customers, but it’s about the market segments or categories of customers you’re targeting. What do these groups of customers want? Do their needs evolve? If yes, are your products and services relevant to them? What needs to be changed or updated then?
As market preferences change, so does product fit. With this, investing in market research from time to time is a must. The research can be as simple as a survey to around 100 of your target customers or doing a focus group discussion of 7-8 customers representative of your target market.
2. Quality before the price
When offering your product or service, you should resist the temptation to immediately cut prices to drive demand. Often, this is a temporary solution with long-term negative consequences. You have to think, what do you offer that justifies your target pricing? This means looking into features and benefits that are unique to your product and eventually enhancing it. You need to learn how to properly communicate your value proposition to your target market. Having a low price is not a sustainable advantage, but quality as defined by the customer is a long-term sustainable advantage.
3. Align people to process
Your organization is often built around certain processes — market activation processes, collection processes, supplier payment processes, human resource processes etc. But have you ever thought of how such processes can be improved technologically? What about the kind of people who can drive those processes?
Selecting the right people with the right temperament and skills are critical in supporting, sustaining, and improving those processes. Processes combined with technology, people becoming a system, and the system itself can make or break a company.
4. Maximize technology to create new markets and drive productivity
It’s already given and obvious that to be relevant to your industry, you need to deploy technology in the smartest way. Be it as simple as having an online payment option or interacting with customers via messaging app, the use of technology is a pre-requisite to your business growth.
You can reach more customers at a lesser cost through social media. You can improve delivery times through the use of delivery platforms. You can improve collection through electronic payments. There are myriad ways where almost all dimensions of a business can be enhanced through a tech application. So if you’re not yet onboard, you should start teaching yourself on how to make your business tech savvy.
5. Protect your cashflow and deploy capital that delivers value
At some point, entrepreneurs who get their first taste of wild success treat themselves by buying items. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you should keep it simple and affordable. No need to buy that expensive car or fancy condo. Counterintuitively, it is precisely when your sales are going up that you will be needing more cash to sustain growth. More demand translates to more investments in resources — productive capacity, inventory, supplies, people, etc. Therefore, you need to learn how to guard against leakages and raise more capital in anticipation of growth. These can drive customer demands and create a virtuous and sustainable cycle.
Have you already evaluated your business using these five essential things that drive business growth? If not yet, find the time to discuss this with your team and come up on a winning strategy for your business to accelerate further.
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