In today’s competitive market, there is no place for unscalable businesses. Investors look for a scalable venture to pour their investments in. Yet, business growth is a challenging path, and it requires some genuine inputs to be successful like resources, valuable products, innovative business model, leadership and customer satisfaction. Business growth can result from increasing sales and profit, or merging and acquisition. In this article, I discuss some key factors of business growth.
Are you an entrepreneur?
Most times, the reason for business failure is that of the poor performance of the owner. Lacking business and financial skills, couples with weak soft skills and passion can put any business in jeopardy. A business owner who possesses some business skills will well interpret the market information and make the right decisions. Importantly, any entrepreneur works in extreme uncertainty and must have the ability to identify and analyse risks. The passion for creating values and changing the world is a strong driver for any entrepreneur to make victories. Besides, entrepreneurs with recognized soft skills will be able to effectively communicate with customers and other stakeholders, make correct decisions, solve problems, lead teams, think critically and be more resilient.
Have you created a business concept that customers accept?
The journey of creating a wanted business idea begins from observing people and identification challenges, then testing the concept with customers and collect approval. A business idea that solves a compelling and urgent problem, coupled with impacting a wide range of people, is considered a powerful concept. Sourcing ideas include self-assessment, customer mapping, value analysis and external evaluation. In self-assessment, entrepreneurs assess their credentials and determine areas of interest, and customer mapping describes pains and gains that a group of customers desperately require. And evaluating existing offers can provide information about the values, e.g. benefits and features, and conclude areas for improvement. Also, studying the external environment involves evaluating any expected changes in political and legislation, business, technology and social changes. These changes can bring some significant business ideas. Yet, any business idea, by itself, does not turn out into a lucrative business, unless it is tested with customers in the marketplace and collect their approvals to buy, accompanied with a product offer that, fits the market needs.
Have you chosen the right customer segment and beachhead market?
A lot of businesses fail because of targeting the wrong customers, and any firm must identify the customer segment that fits its offer. Customer segment is a group of customers who share common characteristics, and the business owner spends sometimes understanding the market and customers. It also includes identifying the perfect customer segment and understanding their pains, gains and how to reach them. Attributes for the correct customer segment include reachable, financially capable, accessible, growing and having a compelling reason to buy your offer. Besides, choosing the beachhead market to launch your offer is crucial for the triumph of your venture. Attractive beachhead market is attributed by potential growing, matching your competitive advantages and position, being big enough and showing a room for penetration and well protected from any entrants and product substitution.
Is your offer unique?
Any product carries some benefits and features that drive customers to buy, and poor products are always unsuccessful. These benefits are the product value propositions, and they result from your core advantages, which rivalries cannot have. Such values explain why your business can provide customers with a solution that other businesses cannot. For example, Google Search delivers significant values including free, easy to use and a higher quality of services. Value propositions reveal what customers want and show customer benefits, including pain relievers and gain creators. Owners measure their values on how they benefit customers, including making them feel better, faster and cheaper. Strong value propositions are attributed by three factors including, customers’ acceptance, uniqueness and difficult to be copied or imitated.
Do you have a plan for growth?
Growth like any other deliverables requires a plan to attain, and it depends on the business nature and level of the progression made. Growth can result from increasing sales and profit or merging with other businesses. Growth means increasing sales, profit and operation and meeting the customer needs. Growth can result from paid growth, e.g. advertising and promotional campaigns, or sticky growth, e.g. sales agreement or recurring revenues, or referral growth, e.g. customers to switch in and buy your products. A growth plan shows your business ready to grow, and it includes a strategy, money, people, leadership and breakthrough technology. In strategy, objectives and ways of achieving milestones, like increasing sales and profit, are clearly defined, and money is necessary to finance any expansion and activities to attain growth. People are a significant source to perform activities and reach targets, and leadership shows the ability to manage people and resources to discover and achieve some business opportunities. Any growing business involves investing in some breakthrough technologies, e.g. software, machinery or tools, that can increase the core competency of your enterprise and outperform rivalries.
This article is extracted from my new book- Mastering Enterprise Skills for Potential Entrepreneurs, which can be found on www.amazon.co.uk. If you want to receive more information about the book and our activities, you can register in our newsletter by using this link.
Prepared by Munther Al Dawood
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