Many business owners and leaders struggle to channel their thinking into ‘ownership or leadership thinking’ that focuses their actions on working “ON’ their business, and not just ‘IN’ it. It’s an easy trap to fall into as the daily demands will usually win. But if you want to identify meaningful outcomes and actions for business growth, you need to know what you should focus on and what should warrant your attention.
I often refer to 10 business growth enablers which, when working together, will help you align your priorities and focus you to successful execute your growth strategy over the long term. Each business growth enabler will help you assess a particular part of your business, giving you a view as to where your business is today and the path you need to take to accelerate its growth.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to deep dive into each growth enabler; what’s the essence of the enabler, what questions you should ask yourself, and what gaps possibly exist in your business to help you gauge whether a particular business growth enabler is driving or derailing your growth ambitions.
And to kick it all off, here’s a summary of the 10 business growth enablers to wet your appetite and give you the heads up.
10 business growth enablers
#1 Business Purpose, Growth & Aspirational Goals
The challenge for all businesses, and especially those that have been around for a long time is that they become processors of products and services, focused on the WHAT and the HOW. They lose touch with their WHY and as a result, they lose the ability to see the world through the customer lens. The ability to focus is critical for success. It’s too easy to be distracted by the next opportunity, the next million-pound idea. Most people are better at dreaming up new ideas than making them a reality, and if you’re not focused, there is an inherent risk of being known as a great thinker, or even visionary, who never made anything happen. As the saying goes ‘where focus goes energy flows’.
Are you following your North Star?
Are you really clear on WHY the business exists, the difference it makes and the value it adds?
How would you describe your business growth strategy?
Check out this blog…One question you should ask to unlock your business transformation
#2 Market Potential
A spray and pray approach will not cut it in today’s market, but most companies approach market potential as a random series of moves that may or may not pay off. A key step is to ensure alignment of your business purpose, your aspirational goals and growth strategy with the potential in your market. In other words, does the overall size of the market and the opportunity that exists exceed your business growth aspirations?
Do you know where to find your target customer?
Do you know the market potential for your products or services that will enable you to deliver accelerated, sustained and profitable business growth?
Does the market exist?
Do you understand the extent, or indeed the limits, of the market that is available to you?
Are you set up to capture those markets?
Need help defining the opportunity? Check out this blog… Market Size – 13 questions to help you define the opportunity
#3 Products & Services
‘Why should I buy from you?’ A question every business leader, owner, and entrepreneur must ask every day across their entire customer lifecycle: Why? Because in a fiercely competitive world, your competition is trying to poach your customers; competitors that you may know well, new entrants appearing from nowhere, and old rivals who suddenly seem to have got their act together and are on the offensive. It is ultra-competitive, and complacency is not an option. Your product and service offering must be fresh, relevant and address specific needs and wants of existing and future customers. Your accelerated, sustained and profitable growth depends on it!
Why should customers buy from you?
What differentiates your products and services and gives you the edge over your competitors?
Do you have a clear understanding of the REAL profitability by product or service line
How do you position your products and services aligned to the needs, wants and motivations of your target customer profile/s?
Check out this blog 5 steps to building a compelling value proposition to help you answer the question ‘ why should I buy from you’.
#4 Customer Experience
There is a massive philosophical shift happening in the way businesses around the world are having to think about how they acquire, maximise, and retain customers and it’s affecting your business right now. Where you have previously been able to focus your energies on building great products and services as a competitive advantage, taking your business to its full potential is going to require something quite different in the future.
Are you a stager of great customer experiences?
How easy are you to do business with?
How are you creating tangible differentiation through your customer experience?
How are you establishing your business as the true partner of choice for your customers?
Want to know more…read this blog 4 components of the customer experience you should know.
#5 Marketing & Communications
The interdependencies between marketing and the other business growth enablers, specifically Business Purpose, Products & Services, Customer Experience and Market Potential, is so tightly woven that the boundaries where one stops and another one starts can often become blurred. It is important to recognise this because in your business if you own and manage all the growth enablers you can easily find the interdependencies and work to make them stronger. If on the other hand, you’re part of a wider organisation with stand-alone functions, there is a real risk insights and lessons won’t be shared unless you take action to ensure they are.
Are your messaging and communications hitting the spot?
What do you want to be known for?
What does your brand say about your business?
Are you realising the benefits of your marketing efforts?
Are you engaging with your audience?
Not sure how to write a strategic marketing plan? Don’t worry. Check out this blog – How to write a strategic marketing plan – it will have you covered!
#6 Business Development & Sales
There is a direct correlation between sales and revenue, so in delivering accelerated, sustained and profitable business growth, your business development and sales strategy is critical. Sales has the ability to transform your business into a profitable organisation capable of fulfilling a gap or previously unmet need in the marketplace. This is the reason why all businesses exist: to serve a customer, in some way. If operational excellence represents the arteries of the organisation, sales is the heartbeat that feeds your business.
Have you got the right people, in the right place, with the right skills and knowledge, focused on the right activities?
Sales should be at the heart of every businesses performance culture, is it in yours?
How well do you plan and forecast critical sales revenue in your business? (Check out this blog: Sales Forecasting & Planning: 4 things you should know)
How effective are you at measuring and modelling the customer sales journey right from acquiring new customers, to developing and maximising the relationship to optimising retention and the ongoing commercial value to your business?
Are your sales teams equipped with the tools to do the job and a clear understanding of what excellence looks, feels and acts like?
Your people are one of the most powerful resources available to you in realising your goals and ambitions, and the way you culturally think about your people strategy is critical to your sustained commercial and business success. Organisations that have highly energised and engaged teams deliver superior and sustained results, with people who are prepared to go the extra mile by tapping into their optional and discretionary commitment. They truly have skin in the game! One of the greatest assets of your business walks out the door every night. What are you doing to get them to return next day inspired, motivated, and enthused to be the best they can be?
Check out this blog: Not just small talk: the importance of getting to know your people
#8 Operational Excellence
Without a robust operational strategy, it doesn’t matter how much work you’ve done on the other aspects of your business growth model. You can invest considerable time thinking about what business you’re really in, and understanding your purpose and reason for being; you can analyse your market potential and design a truly compelling product and service proposition. You can design your end-to-end customer experience; align with marketing to create a compelling online and offline strategy and enable business development and sales to bring the business in. You can make a significant investment in people and financial capital and watch with excitement as momentum builds, and then . . . bang! Disaster strikes because your operations strategy is weak and your business falls over.
How efficient is your business from an operational perspective?
Does your operations complement or conflict with your business growth strategy?
Are you processes and procedures streamlined and simple or clunky and complex?
Check out this blog: The 11 most common business process challenges and how to defeat them.
#9 Finance & Governance
A documented and robust finance and governance strategy understood by all and implemented across the business will create the headspace for you to channel your time and energy into the creative, innovative aspects of building and running your business. This does not mean you abdicate responsibility for this important function, but instead delegate responsibility as you have now set the solid foundations for your corporate governance.
Have you got sufficient financial control & governance within your business?
How good are you at planning the financial future for your business?
Are your customers consistently profitable?
Check out this blog: Are you on top of the cashflow?
Do you have robust governance in your business?
#10 You & leadership
The starting point for great leadership is inner leadership. The principle of leadership is this; before you decide to lead others, learn to lead yourself well. If your people see that you do not practice what you’ve been preaching, you lose credibility and the trust of your team. In fact, this is where most leaders fall short. They’re simply unable to personally do what they want the whole team to do. One of the single most competitive advantages for businesses today is their ability to grow, nurture, and develop leadership and management capability faster than the competition . . . future business success depends on it. Leadership is the enabler to turn your vision and goals into reality!
Do you have what it takes to lead your business towards and beyond its aspirational goals?
How good are you at getting the best from others, unlocking their potential and unleashing their success?
Are you setting your team up for real success?
Check out this blog: Which kind of leader are you?
What’s the biggest challenge your business is facing today?
…business development & sales, or
…marketing & communications, or
…recruiting, developing and retaining people, or
…managing and controlling business finances, or
…customer experience, or
…products and services, or ….
You get my point.
I have no doubt there are a number of challenges you’re facing today, spread across many if not all the 10 business growth enablers I’ve shared with you here.
What if you could hone in on one (or more if you wish!) with a laser beam focus and know exactly what your problem areas are, what gaps you have and more importantly what you should be working on to move you forward.
Well you can.
Let me introduce you to The Business Growth Pathway.
The Business Growth Pathway
Assess your business against any one of the 10 key business growth enablers and receive a comprehensive report with actionable insights to help grow your business.
Want to jump right in?
Get started today with a personalised report on one area of your business completely free of charge.
The pure overwhelm or second guessing what you need to do to successfully manage and lead your business, never mind grow it can take even the seasoned business owner-leader to new heights of OMG / WTF or any other three letter acronyms you can think of!
I get it. I’ve been there.
Now you can remove all your second guessing.
Identify your biggest business challenge – the growth enabler causing you the most headaches – and simply assess your business against it. You’ll receive a detailed report describing what’s working, what isn’t and most importantly what you should be focusing on to make it work and get you on track to realise your growth ambitions.
Access your free trial here and GET STARTED TODAY!
Want to know more…
Join my Private Facebook Group, Accelerated Business & Personal Growth, and access my weekly FB LIVE Business Growth Q&A sessions, every Monday 8.07PM (GMT). Where we talk all things business growth plus much more.
Check out The Business Growth Pathway