Developing a business in scalable and sustainable ways is one of the greatest difficulties for businesses transiting from small to medium-sized. Many business leaders focus on rapid development, using marketing and reach to drive growth. The areas that are neglected, such as brand awareness, values creation and customer satisfaction, can be the essential blocks that help you build a successful business.
Create a Value Proposition
Knowing and communicating your unique value proposition is the foundation of your business. Without it, what is your business really about? Knowing your USP helps you know who your customers are, and who your competition is. The more you know about your USP, the easier it is to create messages that resonate with your key customer base. Your USP should not only communicate your intentions, benefits and value, it should answer customer pain points, elevate your brand, and attract attention away from your competitors.
Your Company Values
The foundation of your company rests on your core values. These values are communicated through your branding, even if you don’t think they are. It is essential that you not only establish what your core beliefs are but how they uphold your business. For example, according to Nike;
[Its] core values include “inspiration, innovation, every athlete in the world, authentic, connected, and distinctive.” These values define what Nike holds dear in its quest to become the best there is.
This message has resonated with the brand for more than 40 years. The brand has always pursued innovation. The brand aligns itself with some of the most successful athletes in the world and aims to maintain a global reach. It is an industry leader that is followed by other brands. Part of the success of the brand is not only the quality of its products but the consistency of its message that resonated with its values. The company has survived numerous scandals (alleged child labour and sweatshop scandals) and is consistently one of the most desired product ranges in the athletic and athleisure markets, because it relies on its values, pumps the message and drowns negative press with impressive brand awareness campaigns.
Reinvention and Development
The internal systems, mechanisms and relationships of your business need to undergo constant updating as your business expands. You need to think about how your business works, how departments interact, how your leaders work with their teams, and how your business responds to suppliers and customers. You need to decide what models work best for your business development, such as a hierarchy system or a transformational system. These dynamics also need to be in line with your company core values so workers feel connected with your business strategy.
Your business needs to have a consistent R&D program that monitors your marketplace, is responsive to customer demands and is focused on how your products or services can be improved. Your business needs to be fluid and responsive to change. Without an open attitude to market demands, your business cannot thrive. Change is inevitable and your ability to respond is vital to your long term success.
Growth is Uncomfortable
As you grow your business from small to medium-sized, you will experience many moments of discomfort. Costs will increase, employment needs will change, and hard decisions will need to be made. Expanding into new markets can come with hard lessons about marketing, product desire and cultural sensitivity. Brands that are successful in their expansion learn from the mistakes they make, adjust strategies for growth and development and reach targets based on realistic goals. Often consulting with experts about business management and growth expectations is the difference between a company that thrives, a company that survives and a company that fails. Getting the right expert advice to understand your industry and how to scale your business in its current climate.
Your business is part of an ecosystem. This means that you need to understand your place not only in the industry but also in the customer journey. As you develop your business, you need to make reliable partnerships with suppliers, logistics operators, marketeers, symbiotic-potential partners and even competitors. You need to evaluate your place in the ecosystem, become an active business in this arena and understand how to fill your space, expand with confidence and support and work with those around you. A competitor need not be an enemy. A competitor can be a motivator, an industry leader that you can learn from. Your focus in business should be on your journey and how you can develop a sustainable and scalable business based on solid foundations.