Entrepreneurs struggle to stay in business amid intense competition and rapid market changes. Here are 9 strategies for increasing your chances of sustaining a successful business:
- Share the Big Vision
You know what is possible now but you do not know what is possible in the future, so plan for the impossible possibilities. You are the custodian of the big vision of what is possible so create a campaign for others to follow. You must share your vision for it to develop, adapt and grow into the possibilities. Do not take anything for granted, nothing is meant to remain the same or last for ever. All you can do is expect to adapt immediately when unexpected events occur.
- Nurture your Culture
Manage your leaders to effectively nurture and engage your employees. The business has one big vision the culture can support the vison or sabotage it. Whether you are dealing with leaders or employees always follow the three Ts: respectful treatment, transparency and trust. Sherrie Campbell says “The use of timing is a great strategy both for managing conflict and engineering movement.” Know when to get involved and when not.
- Your Employees are your best Sales Team
You want to make sure your employees instinctively represent and promote the business in the right way. Firstly you have to recruit more for attitude than aptitude. A motivated employee will learn quickly. You must invest time and effort in campaigning to engage your team to pursue the same vision and goals as the business. This means you have to communicate the message concisely in every fun and focused way at every opportunity.
- Know your Competition.
Never assume the market leader or your competitors are better and stronger. Knowledge of your competitors will help you create a superior product offer that builds on your competitor’s weaknesses. Make competitor and PESTE analysis a regular item on your agenda and use the information gained to assess your next big thing. Technology is developing all the time, how can you improve on your operational processes to increase efficiency and save cost, what emerging products are on the horizon which will enhance you current offer?
- How Niche are you?
Are you creating your own niche or following someone else in an undifferentiated market? Niche marketing can be extremely cost effective if you keep three things in mind says Timothy Sykes:
- Meet the market’s unique needs by offering something new and compelling.
- Speak the market’s language and understand its hot buttons.
- Your language should be in synch with that niche even for the minor aspects of a marketing campaign like the company’s slogan.
- Your Customer is Queen
Your customer is your all-knowing oracle, they are your best creators and innovators, so have a listening ear permanently pointed in your customer’s direction. If you are not in a constant iteration mode of improvement then you are losing ground to your competitors and market share. Pay serious attention to your customers, treatment them like your most honoured grandmother, there is wisdom in their message.
- What is your Customer’s Experience?
Not all customers are equal or the same so do not treat them as such. Create a journey that new customers want to travel and make it a memorable experience. Ensure your existing customer do not go through the same journey, every transaction is a learning opportunity, use the feedback to tailor your existing customer’s journey. Existing customer are more valuable than new customers to never that them for granted.
- Cash is a Killer of Good Businesses
Manage your cash conservatively, having several months operating expenses in reserve and assume invoices will be paid later than expected. Keep fixed cost low and keep a close watch on your projected cash flow. If you do not manage your cash, your cash will manage you!
- The world will not wait for you
As businesses learn, adapt and grow, most growing businesses change focus within 5 years because new opportunities present themselves. It is like a snake shedding its skin to progress and grow. Your business must be responsive to change in the company, market, the customer and the economy. Change is inevitable in business and those able to respond to change quickly are fitter and healthier for the experience. I wrote Business Evolution Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World for this very reason.
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If you would like to take your business to the next level with support from the award winning business mentor Janice B Gordon,contact me for a consultation. You may also like The 5 Business Growth Factors