How can you beat the odds as business owner and ensure that your SMME doesn’t become part of the statistics of business failure? Perhaps a better question would be – What is the one thing you could do to ensure your company’s sustainability?
The answer lies in the fact that – something that isn’t growing is dying and inherently the same is true for your business, of course!
Your business needs to grow to survive!
So, you have an existing business, one that you started 10 to 15 years ago, and it’s not growing as fast as you would like it to! Yes, it’s the place where your business is today! Ram Charan and Noel Tichy state in “Every Business is a Growth Business” that “your role as leader is to face reality and shape tomorrow” and “your leadership will show in how you play the cards you are holding”.
“Every Business is a Growth Business”
In my over 30 years in business I have been part of and seen many business growth initiatives and it’s about creating a new and compelling leadership vision for the businesses future growth.
It all starts with the leaderships teachable point of view, as Charan puts it. It’s about:
- getting all stakeholders to clearly understand how the business succeeds in creating value,
- to clearly articulate the operational values,
- to energize and motivate others regarding this transition and
- to make tough yes-no decisions, sometimes on imperfect data.
So how does business coaching help you with this and how does it help in creating business growth? This type of coaching is mostly about the “tough-love mirror test” where the coach will help you get clarity on 1) why you want to grow your business, 2) how you plan to do this, 3) what must be done and 4) who is going to drive the execution and lastly 5) by when.
The key with any business growth strategy is to have a clear plan and to be deliberate. From a coaching perspective, I believe a growing business must have the following 5 aspects in place:
1. Establish your niche or customer value proposition.
For your business to grow in the long-term, you must know what sets it apart from the competition. A coach will help you get clarity on why customers come to you for your product or service. What makes you relevant, differentiated and gives you credibility? Use your answer to develop an elevator speech to inform prospects why they should do business with you. Again, coaching will help you figure out what special benefit only you can provide, and why you do it!
2. Identify your ideal target-market customer.
Remember, you got into business to solve a problem or service a need for a specific audience. Who is that target market or ideal customer? Is your current product offering serving them? If not, who are you serving? Getting clarity on your ideal customer, helps you focus on the ideal client and will give you the best return on effort.
If you need fast growth, go after those clients whom you have already built a level of trust with, and whom are already doing business with you. Focusing all your efforts on your ideal target market clients is bound to give you the best results. Remember people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it! A coach will have the experience to guide you in this process.
3. Define your key indicators.
Growth and change must be measurable and if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it! A coach will again help you identify which key indicators affect the growth of your business, then you must dedicate your time and your finances to it. It is about testing and measuring and improving the results. For growth, you must ensure that you increase your leads, improve your conversion rate, up sell and increase the average transaction value.
You will only know if there’s improvement if measured! Use the ActionCOACH 5 ways system to drive growth and measure individual performance.
4. Mange your cash flow.
Do you know if your current revenue streams can carry the business growth? Growth needs cash and we must know what revenue streams we could add that will create synergy and make the business more profitable? Are they sustainable in the long run?
Remember growth sucks cash! Control the cash gap, maximize the inflow and be an astute manager on the outflow! Coaching will help you identify the systems needed, to manage debtors, creditors and days stock, even when you are too busy working in the business!
5. Invest in your people.
Given that your employees are in direct contact with your customers, you must ensure that first impressions count! Hire people with passion, who are motivated and inspired by your company’s value proposition, your values and your vision! Hire the best you can afford and those that will help you grow and pay them well. A coach will help you put a proper recruitment systems in place, one that will deliver candidates with passion and pride in their work! People that support your growth agenda for your business.
Developing a growth strategy is about delivering to a specific plan. A plan tailored for your business success based on your current constraints and ability to grow. Once the plan is in place it’s all about massive action with clear accountability and time lines!
Towards Formidable Business Results! – Coach Bert