According to Zig Ziglar: “You don’t build a business; you build people and then the people build your business”.
The truth is that the success of a business is not just about having a great product or service, it is also about the people who work in the business and if you do not grow those people then your business will not grow.
Investing in your team is probably one of the best investments you can make as a business leader. If you want to grow your business five or ten-fold, you need to start by growing your staff by the same amount – and that does not mean increasing the size of your staff – it means growing them as individuals.
According to Daniel Marcos of the Growth Institute, studies have shown that companies that invest in training and education of their people have seen a +300% ROI on this investment. There is no question about it, it pays to invest in your people and keep them engaged and enthusiastic.
Yet, why do so many companies not do this and so fail to live up to their planned growth expectations?
Marcos highlights that there are three main barriers to growth and many of them can be solved by having the right people with the right skills:
- Leadership development
- Infrastructure that can’t be scaled
- Poor and ineffective marketing
As a business owner or leader it is critical to stay on top of these elements and to build your development plan around them to ensure that you keep growing and your business keeps growing.
Leadership development will ensure that the leader’s competence and ability isn’t the root cause of poor performance of a team and thus the business. Great companies have great inspiring leaders, whom people follow because of their vision and purpose.
Invest in developing yourself and your teams’ leadership and management skills. Whether you’re an aspiring, new, or seasoned leader, you need to have vision and get the job done whilst bringing out the best in your staff.
But what makes a good leader? A leader has to have a positive mindset; be able to lead the way; have a compelling vision and growth mindset and must create a positive culture of learning in the business.
Regardless of what industry or business you are in, you need to see yourself as more than just, for example a retail nursery or landscaping business – every company should also be a training ground where your staff learn new skills that improve them as individuals and ultimately add value to the company.
Business owners or business leaders also need to invest in their own skills to become a more versatile and effective leader. They need to be able to make decisions – even if all the critical data is not available and they need to be manage conflict and reduce drama (especially in family run businesses).
Successful leaders also need to actively seek feedback on their own effectiveness through self-assessments, and 360-degree feedback from colleagues and peers. You may think you are doing everything right, but your team may not feel the same.
Growth requires a business to be able to scale. This is not only limited to capital goods and infrastructure, but to people too. Always ask: do we have sufficient knowledge and ability about our product and/or service to increase our offering? Too often businesses are not able to scale up quickly, leading to lost opportunities.
One of the problems is that the knowledge and skills are often concentrated in one or at best a few team members. This can be disastrous for any business and has been apparent during the current Covid-19 pandemic where the absence or loss of key members of staff as a result of illness or death has negatively impacted businesses even bringing some to their knees.
As your business grows additional capital may be required and to access capital, a business must be investable and attractive to a shareholder, bank, or private funder. This means that it needs to be running smoothly and able to cope with additional volumes and pressure that growth may bring. This requires careful planning and investing in all aspects of the business including people, supply chain, admin and finance to ensure that whilst business grows, customer service is maintained.
Brian Fetherstonhaugh said that “If there has ever been a time for change in marketing, this is it.”
The principles of marketing are constantly changing. In the past the focus was the four P’s: price, promotion, place, and product. Today the focus is on the four E’s: experience, everyplace, exchange and evangelism.
Many elements of these principles are driven by people, which is why upskilling and investing in your team’s knowledge base is critical to ensure you business moves with the times.
Fetherstonhaugh believes “it’s time for marketing to move on. Retool. Evolve.” And that is what the four E’s are about.
So, what are the 4E’s?
- EXPERIENCE: Marketers should plot the full ‘customer journey’ on your brand – in your own community to ensure that the experience is everything it is supposed to be.
- EVERYPLACE: Businesses need to be everywhere today – marketers need to develop a knowledge of new media and channels. They need to do new things that do not just involve traditional TV or print.
- EXCHANGE: Appreciate the value of things. Start by calculating the value of your customers attention, engagement and permission and understand what it’s worth to you.
- EVANGELISM: Find the passion and emotion in your brand. Inspire your customers and employees with your passion. It’s all about what people tell other people about their experience with your business.
Marketing effectiveness tells us how effective a given market strategy is. It’s about testing and measuring different strategies and sticking to the ones that work, rather than the one’s which have always been used.
Measuring our marketing effectiveness will help decrease client acquisition cost and increase the lifetime value. As the business leader you want marketing investment to give you a 10x ROI to achieve positive results in both the short- and long-term.
I would love to connect with you and understand your thinking.
If you want to develop your staff – start with yourself. Whether you are a business owner, director or manager improving your skills and leadership potential will mean you can improve the performance of your team, staff or organisation.
Yours in Business,