The Road to Sustained Business Growth: 5 Strategies to Implement Today 57

The Road to Sustained Business Growth: 5 Strategies to Implement Today

Guest author: Bruce Wahl, an IT expert with years of experience

Success needs to be measured and constantly improved upon. And if you want your company to keep on growing and reach new heights with every passing year, you need to invest time and effort in implementing sustainable solutions to your daily practice.

Here is a roadmap for creating a sustainable business growth strategy.

Think bigger.

Do you have a goal, or three? Good, now double them.

There is no reason why being rational and setting the bar high should be mutually exclusive. They should rather complement each other.

Likewise, there is no reason why you shouldn’t shoot for 10 million in revenue if you have been shooting for one million so far.

By allowing yourself to dream big, you will feel empowered to pursue new, bigger goals. In return, you will achieve more than you previously thought you could.

But don’t feel disappointed if your big plans don’t pan out exactly how you wanted to because everything you achieve is a success that simply needs to keep growing. That’s how sustained business growth happens too.

Marketing is an investment.

If you don’t have a marketing department, outsource the job to an agency. While you’re at it, change your mindset about marketing.

You need to realize that everything in the world comes down to good or bad marketing. This is an industry that entails everything from brand creation, writing messages and stories, evoking emotions, building trust to optimizing the business for growth, recognition, love and trust.

Good marketing practices make all of these efforts a reality by employing a number of creative minds that will research the industry and opt for the best possible direction for your company’s improvement.

Marketing experts will develop your ads, your voice, your tone, your logo and your images, your stories, slogans and messages. This, in turn, will position your company on the global map and capture the hearts and minds of the consumers.

Assemble your Avengers.

A thriving business is led by a team of passionate individuals. A business needs to be a well-oiled machine of productivity and growth. That is achieved by assembling and nurturing a team, rather than constantly replacing and bringing in new individuals, which usually results in redundancy and inefficiency.

When you assemble a team of like-minded individuals and ignite the same passion that drives you within them, you will have created a thriving staff who are able to surpass any challenge.

Your A-team will promote an honest and transparent communication with a clear sense of direction, allowing you to focus on your own tasks while having full confidence in the skills and expertise of your colleagues.

Stay safe.

A business without legal support is a sitting duck in an open field surrounded by angry hunters.

In case the metaphor wasn’t clear enough, you need legal support in order to protect your business from any potential attacks by other companies or individuals.

In this modern age, where everything is susceptible to copyright infringement, theft and lawsuits, from a piece of code to a disgruntled customer, it’s important to have a legal team by your side.

One of the best ways to ensure safety and fair conduct is by implementing an escrow payment system. With a third party overseeing the flow of payments from the start of the transaction to the completion of services, you can rest assured that all the parts of the agreement will be met.

Besides not having to deal with any uncertainties, you can use that time to control the workflow, fee structure and payout schedules.

Analyze and improve.

As mentioned earlier, success needs to be measured and improved upon constantly.

If you want to create a sustainable rate of business growth and development, you need to track and analyze every aspect of your business. You can efficiently achieve this by implementing milestones and scheduling progress reports. After you’ve assessed the rate of progress, you can brainstorm ways to improve and increase productivity.

Employ your team for this purpose and let everyone pitch in with their unique approach and ideas.

Additionally, introduce a variety of helpful software and automation tools that will make tracking and analyzing easier and also free you of some duties so that you can focus on growing your company.

Sustained business growth is hard work, as it requires smart decision-making, planning and strategizing, a fearless approach to new and exciting experiences, and just a bit of luck.

With these effective strategies, you too can create a sustainable rate of growth and increased productivity for your company.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 6

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

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Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.