For those of you who have just acquired or started a business in Singapore, here’s something that you probably won’t want to hear.
If you think that you can finally sit back, relax and watch your business take flight, think again.
One of the challenges that most business leaders face is sustaining the growth of their business.
In order to sustain a business, the actions and purpose of the business must be grounded in social, environmental, and financial concerns. It is not easy to attain sustainability, but the following points can help a business make headway in the journey.
Purpose is knowing why one does the things they do. It is the same in business. Why is your business there? What does it hope to accomplish?
When a business understands why it exists, this information will then guide all the processes of the business including product development, recruitment, sales, and customer service, among others. This sense of purpose will also drive profitability and growth. Your staff will also have a goal to work towards to, making them feel fulfilled and motivated.
With a purpose that is inspiring and authentic, the following will be achievable:
• A sense of focus that is consistent and constant
• Pragmatic innovation on a continuous basis
• Emotional engagement from within and without the company, i.e. staff, partners and customers.
• When a company fully knows its purpose, it is able to come up with its own unique selling proposition.
Building emotional connections with customers along with brand equity is one of the most crucial things for a business that is looking to be sustainable. This ensures that the customer feels connected to the product and the brand, and thus increases the probability of them coming back.
The idea of brand building is really about developing relationships with your clients and consumers, and sustaining them through the years.
More often than not, this is usually the hardest part to get through. However, if done properly:
• The business must begin by selecting a target audience. It is virtually impossible to provide everything for everyone.
• The business must create a connection with the target audience by making them feel emotionally connected to the brand. This connection will be grounded on product confidence.
• Providing inspiration. Customers want to be inspired to use the products. Such inspirational messages go further than product advertising, with messages that are full of ideas, functions, and product features.
If your business doesn’t have the budget for an elaborate marketing plan, don’t fret. You might consider creating compelling content for your social media pages and other publishing websites. The goal is to first create awareness then build up on that over time.
Technology has changed how everything is done and businesses must also be ready and willing to change, and do it fast.
Sadly, any business that does not change with the times is most likely going to become extinct. Take Kodak and Blockbuster for example. They were resistant to keep up with change and thought that they could beat the digital revolution. All of which caused their demise.
Your business must always be innovating and taking these innovative ideas to the market as fast as possible if you wish to stay ahead of the competition.
Competition within industries has changed greatly over the years. For example, banking is no longer about walking to the banking hall to transact business, or even walking to an ATM. Today it can all be done in the comfort of one’s home using their mobile phone or computer.
More recently, DBS/POSB launched their Video Teller Machines (VTMs), allowing their customers to receive round the clock banking assistance. These VTMs are also capable of dispensing internet banking security tokens and debit cards instantly.
Retail businesses have also gone online. In fact, there are retailers who do not even see the need of a physical outlet. All they have is an outlet from where they ship the goods that they sell online. This model is cheaper, which means that they are able to offer more competitive prices.
Smart retailers are keeping their physical outlets, but also offering online shopping to clients in order to gain a wider reach. By changing quickly and leveraging technology, such businesses are able to compete and stay relevant.
Most companies have brilliant ideas, services or products, but unfortunately they are not selling like they would want to.
The challenge for such businesses is finding the right strategy. This is so that it can be used when introducing their products or services to the market so as to provide value. The client must be able to see the said products or services as a solution for the problems that he or she needs resolved.
The business must have their finger on the pulse where value propositions are concerned, and must bring their goods to the market at the right time. The focus should always be on creating products and services that offer high value and high capability.
Even though most business people start a business by being jack of all trades, with time they often find that they have too much on their plate.
They are offering customer service, doing sales, accounting, and so much more. As the business continues to grow, it is prudent to stick with things that you are good at and have experience in, while outsourcing the rest or getting additional skilled help for the other things that need doing.
By going online, you’ll be able to find a variety of marketplaces and websites where they can source skilled help from around the world at affordable rates. One must know just what it is they want done and then source the right resources to help them achieve their goals.
According to research, gaining one new customer can cost a company as much as 5 times what it costs to keep the ones they already have. Further research shows that if a company increases its customer retention by just 2%, they will save the company 10% in costs. This means that if they can reduce the rate of customer defection by 5%, their profitability can rise by, at the very least, 25%.
The US Chamber of Commerce carried out research and found out the following information, which is also true for businesses elsewhere:
• On average, a business loses about half of its customers every 5 years
• Doing business with an existing customer is four times more likely to happen than doing business with a new one
• The chances of making a sale when dealing with a new customer are 5 to 20 percent. This percentage jumps significantly to 60 or 70 percent when dealing with an existing customer.
In order to retain customers, your first impression matters and the products must add value to the client. Additionally, the company must remain relevant through the years in order to enjoy repeat business.
Having a unique product and a great brand is fantastic, but it is definitely not enough.
The sales process used by the business should be one that can be repeated over and over again and produce great results each time, on a greater scale.
The model will be considered scalable when the following can be achieved:
• New hires can be added at the productivity level of the sales leader or business owner
• Customers are able to get company products and services at the right place and time
• Customer lead sources can be increased at a constant pace
• The cost of acquiring new customers is much less than what you will earn in revenue from sales to the same customers
• Your revenue and sales conversion rate are consistent enough to provide great forecasting
A sales model that can be repeated with successful results provides the platform for the company to scale. It is important to note, however, that your company will have to carry out intense research and many experiments before it finally lands on a sales model that creates sustainability.
Hopefully with the above 7 points, you can finally sit back, relax and watch your business take flight!
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