Business Growth: Strategies for Success in 2014
October 14, 2013
In business, growing pains often start before any growth begins. Most leaders of small and midsized manufacturing businesses (SMBs) face a daily challenge to maintain the status quo, let alone achieve real business growth. Their natural reaction is to prioritize operational efficiency as a defense against shifting market forces and the looming threat of customers’ offshoring to lower cost regions.
This type of reactive management mindset makes it increasingly difficult to sell a product or service on value. It can also pigeonhole the businesses into a “me too” market position, left to compete on price and price alone. Overcoming this pain point is essential if an SMB is going to develop a highly differentiated, highly profitable market position.
Surprisingly though, shifting business objectives is easier than you might think. Look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and decide where you can get the most return. If your offerings are tiered or easily duplicated, a focus on innovation might make sense. Or maybe the first step is market diversification and penetration to offset reliance on a client that makes up too much of your business. Ultimately, where you start is not as important as your level of commitment.
This article is the first in a series designed to discuss four key elements of strategic business growth. As you read, try to assess your business on the following:
- Products – Growth here depends on the alignment between existing offerings and market needs. Identify gaps between the two, maintain a new product development pipeline, and success will follow.
- Markets – It can be tempting to think any new market offers limitless possibility. Real opportunities are built upon hard research data. Before any bold shifts, ask yourself: do we know what we need to do to make an informed decision?
- Customers – Growth planning frequently leads to growing the existing customer base or diversifying. In many cases, these strategies are connected to customer intelligence and Voice-of-Customer (“VoC”) efforts.
- Technologies – New products are often the result of technology advances. A focused technology scouting effort to support your growth planning might pay large dividends.
As you conceptualize and begin to implement your strategic shift, it is essential to consider how your efforts will be communicated to the marketplace. As you move forward, you will need a clear, concise Value Proposition.
“If you have to find new markets or products, and the way the latter connects with a specific customer need, look at the marketing message and the ways the market interprets it,” says Mark Paggioli, CONNSTEP’s Manager, Growth and Innovation Services. “Markets, products, customers, competitors…all of these are things to consider before crafting your value proposition. That includes the standard value proposition as well as an economic value proposition.”
If you are ready to begin this critical part of the business growth journey, consider joining the next session of CONNSTEP’s annual Business Growth Program on November 12 and 13.
This year, CONNSTEP is partnering with Value Prop Interactive, and the November session will feature veteran marketer, sales professional, and author of Value Prop, Jose Palomino. Palomino will offer insight into the critical tasks of creating powerful value propositions that stand out in the marketplace.
The year-long Business Growth Program is designed to help manufacturers begin developing powerful marketing strategies for topline business growth. Subscribers are entitled to quarterly workshops, monthly coaching calls with a CONNSTEP Value Prop-Certified Coach, and access to The AcceleratorTM Online Strategic Marketing Planning Platform.
“This event offers valuable instruction on how business growth components work together,” Paggioli says. “If a client is looking to grow sales, enter new markets, or come up with new products, they can expect to learn a great deal.”
To learn more, call 800.266.6672 or click to speak with one of our dedicated and driven business growth experts.
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