The 5 Fundamentals of Sustainable Business Growth
By Kevin Hsu - Jun 30, 2017
The 5 Fundamentals of Sustainable Business Growth
Finding a way to make sustainable business growth is one of the most challenging issues that all business leaders grapple with. Despite it not being a new problem in the world of business, to each individual entrepreneur or business owner it can certainly feel that way. What you see working in one industry may not necessarily transfer to yours, or the strategies you believed in 10 years ago may not seem as logical today.
Even though the circumstances for modern day business owners and entrepreneurs are constantly changing, there are 5 fundamentals of sustainable business growth that remain the same. After all, you need to create long-term value from your work without exhausting the finite resources at your disposal.
1. Why do you do what you do? Aka Authentic Purpose
Before all is said and done, a company must be able to answer the question “Why do you do what you do?” A clear, agreed upon answer to this question will drive you towards figuring out and settling upon your firm’s authentic purpose. This authentic purpose will then guide your team through recruitment, customer management and product development and sales.
However, the trick to creating sustainable business growth is to repeatedly reexamine your sense of purpose and ensure that you are continuing to serve it well as you expand. Your authentic purpose should allow for a constant, consistent sense of focus, a strong emotional engagement both within the company and with its customers and partners and continuous, pragmatic innovation.
2. Who are your target audience? Aka A Powerful Brand
In order to continually grow, you must be focusing on creating a powerful brand image from day one. Don’t even consider trying to be everything for everyone (although this is difficult to navigate at the beginning), instead think deeply about and lay out a step-by-step plan for how you are going to build brand equity and boost emotional connections with your customers.This takes time, but developing and nurturing these relationships is how you get customer retention and sustainable business growth.
Still, if you aren’t convinced that creating a brand is necessary, then just remember that acquiring new customers can cost an organization around five times more than retaining current ones and the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, whereas it’s just 5-20% for a new customer. Get brand brainstorming!
3. Who can help you? Aka Partnerships and Collaboration
In the early days of a business, it is normal (if not essential) for an entrepreneur to do almost everything. However, taking on too much and attempting to work on and in arenas that you have no knowledge in, can be hugely damaging for your firm. It also isn’t sustainable and isn’t necessary in today’s global freelance economy. Instead, know exactly what you want to get done and then seek out someone who is a pro at it. Whether you need specialized resources in design, development, sales, legal, or banking (to name a few), there are lots of websites that provide the talented expertise.
This allows you to get on with the things you are good at.
4. Are your sales processes successful? Aka Repeatable Sales
Once you have fallen in love with your authentic purpose, have made others fall in love with your powerful brand, and have found special freelancers to collaborate with, you still aren’t done with creating a scalable business. While you must definitely celebrate the small milestones and initial sales, quickly you must start designing and implementing sales processes that can be successfully deployed again and again at ever greater scale.
You will know you’ve created a scalable sales model when you can add new hires at the same productivity level as the entrepreneur or the sales leader, you can increase the sources of your customer leads on a consistent basis, you have a sales conversion rate and revenue that can be consistently forecast, the cost to acquire a new customer is significantly less than the amount you can earn from that customer over time, and customers get the right products in the right place at the right time.
Obviously this is the big dream and goal, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to create a repeatable sales model. For many businesses it takes a lot of experimentation and intensive research before you discover one that works and achieves sustainable business growth.
5. How are you evolving? Aka Leadership
Each leader within a firm has a commitment to continually grow into the specific position that the business needs for each stage of growth. These needs are always changing, so it is up to the leaders to evolve with the business. In these roles, introspection, self-awareness, and a keen sense of long-term and short-term strategy are essential.
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