By Lav Chaturvedi
Growth is a dominant and indispensable attribute of a business organization’s survival. Words by famous corporate magnate, Stuart Rose, aptly describes growth as an ‘essential tool for increasing a company’s value’. Acquiring optimal business growth in a post-pandemic landscape is a nerve-wracking task. What we see around us today is a drastic transformation of consumer behaviour and marketing trends that has pushed companies to evolve out of the ‘business as usual’ mode into an era of the ‘new normal’.
Official statistics show that more than 10,000 companies including a host of start-ups shut shop due to adverse economic challenges ushered in by Covid-19 lockdown between April 2020 and February 2021. Many of these companies, it is safe to say, have died because of absence of long-term growth plan, unrealistic business models, and lack of agility in the face of rapid changing business dynamics.
Rebuilding sustainable growth strategies in the current environment without overstepping financial resources is a predicament for most businesses today. Here are some sure-shot critical steps companies must not miss out to flourish.
- Establish the business’s unique selling point (Having a MOAT!)
“You can’t look at competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently” – Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple
In an aggressive business world, having a competitive advantage is everything. Creating a brand that is relevant, differentiated and credible are crucial tools against the strengths of your competitors. A USP essentially represents an opportunity to establish a market for the products and services that has limited or no presence currently. Businesses must have a well-researched market database to assess the benefits and value the product and service can add, to secure a long term profitability.
- Creating loyal customer-base and securing new ones
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”- Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft
This one is obvious and the most significant step. Your customers are the prime source of revenue generation. Expanding on this base is synonymous with growth. Innovative strategies such as upgrading the product, introducing more varieties, faster delivery, and competitive pricing can nurture the existing client base and help the business penetrate deeper in the market. While servicing the old customers and acquiring new ones form the largest revenue expense, it is the heart and soul of a successful, sustainable business. The need to address customer needs across the lifecycle of the product/services is the key.
- Embrace change and new technology
“It’s not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change” – Charles Darwin, Naturalist
Old techniques must be done away with; new business mindsets are required to evolve according to rapidly changing customer preferences and undeniable dependence on technology, in the post-pandemic era. Technology can help organisations achieve customer satisfaction, ensure efficient operational costs, and maximise profits. Businesses now must not delay implementation of new technologies, as it may hamper prospects for organisations to reach a greater customer base and new ways of doing business. It’s no longer technology that enables business, it’s business whose existence and viability is derived from technology.
- Go online to attain ‘Size & Scale’
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well you do it” – Erik Qualman, American Author
Businesses that own a substantial presence on digital platforms including social media are destined to thrive. Online channels are the most effective way to build a trust and awareness about the business and its products among the consumers. Online content has become the primary source of information for both B2B and B2C segments for information and reviews on businesses. Articles & blogs on the brand as well as on industry can help businesses grow familiarity and credibility with new customers. However, it is important to ensure that content is consistent with business vision and objectives. Digital presence should be complimented by strong ‘last mile physical connectivity’ for robust phygital model.
- Cultivate the right talent
“You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world…but it requires people to make the dream a reality” – Walt Disney
Investing in the wrong talent can cost a business organisation dearly, not only monetarily, but also in terms of damage to the brand’s reputation with its customers. Effective teams are not only those with innovative ideas, but those with the ability to execute them with successful results. Just like technology, investment in employees with unique and new-age skill-sets and quality of being a team player is a prerequisite for a successful business. Also be mindful to cultivate a team instilled with passion towards the company’s vision and its products and services. Human welfare, human focus, and overall humanity would be the key to build a force to reckon with!
The author is Executive Director & CEO of Reliance Securities.