Great ideas to apply in our business! And good luck on your projects!
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When the Growing Gets Tough; The Tough Redefine
Eventually all business owners find themselves at a place where growth becomes a challenge. Your ability to make strategic decisions at this time will determine your whether your business survives or fails. When the "growing gets tough; the tough redefine!"
I attended a Marketers Business Development Roundtable at the SUNY Levin Institute on November 30, 2011 in NYC hosted by The New York Enterprise Report and Constant Contact, and was "delighted" to hear that many of my fellow participants were finding themselves in the same boat as I was: asking themselves what they needed to do next to conquer the next hill, and not only stay in business, but facilitate growth.
As we went around the table we each shared our successes, and challenges to date. At the end of the discussion we had amassed an impressive list of tips and tricks from each other, but the one major take away was that we all needed to take a step back to re-evaluate and redefine our service offerings.
Many of us had been in a state of constant evolution, responding to the demands of our clients and opportunity. However, this can sometimes be a catch 22-situation since you risk being steered away from your original intent or vision. We all had a clear idea of where we wanted our businesses to go conceptually, and the kind of clients that we wanted to attract. However since "ideal clients" are attracted to "ideal offerings"(Law of Attraction) the starting point has to be, to be able to clearly define and articulate the value propositions of our businesses.
Based on the discussion that day, I have identified four “Sustainability/Growth Strategies” that I plan to focus on over the next year :
- Re-evaluation & redirection: This requires introspection and honesty. If what you have been doing has produced mediocre results to date, then it is time to go back to the drawing board.
- Segmentation and effect target audience communication: This second point is directly related to re-evaluation & redirection. It may turn out that your target audience has changed based on your new focus. You may have decided to target a broader audience, or your audience may have become narrower or niche. Whatever the result, it is very rare that all of your prospects will be at the same stage in their buying decision at the same time. Some prospects may need to be “nurtured” over a period of time, while others may be at the decision making phase. It is therefore very important to segment your prospects appropriately and communicate with them as such.
- Continual subject matter expert exposure: In the long run this can be an invaluable lead generation tool, and becomes easy once you get started. There are many organizations in all fields that are constantly looking for speakers, panel participants, workshop presenters and article writers. They are usually very grateful when you volunteer your expertise and will often give you multiple opportunities to showcase your knowledge.
- Strategic Alliances = Staying in business! : It is not only important to form relationships with others in your field, but also to strategically partner with larger, more established organizations. There are many such organizations who partner with smaller businesses to increase their own reach. This can be a win-win situation for both parties, but especially for the smaller business since it adds credibility, expands service offerings and generates that much desired revenue. My first step in this direction has been to become a Solutions Provider as well as an Expert Trainer for Constant Contact, one of the most popular email marketing programs in the market.
Wish me luck!
Learn more about the author, Petia Bradshaw.
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- business development
- strategic planning