Thanks for such a positive response to my previous blog on “How to grow a small business…”. A couple of you emailed that the blog only discussed the issues and problems for growth but there’s a need to “give solutions” as well and I should help existing and/or potential entrepreneurs in this regard. So is the reason for writing this piece, which explains the principles and features of business growth.
According to Ross Maynard, business growth does not just happen. It requires entrepreneurs to accept, wholeheartedly, four basic principles:
• Passion: About the desire to win, a belief in the goals and a commitment to take every necessary action to achieve the goals.
• Action: Needed to implement the vision and to achieve the goals, actions should be synchronised with the vision and goals.
• Communication: Clear and open one, not only with the staff but with all the stakeholders to convey your vision, goals and plans, and motivate them to strive together to achieve goals.
• Excellence: Developing passion, action, and communication will lead to a culture of excellence, of continuous improvement, of striving for success, of continually seeking better ways of doing things, and of determination to deliver customer delight.
These principles prepare entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by establishing the following features of business success:
• Customer Delight: Everything your business does, internally or externally, must be done with your customers (present and future) in mind. Customer delight comprises following elements:
o Understanding customers’ wants and expectations
o Producing goods and services that satisfy customers’ wants and expectations
o Fostering good communications with customers
o Customer care
o Resolving problems swiftly and satisfactorily
o Standing out from the competition
• Positive People: No entrepreneur or a business can achieve customer delight without a motivated and energised workforce and to achieve this an entrepreneur has to work on following factors:
o Understanding staffs’ wants and expectations
o Fostering good communications with staff
o Producing services (pay, conditions, working environment and job activities) that satisfy staffs’ wants and expectations
o Caring for the staff
o Resolving complaints and problems swiftly and fairly
o Training for positive people
• Leadership and Vision: An entrepreneur’s passion for success and commitment to excellence provide vision of business growth; and turn his/her vision into reality by leading through actions and by communicating openly and fully. The five steps to achieve leadership and vision for any entrepreneur can be summed up as:
o Creating the vision: the growth plan;
o Leading by communication: proclaim the plan;
o Leading by action: implement the plan;
o Leading by openness: measure the results and communicate them;
o Revisiting the vision: amend and revise the plan, and take corrective action as necessary.
• Innovation: Continuous vision and creativity in product development and all other aspects of business development keep a business ahead of the competition in the long term.
Now, the question arises, what are practical steps to take, for achieving business growth. I know some of you are anxiously waiting for reading them and I will make sure to explain in my next blog. Until then, best wishes.