It can be difficult for new service and product based companies to achieve success and continue to grow in market share. Even after gaining momentum, many businesses reach a point in which they plateau in growth.
Over the years we have found that issues arise when one or more of the core elements to a business are not properly developed, or are in need of an update.
This article highlights the five key elements that lead to a successful business. As you progress through the break down of these elements, keep the following questions in mind:
- Is my team applying this concept properly?
- Have we taken the time to dig into this aspect of our business?
- Could we use some improvement in this area of our business?
- Should we reconsider this portion of our business?
Elements That Grow a Successful Business:
Creating an Appealing Brand
What is brand appeal? How does a business create an appealing brand?
For many, creating a brand that is appealing is all about the logo. What should our logo look like? What should be our image: a shape, an animal? What colors should we use? What font style relates best to our brand?
All of the branding features mentioned are crucial to getting through the branding process. But here are a few questions many tend to miss?
- Who is truly buying what we offer?
- Are we reaching our target audience?
- How does our branding stand up to the competition?
- Can we identify the audience that purchases our offer the most?
You can spent thousands of dollars contracting the most talented logo/graphics designers in the world, but without proper direction, reasoning, and management, the final product may not hit the mark. Many times this lack of direction leads to a lot of back and forth and little to nothing completed in the end.
Part of this process is taking the time to go through a proper brand discovery process and buyer persona workshop before the design work begins.
Our clients have found tremendous ROI when the proper discovery has taken place before moving forward in contracting a designer. By taking time to truly identify who the brand is for, the project will run much more smoothly.
Once the branding is properly addressed, it is time to focus your energy on the next element.
Creating a Proper Sales Structure
After taking the time to understand who are going to be your primary customers, early adopters, brand advocates, and those who will fall in love with your product or service, it is now time to create proper sales channels, offers, and potential up sell opportunities.
For product and service based businesses, this comes in the form of identifying who your primary competition is. This allows you to understand how your business wants to position itself to be competitive. How are you planning to be competitive: services offered, quality of product, or on price (usually last resort)?
For product based businesses, it usually comes down to wholesale/retail offers. You need to identify what you are going to provide your buyers in the form of support, buyer education, and building brand recognition. By focusing on each of these aspects, you will find ways to encourage buyers to want to work with your business.
This process can take some time, however once complete, it will save you a lot of time and headache in the long run.
With a good understanding of how to effectively sell your product or services, you will now be able to establish milestones, sales quotas, and quarterly goals. It is really hard to create a successful business when you have not identified what success looks like to your business.
Sales is the one aspect in your business that will set the tone for the rest of your team. For instance, without quotas and milestones, not only will your sales team lose motivation, but you will never be able to properly set a marketing budget to help your team grow.
If you have created a vodka portfolio and are just launching your product, it is vital to have an idea of the following:
- Monthly production rates (cases/pallets per month).
- Sales quotas per month
- Retail establishments necessary to satisfy this quota
- How many sales people/managers it will take to manage this kind of quota
- What kind of marketing efforts it will take to attract enough consumers to purchase that much product.
By conducting this kind of quantitative analysis, it allows you to plan, prepare, and budget accordingly in order to achieve the goals that will increase your business at the scale you can handle.
All of this can be variable, and will require time to calculate your costs in order to know how much product you need to sell to be profitable. Once you have a better understanding of this formula, it will become easier to duplicate your efforts in other city/state markets.
Once these numbers are considered, it is now time to…
Craft An Appealing Story
Some brands may choose to skip this step. Some opt to jumping straight to advertising their products. That method can work. However many times it leads to longer sales cycles. Campaigns also may require much more spent as there is not enough content to convert leads from paid ads.
When competition ramps up to what you are offering, it will become even harder to maintain your brands position. Lasting businesses find success by making sure their brand has more to compete than just an ad budget.
To start, lets define what an appealing brand story or narrative entails. An appealing brand story or narrative should answer the following questions:
- What is our brand is about?
- Why should people care?
- What you (the team) stand for?
- What have we achieved (awards, challenges overcome, real world problems you solve)?
A marketing manager or team should ensure that this key element is properly organized, documented, and available to all departments. This element helps to provide clarity and a unified message to all who come in contact with your business. A good public relations team should be established to help craft the story that is appealing to the public, or to other businesses in a B2B sales cycle.
With this business element in place, your team should now be confident that you have achieved the following:
- Branding is identifiable and meaningful (this can/does change as the business progresses)
- Sales strategies and competitive offers
- Brand message clearly understood across all departments of your business.
With your story concise, your team will be prepared to…
Grow Your Audience
Marketing, communicating, and relationship building are vital to the success of any business and its ability to grow.
Today communications channels such as social networks play a vital role in helping brands put their best content forward. Used effectively, your customers will be able to keep up with what your business is offering, and stay in touch.
A successful business incorporates social media, email marketing, influencer engagement, customer service campaigns, and sample/media outreach. These marketing tools can significantly scale a business. They also provide new growth opportunities that previously may have been overlooked.
National media outlets, newswires, and various bloggers can also provide crucial relationships that help emphasize your businesses message and offerings. These networks can also help to reach an ideal audience based on demographics, geography, and overall appeal.
Once you have a grasp on your ideal audience and what channels they prefer, you can now confidently begin to…
Reach the Masses
Local, regional, and national advertising campaigns can become an effective way to reach the right people. It is important to choose the right advertising channels in order to effectively target your ideal clients/buyers.
Here are key aspects to any advertising platform/campaigns you should be able to provide:
- Access to either a large or niche audience made up of your ideal buyers
- A/B testing abilities
- Proper tracking/analytics
- Solid ROI figures
- Ability to retarget that audience
By tying together these aspects, you will start to see better results and engagement from your ad campaigns. Combined with the previously discussed elements, your team will find itself running a successful business that can compete and scale.
For additional questions revolving around planning, building, or implementing the elements discussed in this article, please contact our team and we would be happy to provide a free consultation regarding your enterprise architecture.