We’re in the golden age of being able to get noticed, expand, and make a mark on the world with our ideas and our vision. Information has never been so readily available in the history of mankind, so to share, collaborate, and expand one’s business, this is undoubtedly the best time. No matter which part of the ladder one is at, today it’s possible to compellingly act on it, share that idea with others, get funded for it, and subsequently thrive.
It’s easier to grow if you’ve had an idea that gathers the world’s attention or if you’ve got what it takes to eliminate/address issues that we face as a society. It's important to note that the ease isn’t just limited to such ideas, innumerable avenues and pipelines exist for smaller industries and businesses that are a part of the global wheel that runs and sustains the world as we know it today. Either way, there are some pointers that can be used as the guiding light for maximising potential, breaking limitations, standing out, and catalysing growth. Here they are, the degrees that matter most:
It’s understood that every business has a core competency, but not all of them exercise the power and luxury of having a clear vision. Businesses that don't formulate their vision have a tendency to get carried away, get lost in trends, and end up getting stuck in a box. In the run for life and living, planning and execution, fundamental values can often get distorted beyond recognition. This is where having a vision always drives your business back home. As long as your core values are intact, there is no way that pitfall can keep you down for long. In fact, every downfall is an opportunity to soar back up with more insight and re-alignment.
Invest time thinking about your business and its impact, the essence of what you wish to do, why you chose your core competency, how you can bring about positive changes with your business and craft your core value proposition. Taking time to gain clarity and insight on your core offering will help you formulate a strong vision that will determine the ways in which you operate. This will often translate in the ways you deal with problems, exercise your ability to grow, and get back up when times are bleak. Remember, this vision for your business should always be aligned with your reality, your strengths, your collective passion, and your responsibility as human beings who are to do good for themselves and people around them. Yes, CSR should be an integral part of your vision.
Only a thriving business can support its ecosystem well enough and the best way to thrive is to have honest and fair partnerships. Look back and see how someone’s goodness has shaped you and your relationship with them in the past. This value should extend to not just your business partners but also to your customers. In a world full of competition, where businesses can take extreme steps to shave in profits and be dishonest to stay clear of problems, being fair, honest, and truthful not only creates long-lasting impressions but also lifelong allies and a positive atmosphere.
Set up an easy and approachable line of communication, this can be through well planned customer support or email. Make sure that every query is resolved and that the person on the other end is satisfied with your response. How it has been not just an incredibly valuable memory but a determining asset as well.
Take well thought through and informed decisions to avoid jeopardizing your business. Weigh your options and gauge your business well before so that your decision-making also works in the best interest of parties that are involved. It is possible to be caring and still run a profitable business.
As you grow, based on the data and experiences you collect, chart out processes to streamline the entire workflow. This makes it easy to monitor the flow and execute tasks effectively. You can create simple flow charts to simplify and visually indicate the workflow. This is a simple way for you and your team to look at tasks. You want everyone in your systemic chain to internalize the workflow. As and when you encounter newer situations, add rules or layers of loops to your chart to make it comprehensive. There are many free and paid tools available in the market today to help you with creating kanban style lists and monitoring tasks.
Always consider what’s given as feedback, constructive or not. You can apply filters to derive meaning out of every perspective that you receive. Understand what your people want, and know what their strengths are, work with them. Every piece of information is valuable and can be used to drive you to more clarity.
Continuously improve and reinstate your core strength. It’s understood that when you enter a business you have a relatively good grasp over it, but as you progress, make sure to keep up with the changes that come about on a regular basis. Today, newer evolving technologies like big data, machine learning and neural networks have opened up an unimaginably huge array of possibilities and as a growth oriented business you should be ready to tap into these resources.
What is it that makes you, you? You can think of this in terms of what separates you from your competition but a better way to assess this would be by highlighting the originality and uniqueness of your products and your image. As you grow, people and partners will know and trust you more and your brand image is what they will associate themselves with. The colours, the logo, the font, and the likes. Having this defined at the onset will go a long way in increasing memorability of your brand and brand retention in the minds of your customers. Once your identity is set, it’s very hard to change it and make people associate with it, so it's best to have that defined at the get go. These parameters should be kept in mind when you create a strong unwavering brand and design guideline. How you appear and how you’re identified should be in tandem with your business and your vision. Once that’s defined, your logo and your brand identity should serve as extensions of that.
There are many ways a customer remembers a brand. Sometimes it's through your visiting cards, through the content you put out, or your even brand merchandise like t-shirts. Employees as well as customers can act as great brand ambassadors through creative merchandise. Nothing like having them wear custom t-shirts with your business’ branding. You can distribute these as gifts or even give them out as prizes for campaigns that you run online or offline.