Successful entrepreneurs drive and live on growth. They are attuned to growth, and many make success look simple to achieve. Growth is an expression of all that they are: strategic thinkers, strategists, innovators, developers, supervisors, team players, networkers, and marketers. Their pure creativity, wit, intuition, inspiration, passion, and commitment shine and attract our attention.
With reflection on winning practices of successful entrepreneurs, you will soon accelerate growth and be on your way to new heights of success.
Understand Your Market
A changing economy means a changing market. And with a changing market comes different needs. Successful entrepreneurs are strategic thinkers. They inquire and reassess the needs of their clients and targets. Their success is highly dependent on their capacity to adapt and meet those needs. To be more productive, follow the path of successful entrepreneurs, and pay attention to economic changes. Anticipate shifts, and look for new trends. Focus on your clients and engage in honest conversations with them to understand their current and future needs, price expectations, views on product or service quality, and ideas for service improvements.
Your key questions should be: Where is the market going? What do clients want? At what price? What changes do we need to make?
Create an Experience
In a highly competitive environment, successful entrepreneurs truly understand what makes them unique. They are strategists who capitalize on their competitive advantages. Good is not in their language. Great is. To move towards success, you need to create an experience that your clients will remember and ask for again and again. Understand what people want, and dare to be different by giving more. There is more in greatness, care, personalized service, satisfaction, and improvement. Clients will always remember those who went the extra mile for them.
Your key questions should be: What makes our business unique? What are my competitive advantages? How can we make our clients’ experience memorable? How can we give more?
Target New Markets
Successful entrepreneurs are comfortable in the uncomfortable. They look at emerging and new markets with eyes of hope and great possibilities. They look for complementary acquisitions, and they consider partnerships and alliances to expand their operations and activities. They leverage globalization that opens the door to new opportunities and knowledge sharing, thus creating more growth. To help in the identification of new markets, I encourage you to conduct market research. Reflect on collaborative partnerships and alliances that may benefit you and your stakeholders. Consider investments in marketing, human resources, and technology that may open new doors.
Your key questions should be: Where could our products or services have great market potential? Are we ready for international markets? What investments are needed?
Develop New Products
There is comfort in doing what we know best. However, there is no growth in comfort. Successful entrepreneurs think outside the box. They are innovators and developers. Product development and innovation are at the core of their success. Don’t just look at what your competitors are doing. Look at what they are not doing, and how you could bring value to people’s lives. By creating new needs, you will be marching at the front of the parade. Creating social growth will in turn create business growth.
Your key questions should be: How can we do better for our clients? What would help our clients create growth? What new products can we develop? What investments are needed?
Build a Stellar Salesforce
Successful entrepreneurs are skilled at putting their products in the hands of customers. They have a strong and productive salesforce who proudly create brand awareness. They attract the right salespeople and sales managers to grow and respond to market needs. They empower their salesforce with goals, support, and a smart compensation package. Through performance management, they guide their salesforce to success. To drive growth, you must build a strong salesforce with proper sales expertise, training, and people skills. As you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your sales team, look for their skills in making a connection with people, and their ability to share the unique experience your products or services offer. In building your salesforce, aim for an appropriate compensation package, fair sales quota, sales manager leadership, and proper response to market needs.
Your key questions should be: Do we have the right resources? In the right number? With the right training? With the right compensation package? And the right sales quota?
Position Your Team to Play Their Best Game
Successful entrepreneurs work in harmony with their teams, and they understand their strengths and weaknesses. They position their teams to play their best game and attract new resources as needed to grow and respond to market needs. If you want to win in the business game, communicate with your team to know more about their passion, and how they can help grow the business. Some may be skilled in sales and marketing. Others may be technical gurus with abilities to create ingenious tools and methodologies. Some others may be the best in research and product development. By positioning your team members to play their best game, you will drive more growth from their passion being directed to areas of interest.
Your key questions should be: What are the strengths of my team? How does my team wish to be involved to help grow the business? What training do they need to excel? What skills do we lack as a team?
Set a Winning Go-to-Market Strategy
Successful entrepreneurs stand out with a well-thought-out marketing plan that presents an executive summary, the product or service offerings, brand name, target market, competitors, competitive advantages, pricing, product location, distribution channels, marketing budget and strategy, risks and mitigating measures, and financial projections. Take time to work with your team in developing a winning marketing plan. With more in-depth strategy behind your marketing approach, you position your enterprise for greater success.
Your key questions should be: Who are our target clients? What message is important to them? How can we best reach them? Do we have the right sales team in place?
Assess Your Growth Actions
Successful entrepreneurs supervise and monitor progress towards the achievement of their strategic growth objectives. They assess what works and what doesn’t, and they are not afraid to change course as needed. Faced with roadblocks, they do not lead out of fear but out of creativity, purpose, innovation, team effort, and great communication. They stand strong and try new ideas. Monitoring is essential to assess if your strategies are fruitful. It allows you to better assess if changes to your operational environment, marketing approach, team structure, distribution channels, and product or service quality are needed to create more growth.
Your key questions should be: Are we meeting our growth objectives? If not, why? What can we do about it?
Jocelyne F. Lafrenière, CPA, CA is the President & Chief Executive Officer of JFL International Inc. She is the author of the inspiring book, Hello Marvelous You and co-author of the book, The Soul of Success. She is the author of 12 business management courses that provide new entrepreneurs, managers and executives with a comprehensive understanding of business topics, including legal considerations for starting a business, business planning, management of financial, human resources and physical resources, information technology, accounting, marketing and sales. For more information, please visit www.jflinternational.com.