As the owner or decision maker in a small business, the responsibility of growing resides in your hands. You can read all the books and attend all the conferences where experts skim the surface of what it takes to grow successfully, but without investing time and effort into the proven business strategies that help businesses grow, you won’t achieve the success you’re looking for. In this series we’re discussing the tried and true strategies that businesses can take advantage of to grow and scale successfully. Today, we’re talking about how to use your CRM system to grow your business.
How does your business do when it comes to communication both internally and externally? Your answer to this question could determine the success or failure of your business. Communication is an Administration Discipline that impacts every aspect of your company. All companies have a communication culture, and if you don’t think that is true, think again. Your managers communicate with subordinates, frontline workers communicate with other frontline workers, customers, and vendors. Your executives communicate to your stakeholders: bankers, community leaders, government agencies, community groups, and the public at large. What message does your company consistently put into the market place? Are these messages tied into the vision, values and mission of your company, or are they tied to your products and services?
Inanimate objects require a driving force to move or influence a change in direction. Momentum is what keeps it moving. Inertia and momentum are key elements of physics that keep things in motion. Resistance and loss of momentum can cause a company to become lifeless. Revenues are flat, activities get stale, and results lag behind expectations. So, why do companies lack a driving force and momentum? Focusing on the minutia in the business is what often causes a loss of momentum. Leaders and managers too often focus on just the lack of performance. They fail to communicate the purpose behind the activities that lead to the desired results. Instead, they push workers to do more. They fail to inspire the workforce. Leadership is responsible for creating the driving force in the company. The driving force is inspiration. Motivation, drive, desire, and commitment are by-products of inspiration. Inspiring others is the key responsibility of the CEO.
Most businesses believe that they have something special to offer to potential customers such as products/services, high quality, low price, etc. You hear these types of messages in marketing and advising every day. Every business thinks they are special but are they truly different from the competition.
Market demand drives consumption. Understanding the market place is essential to crafting your competitive advantage, products/services and pricing. Consumers purchase solutions to problems that fulfill their perceived needs and desires.
Marketing is a HOT topic in today’s lack luster business environment. When I speak to business owners and decision makers about marketing their eyes tend to gloss over or turn upward. Dollar signs immediately come to mind with no tangible way to measure return on investment. Some think I am trying to sell them something when I am not. Others are very interested and are highly engaged in the subject. There are some serious challenges that business leaders need to overcome in the area of marketing. First, most marketers don’t know the difference between marketing and advertising. Marketing is about brand awareness where advertising is about making the phone ring.
For every business there are four essential types of planning. Each of the planning type’s effect varied aspects of the business directly. Strategic planning impacts the entire organization, functional planning effects divisions and departments, logistical planning is performed by teams and staff. Financial planning impacts department management and resources. Below are definitions for the four planning types: