How to grow your business organically
As Jay-Z once said, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man”. If you’re your own brand, or looking to start up, organic growth is the mantra for market success. Achieving upticks without a spend on marketing or advertising is where everyone wants to be. Here are nine steps to let your idea flourish in the best possible way…
1. ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO BETTER
Even though they eat the same prey and are physically equal, it’s easy for a lion to dominate a hyena because the lion plays to it’s strengths: agility and attitude. Learn from the king and outshine your rivals by taking time to understand what you do better than them. According to a Hinge Marketing report, high growth companies are twice as likely as stagnant growth businesses to have clear and simple differentiators – up to 20% more than the competitive set. Use differentiation to make it yours for the taking.
2. LOOK BACK, MOVE FORWARD
If you don’t know what you’re chasing, why bother with the hunt? Firms that show high organic growth are twice as likely to have studied or commissioned more extensive research on their target market than their competitors. Once you know exactly who you’re stalking, you can tailor your services to their precise needs. You will then forge customer loyalty that will act as weapons grade fertiliser for your year-on-year growth rate.
3. LISTEN UP
Even if you’re doing business in the virtual world, growth happens in the same way it did in yesteryear. “Word-of-mouth marketing is a crucial component of organic growth for start-ups and one of the primary ways Weebly has grown,” says David Rusenko, founder of the aforementioned e-commerce platform that now boasts 50 million users. This growth opportunity is more important than ever because it’s the most trustworthy and all boils down to individual experiences. Every customer counts: make them feel special and uniquely catered for during every transaction and you’ll win their hearts.
4. BECOME A TRIPLE THREAT
A tree doesn’t just use its branches to expand its reach: it grows using roots and its trunk, too. Learn from the mother of organic growth and harness the aspects outlined in a McKinsey & Company survey, Three Strategies of Organic Growth. Invest in products or services that have created growth in the past; create new products and services; and perform better on core commercial capabilities. This will help you work within your means, so you don’t overstretch your resources.
5. WHERE PROFIT IS, LOSS IS HIDDEN NEARBY
This is an ancient Japanese proverb that’s always underpinned the growth of their economy, primarily highlighting keeping a tight reign on costs. To make sure you’re always self-checking your books, do a cost-benefit analysis every quarter. This is where you weigh up the costs of a decision versus the profits it generates. An easy way to do this is to visit an online Return On Investment Calculator (such as goodcalculators.com), where you can figure out if you’d be better off leaving your cash in the bank to accrue interest. If the costs in your industry are too hungry, you should know whether to cash out or keep biting.
6. YOU WON’T WIN ON PRICE
“The days of expecting the quality of a product or service to speak for itself are over,” explains Adam Pratt, leading financial consultant at Easily Started (easilystarted.com). “Outside property and infrastructure, you can stack them high and sell them cheap, but the race to the bottom price is well underway. The modern economy is all about experience, from initial contact to after sales. If you get this right, capture the feedback and build a network of trust, you are well on your way to organic growth. Whether it’s online or face to face, convenience and human contact when the customer wants it are king.”
7. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES
If you’ve come for an instant fix, turn back now because while simplicity might be the art of expression, you can’t always be reductive – and the world’s smartest business minds know this. “The beauty of compounding iterative algorithms – evolution, fractals, organic growth, art – derives from their irreducibility,” says Steve Jurvetson, the wildly successful venture capitalist who currently sits on the board of Tesla. What he means is business is complex and an art form with many synergistic notes working as a symphony to create something beautiful. One misstep and it becomes displeasing to the ear and will ruin the overall message.
8. YOUR REP IS EVERYTHING
If you’re striving to be so popular the name of your product becomes a verb, you need to protect your brand at all costs. It’s the basis of who you are and what you’ll become, which was echoed by the McKinsey & Company survey. They found one of the key commonalities of high organic growth companies is having a clearly defined brand and a very distinct
organisational culture. Be unique and make your company’s personality fit your own, so that in day to day operations, you’re always embracing who you are at your core. If you’re quirky and like flowers in your hair, be that person – not the stiff suit your competitors expect you to be.