Questions that will help your business grow
Recently, we worked with a respected manufacturing company that was concerned about multiple years of flat growth in a thriving industry. They believed that their products were chosen because they were of the highest quality in the category, but they could not figure out why they weren’t growing.
We worked with the company’s leaders on a thorough VALCORT strategic analysis, and as we asked questions of both internal stakeholders and customers around the world, the situation became dramatically clearer. As they addressed concerns and opportunities, it’s clear they are on a path toward accelerating their growth.
To grow your business, you have to ask the right, hard questions about your company and your products. Questions such as:
- Why do people do business with you?
- What do you do so well that it draws customers to your products and services?
- What is causing people to leave you and go to a competitor?
- Would customers say your relationship with them is exemplary?
We recommend that you regularly evaluate your products and services, as well as your company’s strengths and weaknesses, to identify new, faster and better ways to meet the needs of your customers [#23 of Valcort’s 35 Keys to Business Growth].
This recommendation has three dimensions.
First, you need to evaluate. Stop, think about, and develop a reliable tool to grade your products, your services, and other assets, and how they contribute to the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your company and its viability and growth.
You’re probably familiar with the SWOT analysis, a good organizing tool for this evaluation. A SWOT analysis is an organized list of your business's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. We use it in our VALCORT business transformation process as a launching point for corrective action.
Second, do this evaluation with regularity. It will not be effective unless the measurement is repeated at least once a year. You can’t evaluate your products and business strengths and weaknesses, tweak a few things and not come back to the exercise for many years, with continuous tracking of your most pertinent standards. Only a predictable, regular appraisal will contribute to a valuable calibration of goods, services and practices.
Third, focus on how your business practices and your products meet the needs of your customers. This is an important clarification that hones the SWOT analysis and evaluates through the prism of customer satisfaction.
Going through this simple exercise will put you on a path to growth, as you focus on the key issues that may be delaying your progress. Give it a try!