Sustainability is never out of the news at the moment. Are you a fossil fool? The solution is less pollution. There is no Planet B. As the world population grows, so does the pressure on our resources. We need an environment and food chain that can continue to function and deliver for the 7.7 billion who live on planet earth, and the creatures we share our world with.
But it’s not just the world that is under threat, many companies also struggle for survival, which is why creating a business model of sustainable growth is so important. It means creating a company that is robust enough in all areas to deal with whatever comes along. It means embedding consistency into your operation. It means ensuring you have the right balance of cash and talent to create a business that doesn’t just survive but thrives. By having these in place you can look forward with confidence, deliver the value you’re looking for, and build a business that is investable.
Here are some ways to build a business that will sustainably grow.
To build a robust business you need to have a meaningful strategy in place. Why should that matter, you say? Well, if you want to drive somewhere in the quickest possible time, do you get in your car and go, or do you look at Waze, or one of the other travel apps, that tells you the fastest route? The same is true in business. Do you leave things to chance, hoping things will work out, or do you put a plan in place to ensure you get where you want to go, as quickly and efficiently as possible?
Begin by asking yourself if you have strategies in place with regard to sales, marketing, operations, cash and talent, that you implement on a regular basis? Don’t worry if the answer is ‘no’. Our research tells us that even with a strategy 80% of businesses don’t implement it regularly. But, to steal from the world of sustainability, that’s like buying food, and not eating it. To achieve sustainable growth and create a business of value, you need to not only have a strong plan in place, you need to action it.
We’ve developed a tool that allows you to see how you’re positioned with regard to strategy. It’s called the Certainty Scorecard. In no more than three minutes you’ll discover if you have a strategy that can provide sustainable growth. To complete the Scorecard click here.
Product Market Fit.
Product Market fit has been in the spotlight in recent years. Put simply, sustainable growth can be achieved through a product/service that fits perfectly with the market it’s serving. This is particularly true of the start-up sector where brands are looking for a point of difference that gives customers an experience they’ve never had before. When you have the right product-market fit your customer becomes your salesforce. They love your brand so much they can’t stop talking about it. That beats spending a small fortune on marketing.
But what if you’re an established brand. Is it too late to find that product market fit the start-ups are after? No. Many ambitious businesses will have new products, re-launches, or acquisitions. At times like this, it’s worth thinking like a start-up and creating a brand/service that fulfils a real consumer need in a way no-one’s seen before. A me-too product isn’t going to sustain growth in a business. An exciting one, with product market fit can.
You can’t achieve sustainable growth if you don’t have the right team around you to deliver it. You need a talent recruitment strategy in place. Finding and keeping the right talent should be a top priority, an on-going process, not something that only kicks in when somebody leaves or workloads become excessive. Continuity is a vital part of building a strong business. When talent leaves you need a strategy in place to ensure it doesn’t have a negative impact on your operation, and you can find the right people to maintain your momentum.
But what if you can’t afford the talent in the first place to build your business, or haven’t the cash to replace them? Then you need to discover what is happening in your company or sector that is stopping you from hiring the people you need? The issues may be varied, but one thing is certain, the cash/talent conundrum can’t be ignored. It needs to be resolved.
If your business has a long history of deep, dangerous troughs, it could be time to adopt a new approach. One solution is to speak to someone with a fresh perspective. Whatever problem you’re currently facing, one thing is certain – it won’t be new. Others will have been through situations just like it. That’s why it’s good to seek outside advice. Speak to someone with experience, who has run their own business, who has problem-solved for other owners, who can look at your company objectively, who can help you find those new answers.
Sustainability isn’t just for the Green Party, it’s a vital component for the success and survival of every business. A company that sustainably grows is one that can survive the undulations of the marketplace, bring confidence to customers and employees alike, and generate real value. There’s another big advantage. It will attract investors and buyers. Even if you’re not in a position to sell, isn’t it better to have a company that is valued, rather than avoided?
The team at BGI have all built and sold businesses, so we know the importance of sustainably growing. If you’d like to speak to us about this or any other issues, please feel free to make a Discovery Call here.