As business owners we don’t always review and analyse our competitors as often as we should, but when we do, we often find and envy competitors who have grown quicker or more successful than us. We may spend time studying them, and having that conscious thought; What are they doing differently from us, why are they growing that much quicker than we are? What can I do to experience the same success levels? Are they actually profitable?
There are of course many reasons why companies grow quicker than others. Individual traits or a collective of excellent business practices and ideas could be why they are performing better. Access to funding is a typical prerequisite for high-growth, and having the funds readily available to invest into expanding can make a huge difference to any business, if spent wisely of course.
That envied competitor’s sales and marketing activity could be extremely aggressive, focused and delivering high quality content that is pertinent to a large targeted database. Their marketing messages could be resonating with their target audiences, having previously analysed what the market demands, rather than presuming to fully understand the market place and its demands in advance. Research is a key factor for marketing and sales success, and being able to create the desire in your products and services above your competition is a continuous process of optimisation. What do your customers want from you should be the question every business owner asks themselves continually!
Or could it just be they have unlocked some hidden profits?
I mentioned earlier about the importance of having capital reserves to invest into your business, and I firmly believe that this is the catalyst to creating the opportunities for high growth. It is in fact a fundamental requirement, and without continuous strategic investment most businesses stagnate, or live just above the business bread line unable to invest into new staff, infrastructure, equipment, sales and marketing. Without capital, it is also difficult to contemplate diversification into new markets, or expanding product ranges and service offerings. In most circumstances expansion plans desperately need capital, and must include excellent planning and execution of those plans with clear goals and targets in place.
Are you ready for growth?
My last article generated a lot of positive feedback, and resonated with a number of business owners and professional service providers. It focused on the importance of understanding your financial and operational status, and how fundamental these figures are for facilitating the important decisions we make in business. I created an essential list of financial tools that all business owners need to be armed with and fully understand so they can make informed strategic decisions, keeping their fingers on the financial and operational pulses of the business, and not committing financial suicide. There was a very good reason for writing that last article, and it perfectly correlates with what I am now about to cover…
Clients who work with me will know I don’t do lip service and I am extremely supportive in my convictions to help the owners grow their businesses. I also don’t do one size fits all, or six steps to something seemingly special, or some other form of ‘hard to believe’ magical formula we have probably read in the social sphere at some point in the past.
The first tool I use in all my coaching programmes opens the mind to the opportunities within their business, but requires the business owner to take action. It is probably the simplest method I or anyone can adopt to demonstrate the potential in a business, and the reaction from client’s each and every time is priceless. I truly wish I could bottle that reaction. Surprisingly it is only one page of detailed information and requires two hours of concentration to complete.
So what is the big secret you may ask?
The big secret was there all the time. The business owner hadn’t found it yet, or they knew exactly what it was, but just hadn’t carried out the necessary analysis to fully understand it. Or at some point in the past they had an understanding, but they had lost some focus – everything else had got in their way of truly understanding what it is.
I will stop teasing now, and the powerful tool I utilise is called an ‘Orbit Map’. Still none the wiser, well let’s focus on what the Orbit Map is looking to achieve and what it reveals for business owners…
- A clear path for growth, outlining overheads and costs; hidden profits, and changes you can instigate to experience rapid growth now and in the future.
- It unlocks the financial details by showing you when to trigger investments in your team through increasing numbers and training, premises and other capital expenditure projects to maintain the growth plan
- It demonstrates how minor and seemingly insignificant changes in your business model or inherent practices can create a positive impact on your bottom line
- It helps the business owner align important financial figures with their relative costs, margins and profits, also identifying the profit centres of the business that they should focus on.
…Without going into huge detail it is very difficult to demonstrate all the benefits, unless you have worked on your very own Orbit map with me because of the sheer diversity of businesses.
In anything we do in life, knowledge is always a powerful thing. We all look to become better business people, and desire greater understanding of how we can achieve this. The Orbit Map is truly inspirational, and when a client utilises this superb tool I have witnessed the pretty much immediate renewed vigour they have for their business. A typical example is with one of my existing clients who witnessed the potential in his business after producing the first Orbit Map, and he could see just how measurable it was. A few months on, the figures we put into the Orbit Map originally and relating to growth in years 1, 2 and 3 have skipped on a full year – the client is now set to beat year two predictions after just six months. We are working on a new Orbit Map based on current figures, and the ambitions the client has for his business has increased significantly. Ironically, I knew from experience his original growth predictions were quite conservative and could easily be surpassed.
The Orbit Map is not the answer to the original question and finding out the solution to why businesses in your sector grow quicker or they are more successful than you, the Orbit Map is part of the coaching process I utilise to prove the potential in a business. It starts to create a tangible and quantifiable direction for the business and unlocks the gate to higher growth. In fact it does a great deal more, it sets out a clear path for businesses to become the envied competitor of someone else!
If you would like to find out more, please do get in contact with me to arrange a consultation.