So how does a small, high growth, business succeed today? What are the key things that business owners need to do – and do well – if they are to build successful, winning companies? What differentiates the best from the rest?
At Winning Pitch we believe that there are three areas which are absolutely crucial. High growth businesses must excel in all of them – or they will come crashing to earth. They form the basis of disciplined entrepreneurship.
Our Winning Formula combines:
Clear Purpose and Direction
Successful, high growth businesses have a real purpose and direction. They know where they are heading – and what they need to do to get there. They may change direction – in response to new opportunities and changes in the marketplace – but they don’t just follow the pack. They have a plan – they don’t necessarily call it a Business Plan – that revolves around capitalising on opportunities in their chosen markets. They also do things differently – they are NOT ‘me too’ companies.
Virtually everyone thinks that their business is customer-focused. Truth is, few companies really practice genuine customer focus. Yet without it you can never out-perform the competition, never grow faster than the market and never achieve the sort of breakthroughs that make all those hours you put into the business really worthwhile. The really good news is that you don’t need to be as big as Tesco, or to spend huge sums of money on sophisticated IT and customer retention programmes to be customer focused. You do, however, have to invest time in getting under the surface of your customers to gain some real insight into how they think and behave. Then you can set out your stall to meet those needs better than everyone else. Effective strategies and tactical selling lie at the heart of great customer focus.
Entrepreneurial organisations typically exhibit the characteristics of creative flair, hunger, drive, passion, desire and enthusiasm. Whilst these are vital ingredients, we must never forget the importance of disciplined systems and procedures that bring order and structure to performance. Super growth businesses have well established and robust back office systems that measure performance and provide early warning for potential challenges.
Disciplined systems mean that roles, responsibilities and resources are well defined and key performance measures allow the team to understand exactly where they are in relation to profitability, sales and customer service.
Discipline must be applied to all processes and functions within a business, these must not be cumbersome or difficult to manage but should act as a barometer for performance – finance, sales, operational effectiveness, people performance, product development.
When discipline and entrepreneurship come together, super growth kicks in – the basis of all winning companies.