What Are Your Company’s Growth Engines?


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A trusted friend once looked over my shoulder and asked me if what I was doing would help grow the company? I still reflect on that question frequently. It’s easy to get bogged down in work: details, hoops to jump through, deadlines, meetings, keeping up your social persona. But is everything you have scheduled today going to affect the growth of your company in some way—large or small?

There may be growth engines that are not even running or are so out of tune they won’t start.

Are you using a referral program as a growth engine? What better salesperson to have on your staff than someone who knows you, is using your service or product and is well satisfied. Think about starting a referral program or exploiting the one that’s in place and not showing great results. Discounts, awards and prizes might stimulate some to give up names of their colleagues, but take some time to think about what the referral really means to your company. Are you spending several hundred dollars with a marketing firm to locate bona fide leads? If that’s the case then don’t send out $2 ballpoint pens to customers and then ask for names of people you can call. Put together a referral program that benefits both parties. Think about sending show tickets to the CXOs on your list and then ask for people you can contact. They’ll be impressed by your actions and good things are bound to happen.

Are you using a customer retention model as a growth engine? Every business looses a percentage of customers or clients each year. Are you just accepting those numbers and moving on or is there a plan in place to make those numbers shrink? Times change. People change. Things change. Is there a survey instrument in place to get soundings from your current clients or customers? According to the Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent increases profits by 25 percent to 95 percent. Know your customers. Be available. Work to reduce any pain points and let customers know you know the problem exists and you’re working on a solution. Find ways to let customers know they’re important.

Are you using social media as a growth engine or just adding to the noise? Don’t focus as much on the schedule necessary to get the message out as the message itself. Don’t get busy going through the motions unsure of what growth is being created. Sound metrics need to be in place to verify all the money spent and hard work expended. Be strategic. Create compelling content. Stay consistent. Be personable. Respond quickly. Build community. Give until the giving pays off. Quit doing what’s not working and turn up what is. Don’t expect overnight results. And don’t accept failure.

The list of growth engines likely includes everything the company does on a daily basis: customer service, technical support, sending out the company newsletter, launching email campaigns, along with the website and blog just to add a few.

Have a strategy in place for 2014 to make sure everything that touches a prospect, client or customer comes from a finely tuned growth engine.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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