How To Grow A Business- Know The "3 P's"
Many of my clients are brands that develop unique products and services, infused with energy and innovation, to supply a demand that they currently cannot access in the marketplace. The most pivotal point of growth comes when founders realize that they are no longer solely creating product lines. One day they look around and realize that they've become hyper focused on learning new systems, managing processes, and putting out fires. As leaders, they are no longer prioritizing developing 3-key areas of opportunity which lead to scalability: People, Products & Passion.
Being able to support current staff members, advisors, leaders, managers, associates and assistants is a full-time job. Creating the right team of people that you can depend upon and have the know-how to get the job done is imperative. Consistent training in leadership skills and team empowerment can ensure that the business has the utmost commitment and “buy-in” from teams. Atop a growing staff, there may be key areas of the business that are not growing or developing- IE: Wholesale, Direct to Consumer(D2C), Marketing, back-end systems, operations/logistics, finance, data analysis, etc. It is critical to identify these areas, then resource! Utilizing your networks to find the right resources to support you as a founder, is key to evolution. Outsourcing- whether freelance, consultancy, permanent/in house leadership and advisory, is important. With this level of support, founders may stay focused on the mission, the products, the services and the change they hope to create. As leaders rise to the top, the compass should stay focused on building strong foundations, to grown upon for the future. Empowered leaders, lead to empowered teams. Empowered teams create innovative products, and innovative products motivate consumers.
You’ve created a great product line-congrats! Your friends, family, clients and colleagues believe that you are really on to something…but how do you ensure your concept evolves, stays relevant in the marketplace, and maximizes all opportunities for today and years to come? I have multiple strategies for this:
I. Know your “Winners”- Identify repeat “wins” in assortments and product offerings and ensure you iterate, evolve and penetrate the market with these key items. These key itemsbecome identifiable in the marketplace the more they are seen, and they most likely will make up the majority of your revenue over time.
II. Utilize Trends - Stay on trend with new-seasonal items, and act nimbly. Ensure that you are constantly innovating, expanding and staying relevant with consumer needs. Don’t forget to watch other brands and identify common trends or themes. Everything trickles across, upwards and downwards…so if you are in the business of footwear and you start seeing a major influx of wide leg long denim in the marketplace, most likely women are going to need some heeled-platforms to wear with their flare-bottom jeans. If Nike is infusing their collections with neon, and you make activewear, you might want to consider how your activewear pairs with relative products that the consumer will be wearing to the gym. Start will a lean inventory test, and plan to react as the data suggests.
III. Employ Good/Better/Best Segmentation- I like to call this tiering. Tiering is based on the philosophy that there are aspirational products, median products, and accessible products/price points. As consumers, we most likely will make more frequent purchases of an $48-AVG cost item within a year, versus a $300-AVG cost item. So why shouldn’t brands consider this? Even if your core-product program average price point is $600, you may gain more repeat clients and volume opportunities by offering a lower-priced item aligned with your brand aesthetic that comes in around for example, an $68-entry price point. There is strength in numbers, and that doesn’t mean higher price points generate higher revenue.
IV. Consider the White Space- there may be key areas of “white space” available in your market segment. Are your lines providing the supply for the demand? For example, if you have a line of handbags, and your friends, buyers or even yourself keep saying that they can’t find the perfect convertible bag that takes you from office-to-cocktails, maybe it’s time to consider developing a convertible bag that goes from “computer bag” to “cocktail currency holder.” Alternatively, if there are other brands that offer similar product lines as yours, in standard color-ways...why not offer these products in novelty colors and prints?
Passion infused into products and people (especially important for leaders), is pinnacle to creating lasting impact on those you touch. Internally and externally, ensuring that joy is part of your personal and professional mission, will directly translate to the customer. If you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, disappointed, or stuck, you might want to take a look at your passion factor. Are you able to focus on the things that fire you up? Are you able to outsource the support you need? Is there a “limiting belief” holding you back from saying, “yes, I can find the resources to create the change or achieve the goals I desire.” Having the knowledge capital (open communication dialogue among teams/divisions, to create the necessary points of differentiation to beat the competition in the marketplace) is what sets good brands apart from GREAT brands. Remember to engage, emerge and empower your teams daily, weekly, monthly. Start your general meetings with a PURPOSE. Remind your teams why they are there- to support the mission (not just the money). You, and your customers, will feel the energy too.
Are you ready to accomplish your dreams? Are you close? How will you get there? -BTO