You’ve worked hard to build your company to where it is today. Now it’s time to carry it to the next level. Before you look at your next offering or your next big marketing push, take stock of the hidden opportunities in front of you. Let’s look at the basics of your company—your brand, your clients, your team, your processes and your partnerships—to find seven ways you can increase your company’s value before your next campaign.
Strengthen Your Brand Presence
Do you have a clear, strong message that defines your brand and what you offer? While you want your brand to be appealing to a wide audience, don’t let a catchy slogan be your only message. Avoid jargon and overgeneralizations that can hide your strengths. Instead, focus on the areas where you excel above your competition. Make sure that consumers know why they should choose you over your competitors.
Establish Your Credibility
As you work to strengthen your brand presence, consider your credibility. How do you look to your clients and vendors? Do you have a good reputation for the work you do? Are you known for treating employees and business partners well? Your reputation is important, so don’t ignore the reviews you get from clients, vendors and employees.
Make sure that you’re also presenting a brand image that is clear and trustworthy. Strengthening your brand presence (above) will help you there, but to turn that presence into credibility, you must push further. Make sure that you’re visible online, that your website and social media presence are polished and uniform, and that you have a recognizable presence on reputable sites—including on Google. Take control of your Google Business Profile and ensure you get reviews from your clients. When you show up in search, ensure that your good reputation shows up with you.
Improve Company Morale
Make sure that your team has a strong, positive opinion of their jobs, you and their workplace. Don’t assume that your employees are happy or satisfied just because you meet the basics—pay and benefits. Ask them what they enjoy about their job. If you only hear about the basics, be worried. Find out what would take them beyond being happy to stay with your company and incorporate their feedback into your offerings. By listening to what your team wants, you can build morale and turn your company into a talent-attracting workplace.
Build An Experienced Management Team
Most midmarket businesses rely on the owner for overall operations, decision making, customer satisfaction, product development and business partnerships. If this is you, you need to begin building a management team that can take on some of these responsibilities for you. Building a strong management team does more than take worries off your shoulders. It allows you to bring the experience of others to your business and take advantage of new insights and opportunities for growth.
Be Strategic About Your Partnerships
Don’t merely have business partners. Build strategic relationships with your business partners. From your supply vendors to your digital marketing agency, create relationships that don’t merely meet your needs but also build up your company’s strength.
When you create or refresh a partnership, be specific about what you want and what you have to offer. Let a company know why they should partner with you and how you can benefit them beyond being someone who pays an invoice or provides a service. How do your services and products—or how you use their services and products—increase their presence and reputation?
This may mean cutting ties with some business partners. If you have a vendor whose services or products fall below expectations, they can hurt your reputation with your customers. Likewise, if you provide services or products to a company that doesn’t put them to the best use, they can harm your reputation with other companies and consumers. Build up your partnerships, and don’t let a lagging partner bring you down.
Build for Scalability
We’ve all heard the adage, “More work than I know what to do with is a good problem to have.” I’m going to tell you now, though, that this is not a good problem. If you’re experiencing growth you can’t handle, it’s because you didn’t build for scalability. Establish systems and processes that can grow as your business grows. Because while we all want to be in demand, failing to meet that demand leads to reviews like “Doesn’t return phone calls” on Google and Yelp.
A scalable system will make it easy to:
• Add new customers and clients.
• Onboard new employees and empower their productivity.
• Increase production and services you provide to meet demand.
Listen To Your Clients
I recently spoke to a business owner who was dissatisfied with a popular reputation site. The site offered them a pitch about building their brand platform on the site, but the pitch left a bad impression on the business owner. Why? Because the site was hyper-focused on ads and reviews but ignored what the business owner needed, which was a good place to generate new business leads. The site could have met this need. It’s a strong platform with a good reputation among consumers. However, because the representative didn’t ask the right questions about what the business needed and didn’t listen to the anxieties the owner had, they failed to win the business owner over.
The lesson is simple: Don’t just focus on what you offer. Listen to what your clients want. What are their anxieties? What do they need? Ask these questions and demonstrate to the client how your services can meet their needs and how you can calm their worries and anxiety.
I’ve only touched on seven opportunities to strengthen your business. While you may have other ideas specific to your business, these seven are the bedrock of company growth. By building up your brand, business relationships, processes and client relationships, you can create a foundation that allows you to grow and excel.