Tag: Business Growth

Overcoming objections to close the sale

Life is about selling, and business ownership is about non-stop selling. Excellence in selling leads to business excellence, and often it has little to do with how good your product or service is.

Looking at the many different businesses that exist, they all have special features and unique products and services that are well thought through. But at the end of the day, everything is becoming increasingly commoditized.

It is absolutely vital to get the deal done when you’re in front of the client because, on average, a client is looking at more than one service that is similar to yours. The art of getting the deal done is not about talking about the product and service that you have to offer. It’s about learning how to manage the objections that are sure to come. And objection management is what selling is all about.

Objections vary; it’s where somebody makes an excuse to not engage with you, not buy your product, or to push you away, and if you can manage the objections, you’ve got a higher chance of then making a sale.

In this podcast of the Money Show Pavlo explores the 5 main reasons nobody wants to engage with you about your product or service.

  • Money: I can’t afford it!

The big M is money, and often the excuse is “I can’t afford to” or “We didn’t account for this.” There is always the money objection that arises and disrupts the selling process.

  • Trust: I don’t believe you will deliver on your promise!

Trust is where real wealth lies. Its where real currency lies. It is absolutely necessary. It’s the essence of branding. Trust is important. If prospective customers and clients trust you, you’re more likely to have a smoother and more productive conversation with them, which can ultimately lead to their choosing your services or business.

  • Need: I don’t need it!

To serve the need, you’ve got to elicit the need. You’ve got to ask the right series of questions to help people understand that you have something of value and you know that you are serving the right customer. You often have to help people understand that they don’t know what they don’t know. And it is this process that is the essence of business development. It’s more than selling. It’s more than marketing. It’s a process of education. It’s expensive, it’s costly, and it’s absolutely essential. As a result, creating the need is critical.

  • Urgency: I don’t need it right now!

Let’s say we have a good argument for money, we’ve elicited the need, but there’s no impulse to move forward, no decision to take that big step.. Now you have to show that without buying the product or service you’re offering, a problem will arise. That it is going to be costly; that it is going to be painful; and thatit is going to create trauma and drama in that person’s life. If you don’t create that need with a strong enough impulse, the urgency never arises to make the decision now. And the problem with someone not making a decision in the moment when you’re in the process of selling is, a week later, they’ve likely forgotten about you. So that urgency is vital to making somebody move.

  • Time: I don’t have time to engage with it!

This is where your preparation comes in. And if you raise all the objections ahead of time, knowing what objections you typically face—whether it’s money, time, urgency, trust, or need—if you raise them all ahead of time before a client or customer can raise them and resolve them proactively, you’ll be on the front foot to close those deals because it will leave that client or customer fully engaged and trusting in the process itself. It’s called selling in the sunlight, and it’s one of the best ways to do it.

Pavlo’s tactic:

When someone says ‘not right now’, I usually say “Respectfully, in my experience when people say that it means you’re either not interested or unaffordable, may I ask which is it?”It’s an open-ended question puts them in a position where they’re going to say either, “I’m not interested.” Then, you know, it’s a need, an urgency issue. Or they will say “it’s not affordable”. Then, as you know, it’s a money and trust issue.

And if you’ve done your work, you know how to resolve both of those in the second round of discussion. Don’t let go. Once you have a customer or client that you know well and can serve well in front of you, you need to close the deal because it puts you on the front foot of selling, which puts you on the front foot of leaving successful and growing your business.

When a brilliant product doesn’t drive brilliant growth

This week I met a business owner who arguably has one of the best food ordering, payment, and delivery platforms I’m yet to come across. It is a marvelous piece of engineering and centers its value on empowering the restauranter to interpret customer behavior into innovations on service, menus, value, and therefore business growth. Brilliant…. but nobody knows about it.

With a bunch of clients onboard, it makes good money for the founders. This compounds the problem.

If you have a product or service that is well-designed, reliable and offers great value to your customers, how much market share should you own 10 years, 20 years, or 30 years into the game?

Surely, if your offering is that good, you should be dominating segments in your industry. Industries are not small. There are macro-economic reports on the value of industries across all countries freely available on the internet. Find one relevant to you and calculate your market share. If, after 20 years in the game, you believe that you have the best product out there, surely you should have…10% or even 20% of the industry market value?

If you do, well done. If you don’t, what then is the missing ingredient?

Listen to this week’s podcast from The Money Show where Pavlo Phitidis compares a business to a winning F1 team to explain the missing link!

To win the F1 championship, you need three elements.

  1. A winning driver – a racing driver is quintessentially competitive and invested deeply into improving their skills, capabilities, and performance
  2. An efficiently designed car – at high speed, every element of drag and resistance created by the airflow over the body of the car needs to be designed to work for you or eliminated
  3. A reliable, high-performance engine and chassis – to run at a high pace for 70 or more laps, the engine must be responsive and controllable

It’s a great analogy for high-performing businesses.

Every successful business has three primary elements of excellence, interlinked and dependent on each other.

  • The first is the business owner’s mindset. If it’s not a growth mindset, you may well be happy with the status quo. That is not a winning mindset. If your business is doing well and you are making good money in the status quo, you could be doing much better. Doing much better means growing more . Increasing growth by taking more market share pits you against competitors. That fight to grow ignites your potential and competence. A growth mindset is more than just wanting business growth. It means that you will stretch the bounds of your knowledge and capability to fight harder, be smarter, and win. It grows you and your competence as much as success grows your business.
  • The next is the product or service that makes up your offering to the market. It needs to be well-built, offer reliability and quality, and value. It needs to solve problems for the customers who buy it for nobody spends money on anything that does not solve a problem.
  • Finally, is the wrapping. This is made up of the commercial “gears” that interlink to drive and accelerate the offering to market. Made up of marketing, sales, fulfillment, administration, and the other commercial functions that every business needs to exit, live, breathe, and win. The reality for most business owners who create, make and build things (and that’s almost all of us), is that this wrapping is the most frustrating piece to put in place. It really is far more interesting adding a new feature to the product than having to organize your team and design, build and implement the commercial system set.

If you have the best product in the world, and if you aren’t dominating segments of the market in your industry, then it’s the commercial system set or gears that aren’t in play and optimized. If you have them in play and growth generates chaos, then they aren’t optimized and interlinked effectively. No tinkering with the features of your service or product design improvements will fix that and without it, your brilliant product will remain the world’s best-kept secret.

And then time runs out.

A challenge that presents as an strength

Recently I met a valuable business. Valuable because of the skills, talent, and costly capital equipment recently purchased. By recent, I mean before the interest rate hikes of 2022. Capital equipment lends itself well to debt funding, and debt funding secures its returns through interest. Rising rates can burn a business unless you raise revenues too.

What was interesting about this business was its leaders’ mindset. They believed that only they, or people like them, could build the business and grow it beyond their hefty £22.7m annual revenues. Comments like, “What we do is very specialized, and it needs us, hands-on with our teams, to get the job done” and “In our industry, it’s relationships and reputation built by our highly specialized, deep expertise that grow a business”.

In this podcast of the Money Show, Pavlo Phitidis discusses the perception and reality of uniqueness in specialized businesses

Rising inflation, which drove interest rates higher, exacerbated the uncertainty that was fuelling the recession. Unless this business grew, they’d be left with the cost of their capital equipment, an agitated workforce wanting to “engineer” things, and possible demise.

Every business has two pieces that need to be coupled together to succeed. By succeed, I mean increasing revenues and profitability and doing so in a manner that sees the owners free 70% of their time from daily, weekly, and monthly operational activities. It will allow that business to scale, grow and ultimately be sold. They did not meet any of these criteria!

They did have one key element to success: did have a brilliant product or service, as a result of their highly specialized skills and capabilities. To accelerate their products’ and services’ value, they needed to build a second element: a commercial system. The first solves client problems; the second creates an engaging experience for clients. Both are necessary if you want to grow beyond your available time.

After accepting that their specialization was very similar to their competitors, creating no advantage or disadvantage and levelling the playing field, we spoke about what sets a business like this apart.

Like any business, it is about whom you serve (your customers and clients) and what experience you create for them. The experiences I refer to are those that you and I are subjected to every day from suppliers. How do they market their propositions to us and then sell, deliver, and administer the relationship with us? All these elements are articulated by commercial activities, including marketing, sales, operations, and administration. These activities, organized into a sequence that creates the experience, are brought to life by purposeful teams. This was the missing ingredient that saw their brilliance manifest in  £22m revenue, rather than the £60 to £80m revenue performance they should be doing after 32 years in the game.

It’s hard to see when all the habits you’ve developed since being in your business have been formed against your strengths. Engineers make things. Doctors fix people. Vets fix animals. Chefs cook things. Our underlying interest drives our training and vocation. Intellectually, that feeds us.

Developing and deepening your skills in your chosen profession is exciting and influences what business you build as a result. However, this makes us essentially product-centric, when only customer-centric business models promise scale, growth, and premium exits. It can also make us forget to build a commercial system to drive the business and grow it beyond our hands, heads, and hearts.

Finally, after 3 hours of discussion, the engineers agreed!

A growth mindset and a business design that creates resistance and agility

We recently surveyed a few hundred business owners, asking each what they saw as their biggest growth impediment.

The top 3 are

  1. Scale – how do you build a system of growth
  2. People—how do you find, manage, and lead your people?
  3. Growth mindset—how do you maintain an inventive, positively inspired outlook and action in the environment of business that we face today?

In this podcast of the Money Show, Pavlo unpacks an approach to deal with each of these big challenges to growth:

Scale

This is about business design. Like a ship, building, plane, or train, it is designed and built to serve a particular need. An office tower is designed differently from a shopping centre. They serve different audiences and fulfil different needs. They are designed to optimise their ability to meet these needs most efficiently.

The design of your business, too, must be thought through. What’s different in a business is that the design needs to shift and change as the business grows. Most companies I’ve seen operate with a business model suited to half or even a third of the current revenues of the company. It’s as if the businesses are stuck in a start-up or early stage of business design even though they are achieving revenues 2 to 3 times their maturity. It’s unsustainable and eventually kills you or the value you have created over years of effort.

People

Finding the right people to do the right thing all the time is a global challenge. Talented people are essential to growth. If talented people occupy a growth mindset and work on a business built for scale, you create a nucleus of growth in the industry.

Skilled people look to innovate. That means creating more value. If coupled with a scalable business, that innovation leads to growth. Competitors with talented people respond, and the competitive cycle kicks in, attracting funding, talent, and more innovation. It creates vibrancy and growth across and through the industry.

In an environment where talent is draining away or cannot be afforded because of its scarcity, the design of your business is key to getting your people element right. A simple business is scalable and needs a design that changes as the business grows.

The other impediment to getting the people piece right is delegation. Suppose you do not develop a delegation framework that lets you delegate effectively. In that case, you will always be pulled back into the engine room of the business. You eventually get worn to the bone, lose all inspiration and passion, and slowly erode the value you have created. Getting delegation right is about two things.

You and your attitude to delegation and what and how you delegate.

As a business owner, delegation should be your primary function. If you don’t believe in people, you don’t think anyone can do it as well as you or as fast as you. Suppose you harbour deep in your unconscious mind a fear of success that sees you erode the passion and inspiration of your team, amongst other things. In that case, you need to get some perspective. Fear of success is deeply unconscious, and it remains one of the greatest impediments to growth that I’ve come across.

How you delegate is equally essential. Most business owners delegate instructions, and this opens up misunderstandings that begin to break down trust and confidence. When someone doesn’t do what you told them to do, what attitude do you eventually hold toward them? The key to unlocking delegation is delegating a system of activities that can be measured and produce a definable outcome.

Mindset

Many challenges are being faced across all economies globally. Inflation, cost of capital, access to capital, talent, supply lines, energy concerns, war, currency fluctuations, and political mismanagement are some of the many issues experienced everywhere. So, it’s not personal. And that’s the most important thing to consider. It becomes personal if you allow it to wear you down. You end up wearing lenses that highlight everything wrong and wear yourself down further. And with that, everything wrong begins to dominate your day, seeding depression and anxiety. You can get trapped in that space. Ask yourself then, what does that achieve? An alternative is to create a different reality and to do so by creating a morning mantra – I’ll only focus on what it can control.

When you disconnect from the internet, the anxiety and stress caused by various realities disappears. Next, recognize that what’s wrong in your industry is wrong for all. It’s not personal. Your competitors are suffering from the same challenges. It makes for an equal playing field.

To get ahead, adopt a growth mindset that says we will grow despite everything that is wrong. That pair of lenses lets you see the challenges as an opportunity to get ahead of your competitors, which means growth. As an outcome, it breeds positivity and feeds inspiration. You are in control of it all. If you struggle to get to the other side of a negative mindset, get some help. An outside perspective is valuable and can prevent you from wasting months or years of your precious, valuable time, which you can never get back.

How to stand out in the noise and clutter

An upset brand manager contacted the Money Show following an unflattering review of their ad campaign.

Pavlo joined the show to discuss the most fundamental part of any marketing activity – positioning. When the positioning of the brand is not determined from the get-go, then the brand is simply everything to everyone.

Listen to the discussion or read on for a few key takeouts:

Brand Positioning:

It all comes down to what makes your company unique. Not in your opinion, but rather in the opinion of your customers. Not so much in what they say as in what they actually do. In other words, they express their satisfaction with your service or

Why does brand positioning matter?

A well-built business that consistently gets to both the next level of growth and value is one that has been built on clearly articulated, relevant positioning. It enjoys clarity and certainty as to why it exists and how it will grow.

A brand is really a feeling that people who engage with that company have towards that company. And a brand is going to be created by two things.

  1. Firstly, by the product that you offer.
  2. The experience that they have interacting with your company.

Looking at a typical food chain store, there are three main components that are going to drive the brand: the consumers, the franchisees, and the employees in the company, and all of them together will form opinions through social media, through engagement with friends, family, and others around what their impressions and experiences are.

The product must solve a problem. That’s its job. But the thing that makes up a product is quite complex because it goes beyond the actual food, its preparation, and all the special ingredients.
A competing brand can replicate this at ease. What really distinguishes the brand is the experience you create for a customer group.

product by using it repeatedly. They tell their family and friends about your business. 

Disruptive Brands:

Disruption and transformation without purpose are of no value to consumers. It’s clear that the definition of a “disruptor” – and its  formula for success in a world of uncertainty, change, and transformation – isn’t black and white. So, what is the secret to success in this continuously changing world?

Flaws in positioning

Almost always, brand managers argue that they are positioning themselves through their product, service, and price.

Product: They argue the merits of their product in terms of its features and benefits. In the case of a food chain, the argument will be based on the taste and the special ingredients that are used for the food, and how their taste sets them apart from everyone else.

Service: many, in fact, most, say it’s their service. By keeping our ears to the ground and listening to our customers, we were able to offer a unique personalised service “bending over backwards to accommodate and please their customers”.

Price: The price debate. Arguing price in such a large market that has many competitors creeping out is baseless. If you are not in a competitive market, then price probably doesn’t matter in any event.

Building a 100m valuation company: Part 5 – Value

If you reflect on what you have built so far. A simple business, focused on solving problems for a few well-defined customer segments and retaining them by creating a great experience delivered reliably and consistently. You have a few growth strategies maturing all the time, and they are all now led and run by your team. You have time on your hands. Apply it to focusing on deepening and locking in your value.

The starting point here is to understand the basic premise of value investing. If you are investing in a share on a stock exchange, you want three outcomes:

  1. Income – your annual dividends. 
  2. Capital – you want the capital value of the share to grow over time so you can sell it for more than you bought it.
  3. Tradability – you want to be able to sell and buy the share as you like

Value is all about behaving as a shareholder or investor in your own business. Looking at your business like you look at a share is how you lock the value into your business.

In this Podcast of the Money Show Pavlo Phitidis unpacks the final layer in building a 100million valuation company: [VALUE]

The fourth layer is all about growth.

With your time now split to only 30% on operational and management activities because of the first 3 layers, you have time to focus and lead growth. There are several different types of growth you must generate to both lift revenues and deepen profit, and one without the other is of little value.

Growing revenue is about increasing your company’s revenue, while growing profit is about increasing your company’s profitability as a percentage of your revenue. In effect, you want to increase the “gap” between your revenue and your costs to increase profitability while also increasing the quantum of revenue to increase profit.

The first three layers see you with a company that serves well-defined customer segments whose ideal customer experience you’ve determined in the Positioning layer, which is then built out in the System of Delivery layer and brought to life in the Purposeful People layer.

Locking in capital

Achieving this needs you to lock in the growth and future profits of your business. Depending on what business you are in, this can be achieved across multiple areas.

  1. Brand – A brand is a feeling that your stakeholders have towards hearing your company name. What you do for who, how you do it and why you do it carry all the building blocks of a brand beyond pretty logos and business cards. It’s hard to get right and costly too if you cannot answer these questions with a vision for yourself and your business. A brand is lived before it is felt and it must transcend your business into the industry and sectors you work in.
  2. Suppliers – any dependencies on suppliers must be locked in, contractually or otherwise. If you represent a brand in your territory, that contract must ensure longevity and cession. If you run a restaurant, you must have a long-term tenancy, etc.
  3. Customers—to what degree can you provide a service (and every business is a service business) over the long term for your customers? If you can move towards providing a service over time as opposed to a single project, that secures long-term customers. There are many ways to get this right. Think of a motor plan as an example.
  4. Team—how do you lock in your team as the drivers of your business.

Across all these areas, you need to ensure that you, your role, and your presence are minimised.

Ensuring tradability

Understanding the 5 levers of valuation and exit is key for any business owner. Not knowing them means you may well build a business that does well for you over 10–20–40 years but cannot be sold or transferred when you want to exit. You’ll have earned a good income, but the capital gain will be lost, robbing you of monetising the years of investment and risk it took to get here.

Let’s end off by behaving as the buyer of your business. The promise was to create a business worth 100 million.

20 years in, you should be owning a material portion of your market. This could be as much as 2-3% in the service industry. In manufacturing, this should be around 3-5%. It varies from industry to industry, but you need to have a view on it, and you need to be in a position where you are generating at least 10-12 million in profit. After 20 years, this should be possible… right?

Valuation works as a multiple of profit. In general, multiples start at around 2-3 and move up to 5-6.

So, let’s make a deal. The 5 levers are a set of questions that cover the following areas:

  1. What distinguishes you in the eyes of your customers?
  2. How is the business operated and run?
  3. Who makes it all happen?
  4. Is there future growth?
  5. What happens without you there?

An Asset of Value™ is a business that answers them all. Each layer plays into the next as they couple together and demonstrate that each of these question sets can be addressed in a manner that earns an additional 5 multiples on the running industry multiple.

On a 10 million profit, a 5 multiple earns an additional 5 multiples to give you your 100 million asset.

Tennant Aurik business breakfast 6 December

Join us for 55 minutes on 3rd November to understand  how we would work with you and your team to achieve your business goals and ambitions. 

Join us for a business owner’s breakfast

Business breakfast

6 December 2022 
7am for 7.30 start to 9am
Tennant, Hurlingham Office Park, Baobab Block, Suite 3
59 Woodlands Avenue, Hurlingham Manor

Business growth relies on three elements:

  1. A growth mindset
  2. Good, solid products or services
  3. Business design that lets you scale, grow and dominate

Join Tennant and Pavlo Phitidis for a pacey early business breakfast to gain insights gleaned from his work with hundreds of established business owners across the US, UK, Europe and South Africa.

You’ll also get to meet with other growth-minded business owners like yourself, and we’ll give you a copy of Pavlo’s bestseller, Sweat Scale $ell to take home.

You’ll leave with: 

A fresh perspective on your business and insights on how to simply: 

  • Set a smart, scalable growth plan for your business and team
  • Resolve the nine impediments to business growth and exit
  • Build the 5 levers of valuation and exit
  • Lock in organic growth and release time to drive next-level growth
  • Build a motivated team you can successfully delegate to develop an exit strategy in the 5-10-15 years ahead, today

Speaker

Pavlo Phitidis

As an entrepreneur and investor, Pavlo offers over 25 years of direct experience in conceptualising and building businesses across three continents. He has developed and brought to market business assets in excess of $400m through a combination of business start-ups, turnarounds, sales and acquisitions. Using his hands-on experience, business capabilities and relationship networks, he continues to support the growth of business owners through Aurik , a venture capital business growth service.

Pavlo is a regular media commentator, an international speaker on business growth and author of the best-selling, Sweat Scale $ell as well as his newest title: Reset Rebuild Reignite.

Register here



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Jack: An industrial baker whose revenues grew 10-fold working with Aurik

Jack was 54 years old when he came to Aurik, he had 76 employees at the time and his revenue was $4,89 million per annum.

He was also exhausted.

Jack ran multiple, disconnected businesses. one supplied baked goods to hotel chains, another was a retail coffee shop, he also had a few bakeries which he ran, and he bulk broke flour to distribute to smaller bakers around him. The business was extremely chaotic, and Jack wanted to sell it, but who would buy his problems?

Working with Aurik, Jack identified 1 business and closed the rest, together we developed Systems of Delivery, empowered by a team, to dominate that chosen sector.

The System of delivery released his time to focus on new market segments and innovation to enable next-level growth.

Jack’s  annual revenues increased 10-fold and his business was valued at $77,2 million after working with Aurik.

 In addition, Jack no longer wanted to sell as he business was fun and exciting again –

Watch this video summary of Jack’s story

Don’t “Keep Calm and Carry On”​ ​Eat lunch instead!

During WWII, the British government used a series of slogans to manage the public mindset, the most enduring of which is “Keep Calm and Carry On.” It lives on in memes, coasters, fridge magnets, t-shirts, bumper stickers, and mugs. It was a slogan used to manage fear and an attempt to maintain a mindset of EGBOK (everything will be okay) amid deep uncertainty.

Uncertainty is back, and the world of NICE (no inflation, constant expansion) enjoyed over the last decade in many economies has ended.

Rising inflation and interest rates; an unstable currency; the seemingly unstoppable march of energy costs; and the almost certain probability that the unemployment rate will begin to rise all contribute to an alarming increase in the cost of living. Exacerbating and feeding more uncertainty are the impacts being felt by climate change, global conflict, and trade barriers while still trying to recover from the COVID supply chain disruptions, the isolation of remote work, online fatigue, and eyewatering levels of national debt. These and a litany of other local and regional grumblings can collectively disassemble any sane, rational person.

Exasperated, we turn to our politicians and leaders, demanding that they “fix” everything. They did promise a better life for everyone! Well, we all know how that has worked out. When there are no cogent answers to complicated problems, slogans become the mantra governing life for many again. Keep Calm and Carry On, put one foot in front of the other, keep your head down and quietly hope and pray that EGBOK. Embrace a life of austerity nostalgia—that is what it asks you!

It all stinks of resignation. It breeds apathy. It stunts growth. It makes you poorer. It erodes your independence and confidence. It seeds negativity, discontent, and blame. It begs you to be content with weekend muddles in the woods with your trusty labradoodle, Rusty! It works for the government that holds no practical answers to private business owners’ economy. It also works for your competitors, so long as they don’t get duped into embracing it.

The antidote is to live and lead with a growth mindset.

A growth mindset embraces the environment for what it is but directs energy and effort only to what you have control over. It allows your actions to be led by your vision for your company and yourself as a business leader. It wears a lens of opportunity, recognising that uncertainty changes the status quo and cracks open new opportunities. It acts, despite uncertainty, and embraces failure as a teacher, not a measure of who you are. In times like these, competitors will hesitate to invest in the changes needed to adjust to the changing circumstances of their customers until certainty begins to calm the stormy seas of the economy.

And whilst they do as they are told and “Keep Calm and Carry On”, you will be eating their lunch!

Written Pavlo Phitidis, Aurik Co Founder & CEO.

Building a 100m valuation company: Part 4 – Growth

To recap, for the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about how to build a 100 million company.

There are five layers that a business owner needs to build to ensure that you can support your company valuation. How you act and direct your team across each layer changes over four stages of growth, from start-up to scale-up, ramp-up, and value-up.

The first layer is about positioning—it answers the question “what makes your business special in your customers’ experience”.

The second layer is the delivery system, which is all about designing processes, activities, and systems based on the experiences your customers want.

The third layer is about getting the right people to do the right thing at the right time and at the right price.

In this podcast of the Money Show, Pavlo Phitidis unpacks the fourth layer in “Building a R100m valuation company” [GROWTH]

The fourth layer is all about growth.

With your time now split to only 30% on operational and management activities because of the first 3 layers, you have time to focus and lead growth. There are several different types of growth you must generate to both lift revenues and deepen profit, and one without the other is of little value.

Growing revenue is about increasing your company’s revenue, while growing profit is about increasing your company’s profitability as a percentage of your revenue. In effect, you want to increase the “gap” between your revenue and your costs to increase profitability while also increasing the quantum of revenue to increase profit.

The first three layers see you with a company that serves well-defined customer segments whose ideal customer experience you’ve determined in the Positioning layer, which is then built out in the System of Delivery layer and brought to life in the Purposeful People layer.

Accelerated Growth

Your job now is to accelerate your growth with your current services and offerings by leveraging these 3 layers to dominate in your segments. Doing so increases your market share in each of the segments you have chosen to dominate and increases your ease of finding, winning, and holding clients through referrals or word-of-mouth and brand familiarity. If you maintain your first 3 layers and don’t veer from the simplicity of the business model they offer, increased revenues will be serviced by an experienced and well-capacitated System of Delivery and team. Put differently, the same cost base of your business will generate increased revenues, widening the gap that drives your profitability. It will also mean that your team can drive this growth, releasing your time to focus on next-level growth.

Next Level Growth

This is growth that generates a significant impact on your profitability with little impact on your service or delivery costs. It’s also vital to diversify your company’s risk to create sustainability and increase your valuation multiples. Getting this right must again be done without disrupting your first 3 layers too much. Too much disruption or completely disassembling those layers will pull you directly back into your company’s engine room and the daily, weekly, or monthly grind of operational and administrative activities.

To get it right, use the time you have released to find new customers in different industries or sectors. By this, I mean customers who have the same problems that need solving and that your products and services can solve much like they do for your current customer segments. Then evaluate the similarity of the experiences that those customers want in order to support you. Their ideal experience must be as close as possible to the current experience you generate for your current customer segments. Again, this means that there is as little disruption to your first three layers as possible.

The result will be an entirely new seam and stream of revenue from the new customer segment in the new industry, served off the back of an experienced, capable, and moderately increased cost base. A significant jump in revenue, with much of it flowing down to your EBITDA or post-tax profits. Achieving this with little disruption to your first three layers means that your team can lead it and, again, release your time to focus on capital growth.

Capital Growth

This is about locking in your future revenues and further deepening your profits. It is essential if you wish to secure a clean future exit at a premium valuation. Your focus here is on productivity, efficiency, and technology. Productivity is typically calculated as revenue per employee. Efficiency is calculated as time/activity, and technology is measured by automation—in your business or in your client’s business, which you have put in place.

Productivity gains are gotten through working with your team. Identifying process-driven activities and the ‘gaps’ between your business systems that compromise coordination (For example, lead generation not handing over effectively to lead conversion) is the low hanging fruit. Business systems need constant attention and development!

Efficiency comes into play when you identify with your team how you can enjoy more value for the same cost of an activity or engagement, or alternatively, the same value for a lower cost. Often, gains are found in your business systems that can be optimised and integrated more effectively.

Technology gains can see many productivity and efficiency gains automated inside your business. Outside your business, you see technology innovate and advance the capability of your service or product. For example, I.O.T, A.I., ML, additive printing, and many more technologies available invite significant gains in value to your customers and clients. Instead of running an in-person sales team, create a virtual showroom and offer sales calls digitally, weekly rather than six times a week in person.

Leading this aspect of your business evolves over time.

Starting up—growth is focused on transaction volume and velocity of clients until you identify how to position your company 

Scaling up – growth must be generated organically as a result of this stage, freeing up your time to focus on the next stage.

Ramping up—accelerated growth is the order of the day.

Value optimization –  next-level and capital growth should take up 70% of your time during this phase.

Getting growth right needs the first three layers in place. After that, it needs a vision, targets, and discipline – don’t get distracted!

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