Want to grow your business? Keep it simple, and successful, by answering these four questions:
1. Where do you have, or where could you create, excess capacity?
Boston’s MBTA had a great plan for increasing ridership. They planned to install card readers so riders could pre-pay in the station or online and load faster and easier. But there was a slight problem. Card readers were going to do nothing to increase ridership. The buses were full and turning away customers.
2. What products and services are most profitable?
Not all parts of your business produce the same results. You may even be selling some things at a loss, whether out of the goodness of your heart or a desire to provide a full service option. The last thing you want to do is grow the losing side of the business!
3. Where is the demand?
So you could produce 10,000 more profitable widgets a day. So what? Does anyone care? Where are your potential customers? Don’t assume you can build it and they will come. Where, specifically, are those people who want and/or need what you offer?
4. How will you reach them?
There are more ways than ever to get a message out. Your choice of method depends on who you want to reach. Your website is important, but are your future customers looking at it? Email is the easiest, but are yours getting through the spam filters and grabbing even a minute of attention? Know who you want to reach and choose appropriate methods that make it easy for your potential buyers to understand and appreciate the value you provide.
I’ve witnessed elaborate campaigns, bold initiatives, and enormous budgets produce zero results because these four questions did not have clear answers. Don’t make the same mistake!