Can your business grow? – Dwarka Lakhan
Can your business grow?
By Dwarka Lakhan |
In order to grow your business you must know your potential for growth. This means having a comprehensive understanding of the market space in which you are operating and your capacity to take on new clients.
“You must recognize that you are operating in a mature category that is brutally competitive,” says Krystian Urbanski, senior vice president and associate portfolio manager, private client group, with Forstrong Global Asset Management Inc. in Toronto. Therefore, you have to be prepared to take on your competition.
You must know who your competitors are, the products and services they offer and how you stack up against them. Only then will you be able to put measures in place to deal with your competitive challenges, Urbanski says.
“You need to have an offer that is relevant to your clients and prospects’ needs with a story that resonates on a personal level,” Urbanski says.
“People do business with qualified professionals they like and who share their values.”
Here are some measures you can take to assess your growth potential:
1. Identify your competitors
Find out who your competitors are, focusing on those that offer services that are similar to yours. Learn as much as you can about them, including the products and services they offer, their areas of specialization and any niches they might be serving.
“The more you know about your competitors,” Urbanski says, “the better you will be able to implement strategies that differentiate yourself from them.”
2. Define your target market
Different markets have different characteristics. You must decide whether you are targeting the broad market or will be serving a particular niche. You should also determine the size of the market or the segment you will be serving and identify any under-served areas.
Knowing the characteristics of the market you wish to serve will enable you to evaluate your potential for growth.
3. Articulate what you offer
In setting your plan for growth, Urbanski says, “you must be able to clearly articulate your unique value. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task [and it requires] some soul searching,”
The first step should be to answer the following questions: I am (blank); I am doing what I do for (blank) because (blank).
“The clearer and more vivid your story,” Urbanski says, “the more success you will enjoy in crafting your value message.”
Once you have articulated what makes your service valuable to clients, you should then create a detailed plan with clear timelines so that you can track your growth. For example: how many new clients do you plan to recruit on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis?
4. Ensure you have the necessary resources
Executing your growth plan must take into account your ability to handle the potential increases in your client base, assets under management and the services you provide. Assess whether you have the resources to implement your growth strategy.
Do you have the staff, marketing support, systems and funding to pursue and take on new clients? If necessary, you must fill any gaps.
Says Urbanski: “Take advantage of your strengths and fix the weaknesses that could prevent you from achieving your targets.”