Growth is as essential for any enterprise. No business owner would ever be satisfied by merely surviving in the market. The essence of every business lies in its ability to make profits and keep growing. In a Business Growth Strategies Workshop organized by CEO Hangout, around 30 CEOs, business owners and directors of different companies across Bangalore gathered to learn growth strategies for their enterprises from the very sought after consultant, evangelist and innovationist, Pavan Soni.
The workshop began with an introduction to innovation, creativity and how innovation drives growth in an organization. With illustrations from multi-billionaire dollar companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, 3M, IBM, Facebook and many more, various concepts related to growth strategies and innovation techniques were elucidated.
That’s the best thing about Pavan’s workshops. He walks the audience through several real time examples, which one can easily relate to. In this article, I attempt to summarize the key takeaways from the event.
Why Are Business Growth Strategies Important?
An enterprise that has no goals would probably land nowhere in a few years of its existence. And with every goal that you wish to achieve, you need to build a strategy to get there. If you wish to grow, business growth strategies are really, really important.
It is sad to see how many successful and huge companies could not match up with smaller newbies in the market because they lacked what these small firms had; a growth strategy.
Creativity V/s Innovation
Why most successful companies stand out and have an edge over the others is because they keep innovating. They are always on their toes to bring something new, fresh and exciting to their customers. Innovation is the force that drives trust and confidence among customers.
However, what is innovation? Is it a creative idea? But can a creative idea be a success without being promoted? The answer is NO. Pavan says, Innovation is a blend of creativity and commercialization. It is only when a creative idea is commercially recognized by a business that it turns out to be a market innovation. As businesses, you should not only be creative, but also know when and what to take to the market.
Don’t Always Listen to the Customer
Pavan dismisses the myth that is considered to be the fundamental truth of the market. While paying heed to the customer’s demands is truly essential, always listening to the customer kills the creativity of an organization. If you think out of the box, you never know, you might just come up with a product that your customer never thought he would need. And guess what? He would love it.
A classic example of an invention that the customer never demanded is the touch-screen phones. No customer would have ever thought of a phone without buttons. And look at how the tables are turned now. There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t use a touch screen phone.
Hold Your Ideas for the Right Time
A very important point to consider while launching a new service or product is to know whether your market is ready for the innovation. There have been cases where great ideas failed because the market wasn’t prepared for the new product. A correct timing is very crucial for innovation.
If Ola Cabs were brought to the market a decade ago, the market would not have loved the idea as much as they appreciate it today. The reason why an innovative product either works great or fails miserably depends largely on the time when it’s introduced. So if you have an idea, wait for the time when the market is ready for it.
Focus On Non-Customers
Non-Customers are the people for whom a product is not initially designed. There are several products designed in the past, which were meant specifically for a selected group of individuals, but non- customers were really thrilled by the ideas and they are now mostly used by non-customers.
Volvo Buses, for example, were introduced to make traveling easy for disabled people and patients. However, non-customers loved the idea and came into the loop. As an entrepreneur, you must focus on the non-customers. You will be surprised to see how they get hooked in.
Give a Purpose to Your Employees
If you want your employees to be at their creative best, you must give them a purpose. Why would an employee come to you with an innovative idea that could benefit you and not him? Why would anybody bother about innovation as long as their salaries are paid?
As a CEO or business owner, one of your core responsibilities is to create a value of your enterprise to your staff. You must make them believe that it is not just money that they’re working for. Give them a purpose for which they must be willing to give their best shot every time they enter your premises. A motivated and purpose-driven employee always lets his creative enzymes flow.
All in all, Pavan’s workshop had some really great insights for the attendees. The attendees of the program were keen on learning innovation and growth strategies that they could implement in their business. I am hopeful that most of them would have taken home a mind full of new strategies to run their organizations better.