The following approach to Small Business Growth is one I have been researching, working with and refining since circa 1990. Thus it is the convergence of a number of applications that sit under Business Growth including:
And ... getting it wrong.
As I moved deeper into my own Growth Labs, I came out some 10 years later with a clear baseline; Small Business Growth is informed by the Business Owner, the Business (and it's industry) and the Audience the Business seeks to serve.
Thus... The Growth Triad!
The Growth Triad is comprised of 3 fundamentals:
You, Your Business, Your Audience.
Small Business Growth - It’s personal!
Over 80% of individuals who perceive they had a harder life than most, become entrepreneurs. The rest tend to be the intrapreneurs who don’t want (or perceive they can’t) tolerate the status quo - they have to try their own hand at innovating or creating something because the idea of a j-o-b feels challenging at best.
The YOU portion of the Growth Triad facilitates your human as it navigates:
1. Endless unconscious patterns that surface during the experience of; business change, new beginnings, business related failure, friction, crisis, your belief system, your value system, and well, the output of interacting with other humans including staff, customers, partners, suppliers and industry stakeholders.
2. Opinions and Beliefs that we sometimes confuse for Actuality
3. Your personality (profile) that filters your experience and view of the world that more often than not, is removed from the filters your Audience uses.
4. Your unique hierarchy of Values & Priorities that drive your decision making - which tends to be unconscious - thus not in your awareness, making unhelpful unconscious patterns in your business go unresolved.
Small Business Growth - It’s just Business!
There are some business fundamentals that want resolving when it comes to moving from zero to momentum. Over the years, I’ve found myself organising that stuff into three distinct phases:
And then we want to resolve the roles of PR, Marketing and Sales.
• PR - is about Being Seen to the degree you create a psychological shift in the mind’s eye of the people you are here to serve.
• Marketing - creating a compelling call to action by those people who have experienced a psychological shift in their mind’s eye.
• Sales - is the transaction those people, who’ve said yes to your call to action, take as they become your client.
Small Business Growth! - Co-creating with the Audience you are here to serve
Hands down, the most genius growth hack I’ve had the privilege of discovering, implementing and perfecting, time and time again, is co-creating with your Audience. It’s so simple it often gets overlooked, or it gets dismissed into the ‘market research’ bucket.
There are two fundamental pillars I seek to resolve with any small business looking to serve a particular audience:
1. Mirroring the language of your Audience: this is as simple as ensuring you communicate with your Audience, using their language.
2. Being seen in the mirror or your Audience; this literally means engaging your PR (Brand Awareness, Thought Leadership and Philosophy) to consistently appear in the places your audience already lives and plays in for a period of 12-consecutive weeks. 12 weeks is typically the length of time it takes to create a psychological shift in your Audience. Marketing (A clear call-to-action that invites your audience to move from consuming Feel Goods and Free Goods (Your PR efforts), to now consider a Trial Good, or Invest in Goods offer. (The Sales portion of the growth cycle).
I am actively involved in several communities that I engage on behalf of small businesses.
'Engage' looks like; research, testing ideas, and inviting that community to co-create initiatives with and for those small business, and vice versa.
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