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When you are looking to grow your business there are three steps involved: firstly, determining what your business will look at a given point in the future; secondly, what the business currently looks like; and finally, how you are going to bridge the gap between the two.
I always begin by looking at what I want the business to look like in the future. Why? The future does not yet exist, so I have the opportunity to create it from scratch. The future is not just an extrapolation of today – it is new and exciting! Your future can include current offerings, adapted offering, new offerings or offerings that you no longer make available. Similarly with your customers you may be serving existing, adjacent or new customers, or you may no longer serve some of your existing customer groups. In short, starting with tomorrow frees you from the constraints of thinking of today.
At the heart of growing your business are two key outcomes you are looking for:
- Growth – you are looking to grow and develop your business
- Profit – you want your business to be more profitable in the future to make it sustainable
Driving these two outcomes are seven areas, the seven Ps, which surround them. This is shown below.
Th e 7Ps Driving Growth and Profit
- Purpose – What is your “Why”? – what is the reason for being for your organization that inspires and engages you and others?
- Patrons – Who are you customers? – what customer segments do you serve and with which offerings?
- Problems – What issues do they have? – what are the problems they need help with, or the jobs they are looking to get done?
- Products – What are our solutions to their problems? – how do you help your customers with their problems in a way that the customers sees as valuable, which differentiates you from your competition and which will make you money?
- Process – How do we deliver the solution? – this includes everything that is involved in creating, supporting and delivering the solution. This includes everything within your business, and with the other businesses you work with or through in creating and delivering the solution.
- People – Who do we need to run the process? – what people do you need and in which positions, and what skills, capabilities and attitudes do they need to have to do the job efficiently and effectively?
- Promotion – How do we promote ourselves to our Patrons? – how do you reach out to your different customer groups and how do they want to engage with you, and what channels are most effective for doing this?
- Growth & Profit – this are the outcomes you achieve from getting the above seven factors right, and being able to leverage them effectively.
Use these questions as outlined in the table below to help you think this through in three steps:
- WHERE do you want to be? (future)
- Where are you NOW? (present)
- HOW will you bridge the gaps? (strategy)
So don’t wait – start this now. Share your thoughts and ideas with your colleagues and see how you can create your own future and bring it back to today!
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