Creating sustainable growth for your business is a goal shared by all business owners. But sometimes we can lose sight as to how to achieve this. ‘Thinking Big’ is an incredibly powerful strategy, but only if it’s done in the right manner; with clarity and with quality.
Clarity is Key
One of the secrets to business success is to ensure that your audience knows and understands what you do. By picking a market or a skillset and sticking to it, you create a much stronger brand and you can then grow your business under that brand in such a way that the goodwill you generate will extend to everything you offer.
By moving between markets or offering random services that aren’t linked together by a common skillset, you risk confusing your target market and the confused mind always says ‘no’.
Think Quality, Not Quantity
If you find you get the biggest buzz from the ‘new’, you need to hear the story of Rand Fishkin, founder and former CEO of Moz. Today, Moz is one of the most successful SEO companies in the world but that wasn’t always the case.
Fishkin describes his obsession with ‘the new’ as “one of Moz’s most consistent, most pernicious failures” under his leadership of the business. Instead of continually improving and refining his offering by focusing on what Moz was good at, the entrepreneurial founder was continually chasing the next big discovery. He wanted to repeat his original experience of finding a problem, solving it and becoming a huge success.
However, this chase led to many new product or features being launched, marketing and then promptly forgotten about. There was no support, no upgrades (both of which are essential in the tech industry), until everything came to a head with severe product failures and what Fishkin describes as “nightmarishly bad customer feedback”.
It was at this point that Moz’s growth rate plummeted from 100% year-on-year to just 20%.
A Lesson Learned
In the end it took years to turn Moz around, something which happened under new leadership. But the lesson was learned by Fishkin, who says he plans to carry it with him for the rest of his career.
In my experience, a successful business is something which needs strategic thinking. Make time today to stop and consider why you are successful. Then plan to deliver more of the same rather than diversifying or over-expanding and risking the whole business. ‘Think big’ but with clarity and quality.