Do you want to grow your business? Stop worrying about your competition and focus on these 3 things instead.
Q: What are some innovative ways to scale a business that most people don’t talk about? – Diana, Chicago
The first rule for scaling a business is “Don’t worry about the rules for scaling a business.” If you copy others, you always follow their lead, which means you collect bread crumbs instead of getting bread. Instead, just look for leverage you Can create.
This requires an innovative strategy on three fronts: positioning, pricing and people.
Let’s start with positioning. Look at your top three competitors and make a list of the problems they solve and why they exist. Now add yourself to the list, but don’t think about what you are better than them. Rather think of how you are different – because remember, you don’t want to be in competition.
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Positioning yourself as different creates two unique opportunities that are important to the ladder. First and foremost, you control the narrative, which means you don’t have to use the same marketing language as everyone else. You see a problem differently, create a new approach, help people solve problems they didn’t know they had, and therefore define the problem and the solution.
Because you do this, your first customers are probably your most passionate. They don’t window shop or compare you to everyone else. They are your customer because you have struck a chord. They’ll give you more feedback, support your journey, spend more money with you, and if you stick to your value proposition, they’ll spread the word to others like them.
The next problem is pricing. It is often regarded as an art, but it is much more scientific than one thinks. If you want to evolve, your product must be informed by your pricing strategy (and not the other way around).
Before you even create your product or service, you need to know what people will pay for it. It’s not just the total dollar amount, which is important. It is also a way to determine How? ‘Or’ What you charge and people’s willingness to pay. Think of it this way: Netflix didn’t remove Blockbuster just because the company defined a new category (streaming and subscription). That’s because Netflix’s value proposition was drastically different from Blockbuster’s. Once this important to consumers, they were willing to pay monthly fees for it.
To assess your price, run some tests. Identify your target market, present your product at a specific price, and ask them for their willingness to pay. (You can do this in person or with online surveys.) People’s responses will give you a clear idea of the value of your business and its perceived value.
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The last aspect is the people. In this case, we are talking about your team. Just like in sports, the best teams win championships.
If you want to scale faster, invest in expertise and strengthen your weaknesses. It can be costly; you may need to forgo equity capital or find a way to outperform the competition. But if you do it right and get people who understand the opportunities and the efficiencies, you can potentially speed up your process by years.
When you start looking for different ways to scale as a competitive advantage, this is when you will likely find your leverage. And if you perform well, growth should soon follow.