As a manufacturer it's likely that your strength lies in your operational expertise. With operational strength alone, it's common for manufacturers to hit a ceiling in their business growth.
You know you have the ability and capacity to achieve significant growth – but something is holding you back. It's time to break through your growth ceiling.
Do you recognise one or more of these scenarios in your business?
A growth strategy is a high-level plan to achieve business growth goals.
A marketing led growth strategy, emphasises marketing leading the growth. This is important for operationally led businesses that need to build marketing strength.
You’re running and growing your business to achieve an end goal. Everyone who runs and owns a business has an end goal in mind. Whatever that goal is, increasing the value of your business will be an important part of it.
Consistent growth, creates value.
Uncertainty is also one of the few certainties when running a business.
We define a growth strategy as:
A high-level plan to achieve business growth goals under conditions of uncertainty.
Marketing and sales is the front line of your growth engine.
Adding frontline marketing and sales strength to your operational strength is the winning combination to driving consistent growth.
It will create the value you know your business is capable of.
Systemising your marketing and sales, as you've systemised the operations of your business, will give you the understanding and control of marketing and sales you are looking for.
Operational strength is developed through consistent refinement and improvement. In the same way systemising your marketing and sales allows you to apply this process of ongoing improvement to your marketing and sales.
It's likely that you have plenty of potential growth opportunities.
What are the barriers that are preventing you from realising those growth opportunities?
If you are facing one or more of these barriers - a clear and well communicated strategy will provide the clarity you need to solve and overcome the barriers faster.
A marketing growth strategy is marketing led rather than operationally led. It’s a customer first strategy – an important shift for operationally led businesses.
Strategies are often held in the minds of the senior board. Getting the strategy written down helps to overcome the barriers mentioned above.
It's inevitable that people will leave your business during your growth journey. A written strategy helps to prevent stalls due to knowledge drains from your business.
Developing a well thought out marketing led growth strategy requires insight.
Insight into the market, to understand your customers, potential customers and competitors.
Insight into your company, to understand your people, goals, culture, processes and performance.
Whether you’re producing your strategy internally or you’re engaging with a consultant or agency to help produce it – insight is key.
Starting the insight process by understanding your goals is important, as it provides the context for what follows.
Why do you want to achieve the business growth? What are you doing it for and what does success look like?
As well as the goals, also think about the implications of not achieving them.
Clear personal goals are important, as they will give you something clear to aim for.
Also think about your personal why and the why of your business. Can you make these consistent so that they are well aligned?
Simon Sinek explains the importance of starting with your Why in business.
It's always good to have the end in mind at an early stage of working on your strategy. What timeframe are you working to. Would you like to increase the value of your business, to pass it on to your family, sell it on to your management team, sell it to a competitor or an investment company?
Your end goal and timeframe are likely to influence your decisions on the strategy to follow. Having them in mind from an early stage will help you make the right decisions, faster.
When you have understood where you want to get to and your personal motivations. You then need to shift your focus to your market.
Put yourself in your potential customers' shoes.
The better you understand your market, the better you’ll be able to serve them. So many businesses look from the inside out, rather than the outside in. Just changing your focus will give you an edge.
At LexisClick we use a variety of tools to help develop a deep understanding of the market and customer. The tools we use include:
Using a set of tools helps to systemise this process. It means that you can develop the understanding of your market and customers faster. It also means that you can update your understanding to keep on top of market developments as the landscape inevitably changes.
A company opts for a market penetration strategy when it decides to drive its growth by selling existing products or services within the same market it's already serving. The only way to grow in an existing market, by selling the same products or services, is to increase market share.
Typical methods of achieving growth in a competitive market penetration strategy are through one or a combination of focus, differentiation or cost leadership.
Market expansion or market development involves selling current products in a new market. Companies often consider a market expansion strategy if there is no room for growth in their current market or markets. Expansion can be by expanding into new geographies or industries with the same product or service.
This is when a company adds a new product or service line, or new features to increase its sales and profits, while continuing to sell within their existing market. Product expansion strategies are often seen in fast moving industries such as technology, like the endless cycle of new mobile phones being released or the latest razor blade.
Diversification is when a company opts to sell new products to a new market. This is inherently a risky strategy as it involves new elements in both the product and market. Market research is essential to understand the appetite for the products in the market.
Companies may choose to focus on one of these strategies or use a combination of two or more. They can also choose to pursue them organically, or through acquisition, mergers and joint ventures. It's common that a combination of methods are considered.
Depending on the size and resources of the business it can be a mistake to use too many different strategies at a single time. For smaller businesses with limited resources it's best to focus on the opportunities with the best potential for growth, rather than risking spreading resources to thinly.
The majority of manufacturers aren’t making the most of online opportunities. It's usually because they don’t really understand it in the same way as the operational aspects of their business.
The speed of change that technology and the internet has encouraged is the most significant development in recent times.
The opportunities it presents are massive.
Embracing internet-based technology is likely to be the biggest growth opportunity for your business.
Whatever your reasons for pursuing growth, and whichever opportunities resonate with you. It's essential that using the power of technology and the internet is factored into everything that you do.
You may be thinking “my industry is different” and “my customers like/need a personal service”. Beware of this trap. Even if your industry is lagging others, it will change. It's important that you accept this and start preparing for it now.
Imagine the consequences of ignoring the opportunities that electricity or the telephone held for business growth 100 years ago.
The internet and technology help make marketing and sales much simpler to systemise. Which means that you’ll be on familiar ground much sooner than you may think.
To read more about using the power of the internet to drive your business growth, download our guide for manufacturers.
Manufacturing businesses generally don’t take much persuading that a lean approach makes sense.
Keeping your business lean and focused, means partnering with the right suppliers.
It's faster and more efficient to partner with specialists in the areas where you lack resources or expertise.
It's feasible to find a business growth agency with the marketing and sales expertise in your sector, to help you develop and manage your manufacturing marketing strategy for business growth.
If you follow the lean approach in your business and have experience developing strong business partnerships, finding the right marketing partner will be a sensible option.
A good way to kickstart your growth strategy is with a Growth Workshop. This gets all of your key stakeholders in a room together to understand your goals and market in more depth and get the process of developing your growth strategy started.
At LexisClick we start all of our engagements with a Growth Workshop. For the right customers, we offer this as a free workshop, to help you get to know us and for us to get to know you.
Find out more about our Free Growth Workshop.
If you are looking to build your marketing growth strategy, it will be helpful to speak with an expert who has been through the process hundreds of times.
You can arrange a free call with one of our experts. The steps that we go through are:
We look forward to speaking with you.