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Secrets to Business Growth

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Did you know that small businesses account for 60% of all jobs in the US? Numbers like these illustrate that small businesses don’t just "matter," they define and drive our economy. …

Did you know that small businesses account for 60% of all jobs in the US? Numbers like these illustrate that small businesses don’t just "matter," they define and drive our economy.

To thrive, small business owners must seek new ways of maintaining and growing their business. In this eBook, three entrepreneurs share their secrets to fast and sustainable business growth.

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  • 1. SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH:TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFULENTREPRENEURS
  • 2. 23 MILLIONTOTAL OVERIN THE U.S. ALONE60%OFACCOUNT FORALL JOBS97%OF ALLREPRESENTU.S. EXPORTERSOF GOODS13 TIMESPRODUCEMORE PATENTSPER EMPLOYEETHAN LARGE FIRMS1SMALL BUSINESSESVISIT THE SALESFORCE SMALL BUSINESS CENTER GoSECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSMost owners grapple with the stressful questionof how to maintain and grow their business.In order to give you a head start answering thosequestions, the leaders of three rapidly growingbusinesses agreed to share the secrets to theirsuccess. Read on to find out what helped thesebusinesses perform to their maximum potentialand sustain impressive growth.THEY DEFINE AND DRIVEOUR ECONOMY.Look up and read the stats. Impressive, right?Numbers like these illustrate best thatsmall businesses don’t just“matter,”A day in the life of a small business, however,does not typically consist of getting a pat onthe back for all this.
  • 3. JOYCE GUANFOUNDERCOMPANY:Buyer’s Best FriendINDUSTRY:Food and BeverageFOUNDED:2010GROWTH RATE:Over 500% a yearEMPLOYEES:25Visit Web SitePAUL LEARYPRESIDENTCOMPANY:Bespoke CollectionINDUSTRY:Consumer Packaged Goods (Wine)FOUNDED:2003GROWTH RATE:Over 27% a yearEMPLOYEES:34+Visit Web Site2SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSBRIAN SPALYCEOCOMPANY:Trunk ClubINDUSTRY:Men’s Fashion/RetailFOUNDED:2009GROWTH RATE:Over 174% a yearEMPLOYEES:160+Visit Web SiteTIPS FROM THREE ENTREPRENEURS
  • 4. SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS3HOW TOGROW YOURBUSINESS
  • 5. BUSINESS GROWTHREE THINGS THAT HELPED MYCreate product diversityIt’s time-consuming to sell businessservices, and many of our bestcustomers are small businesses, sothe usual solution is to offer a“suite”of services around a central theme(sales and marketing in our case).Most of our sellers don’t just end uppurchasing one service from us, theypurchase a bundle of different services.This way the larger average deal sizeamortizes the cost of sales, marketingand customer relationship management.Marketing at tradeshows and publicationsWhen we started off we werea bootstrapped startup andcouldn’t afford advertising.Instead, we sought out publicationsthat would find value in telling ourstory, thus increasing our brandawareness. We also couldn’t affordtrade shows and had to organizeshared booths with our brands.Use the right technologyWe used technology such asSalesforce, custom software andGoogle search listings to efficientlyattract new customers, convertthem and retain them.The key is efficiency, i.e. we’resimply automating what alreadyworks — rather than trying tochange the behavior of ourcustomers or staff, we focus onsimply making them moreeffective at what they already do.SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS4JOYCE GUANBUYER’S BEST FRIEND
  • 6. BUSINESS GROWTHREE THINGS THAT HELPED MYBRIAN SPALYTRUNK CLUBGet a few great sales leadersin position:Sales leaders are essential becausethey are compensated based on theperformance and size of their teams,not just their on own sales.This yields solid recruiting andfinancial results for the company.One quality we look for in our salesdirectors is that they enjoy helpingother people succeed — hire leaderswho are great at mentoring, and caremore about the success of their teamthan their own ego.Be agile and try new radical ideas:We ship out trunks with clotheshand-picked by our stylists and thishas been a great success for us.However, we decided to try out a newand radical idea: we added thein-house consultation option. Onceguys started coming in to try on theclothes in person, we realized this wasa huge opportunity to drive membersatisfaction and build a brand.Choose the right business location:We relocated the business fromBend, Oregon, to Chicago, Illinois.and it gave us a much greater talentpool to go after, as well as a heartysupply of local enthusiast members.TURNS OUT CHICAGOIS A GREAT PLACETO BUILD A COMPANYLIKE OURS,SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS5
  • 7. PAUL LEARYBESPOKE COLLECTIONUse of technology to yourstrategic advantage to createcustomer and partner loyalty.As a seven-plus-year-old company,we have benefited from not havingto transform from legacy tech-nologies. We started with Web-(cloud-) based systems and haveonly expanded our use.Salesforce is a critical cog in thismachine as we look to connectall of our production, finance,marketing and sales efforts tothe force.com platform. It isan investment, but one that isworthwhile for the long haul.Hire the right set of team membersand outline company brand valuesthat the leadership team canconstantly reference to keepeveryone“on point.”It is difficult tohire“the best”talent early on in thelife of a business, so you, as a leader,have to constantly nurture the teamto make sure you are giving their fullcommitment to the brand’s success.And if you believe they are not, thenyou need to find new team membersthat believe in striving for perfection.No compromises.Create a detailed brandmarketing plan that outlinesthe market summary, its needs,trends and growth potential;an outline with the key attributesof each product, a pricing-by-channel outline and an analysisof how your brand stacks againstyour known competitors.that outlines what you stand forand where you are going is vitalfor your own self, team members,investors and sales partners.6BUSINESS GROWTHREE THINGS THAT HELPED MYHAVING A CLEARROADMAPSECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS
  • 8. 7SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSHOW TOMEASURESUCCESS
  • 9. Impact and differentiation:We carefully track the impact andresults we get for our customers —opportunities, deals and revenuewe get for them.We also keep tabs on what othercompanies are offering. We havebeen very careful to build tools andservices that would be difficult foranyone else to offer, putting us ina powerful, strategic position.Customer happinessand frequency of referral:If our paying customers are happy,that means we are providing valueat a price that is reasonable.We get flooded with referrals fromhappy customers, and manycustomers who check referencessign up very quickly. To us, thismeans that we have a scalable,repeatable business model.Revenue and pipeline growth:We monitor the amount of incomingleads, our monthly pipeline, and ofcourse revenue numbers. At the endof the day, if the number of people whoare willing to pay you increases, youreprobably on your way to success andhave built something that people want.The amount of money that people arewilling to pay you should also go upover time — for us, this means that theaverage value of a customer has grownsignificantly since we first started.8BUSINESSSUCCESSHOW I MEASURE MYSECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSJOYCE GUANBUYER’S BEST FRIEND
  • 10. BUSINESSSUCCESSHOW I MEASURE MYBRIAN SPALYTRUNK CLUBSales team productivity is probablythe most important measure I focus oneach month. To track that, we createleaderboards within our SalesforceCRM instance, and there we track ourtop-performing sales team members.We pay close attention to the numberof leads, opportunities, and dealsclosed, as well as the deal size.SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS9Keeping track ofenables us to monitor what’s workingfor our members and getting it rightfor our members means success forour business overall.Overall member satisfactiongets an honorable mention. Thismetric is a lot harder to measurebut we have a solid intuitive feelfor it based on a combination ofNET REVENUE,REPEAT PURCHASEBEHAVIOR, ANDREFERRAL ACTION.MEMBERSATISFACTIONOVERALL
  • 11. 10PAUL LEARYBESPOKE COLLECTIONOur ability to turn inventoryin a consistent fashion.Being a consumer goods brandwith a high production overheadand path to market, it is criticalthat we closely monitor ourinventory depletion trends.This includes our own warehouselocations as well as partnerwarehouses and end restaurant,hotel, and retail accounts thatpurchase our wines.The retention of team memberswho create and provide notable valueto the organization is extremely criticalbut often overlooked.A team member’s value should not bemeasured only by sales revenue value.There are numerous ways an employeecan live in what we term internally as“the leadership triangle”and providestability to a company to help it growand take care of its clients and partners.Customer loyalty.We use basic and advancedformulas within our CRM tocreate a“client scorecard.”This algorithm of multiple factorsin a client’s lifetime relationshipwith our brands allows us to createcustomer loyalty dashboards.The dashboards give us a clearview into whether we are creatinglifelong relationships or one-timepurchases. We strive for the prior.BUSINESSSUCCESSHOW I MEASURE MYSECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS
  • 12. 11SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSBESTFOR BUSINESSOWNERSADVICE
  • 13. JOYCE GUANBUYER’S BEST FRIENDYOU COULDGIVE OTHERS?WHAT’S THE BESTADVICEDo what you know.Prior to starting Buyers Best Friend,I was in sales in wholesale food,so when it came down to buildingsoftware for the users in this industry,I knew exactly what we needed.Being an insider to the industry andunderstanding the psychology ofthese users was instrumental inbuilding online tools that theywould want to use.Run lots of experiments.End them early, and be ruthlessabout how much value anyactivity/project needs to create.Buyer’s Best Friend is in“hypergrowth”with a million ways wecan grow — so we typicallyexpect to see results in 90 daysor less, otherwise we’ll prioritizesome other project that can helpus grow faster.DO WHATKNOWYOUSECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS12
  • 14. BRIAN SPALYTRUNK CLUB13Don’t be afraid to break some glass —meaning, its okay to shake things up, to tryto do business differently, be non-consensus,and perhaps hire some people that dontnecessarily have a background or trackrecord in the industry.Also, breaking glass means firing peoplefast when they are not strong performers —easy to say but so much harder to do.YOU COULDGIVE OTHERS?WHAT’S THE BESTADVICESECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSDON’T BESOME GLASSTO BREAKAFRAID
  • 15. PAUL LEARYBESPOKE COLLECTION14SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSYOU COULDGIVE OTHERS?WHAT’S THE BESTADVICEIf you plan to grow yourbusiness, be prepared toinspire others to believe in youand your company’s mission.This is absolutely the mostimportant factor. If you do nothave your team members’buy in, you do not have afoundation on which to build.Create milestones of successthat you and your team cantarget to achieve.Once you reach them, celebratebriefly and move on. As CoachKrzyzewski of the Duke men’sbasketball team is known for saying,move on to the“next play.” Never getcaught up in your own successes orfailures. Keep pushing forward.Make sure your business hasa succinct focus on its productsor services.This rarely succeeds.DO NOT TRY TO BEALL THINGSTO ALL PEOPLE
  • 16. SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS / SPRING 2013SALES SOLUTIONS THAT WILL MAKE YOURSMALL BUSINESS MORE PRODUCTIVEGROW SALES WITH THE WORLD’S BEST CRM:If you want to grow your sales and establish a transparent sales process,you need an easy-to-use Customer Relationship Management system.Salesforce allows you to store customer and prospect contact information,accounts, leads and sales opportunities in one central location.See Demo Guided Tour Contact Me15SECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS
  • 17. 16Follow salesforce.com and stay up-to-date with the latestbusiness thought leadership:Blog Facebook LinkedInTwitterSECRETS TO BUSINESS GROWTH: TIPS FROM 3 SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURSAUTHOR PROFILEMARIA IGNATOVASALESFORCE.COMMaria Ignatova is the Blog Editor at salesforce.com.She works to deliver the latest sales, customer serviceand business empowerment content to our readers.If you have an article idea or feedback, you can get intouch with Maria on Twitter at @MariaIgnatova.
  • 18. A PUBLICATION OF