How to substantially grow your business in 4 steps
Many CEO´s of high tech or health companies have a solid scientific background, which is key in starting or running a small business in your field. Sales and marketing skills are a different kettle of fish though and key to growing your business once you are towards the end of the testing or development phase. So how to tackle this?
- Know your markets
Do your research and keep it up to date. Too often knowledge or business plans are lacking or years old and the world does not stand still. Do you know both in the Netherlands and abroad where your target customers or clients are? What their budgets are and how quick their decision making process is? How they decide on choosing suppliers? Do you know the competitive landscape in all those areas? This is relevant for all industries, but even more complex in healthcare. The Dutch health care system with insurance companies does not apply in most countries. Most of the clients we help with export ambitions, we start by getting free market and legislation research done for them.
- Have the right sales and marketing plan
After this comes writing your plan. For this step, forget about the extensive plans you write for getting loans, subsidies or investors. This is an in house plan with critical deadlines. Decide your strategy how to get to market. Does this involve your own staff, appointing distributors or agents? Or will you outsource some of this work? Who will do what, when and on which budget to achieve exactly how many leads, clients and turnover?
- Have the right skills and staff in house
Regardless of whether you will do most of the work in house, or work with third parties, you will need certain skills in house. And enough time. We sometimes encounter high tech companies for example that have highly technical, introverted staff manage all of their contacts with clients and prospects and have only a few hours a week to do it in. That is fine for inbound technical questions, but won’t get you lots of new clients. Make sure that you have enough people with the right skills to execute your plan from point two.
- Actively bring in clients/customers
Just because you have invented a great product or service, it does not mean that customers will automatically buy from you. Most of the time they have not heard of your offering, don’t know what the difference is between what they have now (people err on the side of caution and stay with the status quo) or are worried about potential downsides of your offering (too expensive, low quality, poor service). So putting in the time and effort to actively approach your target market and continue to engage with them is crucial.
Conclusion and help
So here are your 4 steps! Good luck in executing them. Finding it hard to know where to start or to prioritise time to do this? Then contact email@example.com. We can help you through our coaching and advice in this area plus our network. Most of our work is subsidised, find out what you are eligible for.
The author: Lizanne Jakobs, founder of Brilliant Work. This Briskr partner was voted best coaching and consultancy company for small to medium sized business in the Netherlands for 2019 and 2020.