Started as an online bookstore, Amazon today is world’s largest online retailer selling almost everything that is possible to sell online. Making a diversification this inclusive and magnanimous is not easy. Temper it with several cross-country behavioural and economic dimensions and the scene gets vivid. Amazon was clear of the strategy for growth: price-based leadership along with technological enhancement that makes buyer’s experience easy and delightful.
Most organisations do gear up for growth plans but are not ready for execution. Much that they wish to, unfortunately, there is no magic wand. What goes wrong in the process is the fundamentals when an already established organisation looks forward to growth.
Whether you run an SME or part of a big conglomerate, get ready to see through a maze of confusions.
First thing first, are you a leadership team? Yes, you read it correct. A leader single-handedly running the show will make a tunnel vision oriented organisation. To grow and execute, a team of leaders is crucial. They make the value addition in the business grind of sphere.
What are the unique strengths that you and the team bring to table? There must be something different and better with each complimenting skill of team members.
Ricardo Semler, who inherited Semco at its worst phase, was determined to make changes at the cost of letting seniors of the company leave since most of the leaders failed to define the unique strengths possessed. How much ever radical it was then, Semco grew well later.
Does organisation have an innovative bend to change in what they are good at? Gramophone Company of India Ltd made a great leap becoming Saregama India Ltd.
Recently they came out with an amazing product. A pre-loaded music box called Carvaan made waves in the musical marketplace. Old songs essentially with no remix whatsoever are an instant hit with people who are in silver and golden years of life; they can relate to this product immediately. Sales charts are soaring.
If there is something that can be classified as an organisational strength then that is the exact place one needs to innovate in.
Do you have an exact service versus product fit? A word of caution here before you pop this question to your team: the responses may not be practical or implementable instantly. But a very crucial fact that stands between growth and exact implementation is to get this straight.
My city has a few bicycle rental business entrepreneurs. No high-end bikes, just simple bikes to rent at one station and leave at another designated place.
The product is not great but the emphasis on service and ease of eco-friendly transportation are unique. The fitment is perfect, and business works well.
Most companies into air conditioner or water purifiers have an annual maintenance contract business too. Usually outsourced on revenue sharing, the service component fits neatly with the product.
These are very fundamental questions to be asked. An awful lot of organisations globally have gone wrong in the execution of growth plans because it’s difficult to follow simplicity.
The writer is strategic advisor and premium educator with Harvard business publishing.