Starting a business has become easy in the last few years, especially with the startup resource providers growing rapidly in the form of government and corporate supported initiatives, accelerators and incubators.
Scaling up is very important to majority business owners in order to primarily show the popularity and success of the venture and getting more profits. How this is achieved is becoming less important to the business owners and confusing or irrelevant to the customers. With Facebook ads and advanced marketing techniques using the power of technology and data science, businesses are becoming more ambitious and focused on the numbers instead of the impact.
Growing business organically is a lot of hard work and requires quality in the models, methods and systems, it requires patience and persistence. The instant gratification culture around us prevents us from pursuing the path less traversed and focusing on quality over quantity and then eventually scaling up.
Small is big, be it in the form of minimalism in life or lifestyle, in business or impact. Being a minimalist doesn't mean lacking or deprivation. Minimalism could mean the ability to prioritize, to filter and being selective in different areas of life so that quality is first, peace is a priority and possibility.
When an individual runs after the numbers in business or impact then there's more damage done than good. Sustainability requires us to go slow but strong, disciplined and deep to actually understand the soil better before reaching the stage. Sustainable and innovative businesses, solving real problems and resulting in customer satisfaction are those that prioritise real data from real customers and building models through constant feedback. Once the real problems are identified and unique models developed, scaling up becomes better in terms of quality and more sustainable.
Growing organically is possible in the following ways:
Being client or customer-focused
Building a Team ready for change
Keeping the trust and sincerity
Being client or customer-focused means that the problems faced by clients is kept at the forefront, they feel heard and a follow up of some form is assured. When a business is a client or customer-focused in the true sense, then they will feel that the business is doing everything in its power to meet their needs and wants. They will believe in everything the company does and go out of their way to recommend to others and bring referrals because of the impact they see and feel.
Building a team ready for change is more important than having the right team with the right qualifications. Incentives alone can't motivate the team members to work and perform their best in the long run. Team members who believe in the same mission, who see themselves grow and develop better skills, who feel trusted enough to embrace and perform through changing times effectively, personally and professionally, are the ones that contribute towards building sustainable impactful businesses. Character over qualifications in a team member is an asset. Skills can be developed.
Many businesses lose out on the trust of the customer due to unethical practices or poor quality products or services in spite of a big presence online. Such businesses have to work harder to be more aggressive and even comprise on ethics to make the business grow. When customers and clients feel trusted and see the sincerity in the models and methodology of a business, they are likely to be long-term customers who stick around longer, who refer to their family and friends, who spread a good word without the need of public testimonials to reflect the success of a business.
Scaling up is important because impact needs to grow and spread but never at the cost of the quality, trust and ethics. When businesses invest in the right areas as mentioned above, they will organically scale up respectfully, without the need of disrespect or aggression from them to others or from others to them.
(Madiha Ahmed is a Mentor at USA based McFerrin Center For Entrepreneurship, Mentor at Canada based Skills for Change, Career Mentor at UK based University of Westminster, at India based Jobs For Her)