Every small to medium business wants to grow as fast as they can. But realistically, how much growth can any business expect?
The answer depends upon how innovative you are with your products, services, and customer experience—because in the current economic climate, “growth” is mostly about taking market share away from more established competitors.
The global economy has been flat for some time. Recently, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd wrote that economic growth is mediocre, at best. “CEOs are under tremendous pressure to deliver strong earnings growth in an environment that just isn’t propitious for that.” In turn, chief marketing and sales officers face unyielding pressure from their bosses to deliver innovation that brings in new revenue.
In order to grow quickly, many SMBs are strategically focused on taking market share—that is, getting customers to turn away from bigger, more traditional companies—by offering services, products, and experiences that are new and different.
In other words, you must be better than the competition.
This is where SMBs can grab the advantage.
Small to medium businesses tend to be more nimble, agile, and innovative than their larger competitors. They can change direction quickly without the drag of an entrenched corporate culture. And they tend to use cloud applications over on-premises solutions—applications that are upgraded several times a year, giving subscribers access to the latest features, functions and best practices.
As a result, SMBs are more likely to innovate—coming up with a niche product, an unthought-of service, or a more personalized customer experience. And they are better positioned to unite and act as one—to break down silos and achieve a more complete understanding of what the customer wants.
Mobile devices, online shopping, and the freedom to make informed buying decisions have put the customer in control. Many consumers are no longer inclined to be loyal to established name brands, as more channels introduce them to new options from upstart competitors.
When it comes to grabbing market share, focus on making it as easy as possible for customers to find you, learn about you, buy your stuff, and then come back (with targeted offers in hand) to buy more stuff. You should:
The way to gain market share is to invest in innovation, technology, and experiences designed to convert customers. Adopting a unified CX platform based on cloud technology can give SMBs the complete customer insight that they need in order to take market share away from bigger, more established companies.
And in a low-growth economy, grabbing market share is the quickest way for SMBs to win.