The Big 3 is a David Reid Group blog series designed to give you insight into the big issues in branding, marketing and selling. We break each topic down into 3 straight-forward points, so you can get the picture and get on with your day.
In part one of our series on B2B branding, marketing and selling – setting the scene, we laid out a situation B2B businesses commonly find themselves in – wanting to grow beyond their robust but limited client base. In this Big 3, we outline the key practical strategies that enable B2Bs to further build their businesses and overcome barriers to growth. If that sounds like you, please, read on…
1. Assess the market
Growing your business will require significant financial investment and patience. It is critical that you step back from your business at this point and take an objective view of the market you are operating in. Your assessment of this market will have significant implications for how you grow your business and which market opportunities you pursue. You’ll inevitably encounter one of two scenarios:
1. The market is buoyant. In this case you need to press on to take advantage of the opportunities the market is presenting
2. The market is not so buoyant. In this case you either need to be smarter in how you press on, or you need to find a new market that is buoyant.
Once you really understand what the market opportunities are for your business, you can confidently invest in the growth of your company.
2. Find the real deal-makers in your business and get them into action
If you’re certain about the market opportunity, you need to get out there and seize the day. Most likely, YOU are the best deal-maker in your business. You are the one who created your business from scratch, sealing those crucial deals that are the backbone of your company. You are the one with the most knowledge about your products and services and the most experience selling them. You are the one with the most passion and drive, the one with complete investment in and commitment to your business. Other people can replace you by managing your staff or dealing with suppliers but it is very hard to replace you in the selling of your product. If you want your business to grow, you need to find a way to refocus on selling. If you’re lucky, you have some employees who are also skilled deal makers and you can free them up to do this work with you. But you can never step back and leave the deal-making to others. As David Hall, a UK business innovation specialist consistently advises, you have to find the entrepreneur within; in this case, you need to re-find the entrepreneur within. But it won’t be as difficult as when you established your business if you…
3. Grow your brand
Once you’ve identified the deal-makers in your business, they will get very busy extending their networks and building their contacts – but you will soon again see the limits of growth. Each person only has so many hours in a working day, no matter their skills, but branding overcomes this barrier. Once you complement the building of your networks with the building of your brand, the exertion efforts of your deal-makers are multiplied and your company can really reach its potential. Good branding will support the efforts of your deal makers – if it’s strong enough, a brand alone can bring clients through the door. If you don’t invest in this way, you’ll continue to have a weak brand and your deal-makers (including you) must win their deals based on their own personal brand. You traded on your personal brand when you established your company, but now you need to grow the brand of your business. In this way the success of your business rests less on individual deal-makers, and more on the brand that they are selling.
When DRG work with a B2B businesses, we always follow these steps to ensure the company reaches its growth potential. An objective assessment of the market and existing market opportunities is an essential part of our strategic marketing review, clearing the way for the building up of a successful deal-making team and brand. It’s what you can expect if you work with DRG to grow your business.