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The Ingredients

The Ingredients

By Brad Barker

Over my years of personally running businesses, and helping businesses, I have noticed that for a company to be successful, they need 3 things. Whilst they may seem simple, they can be difficult to obtain. Some come easy, some are already there, some can take years to build, or even years to get back.

Here is my list of 3 ingredients you need to build, or have a successful business:

1. Credibility

Some businesses ooze credibility, but credibility comes in many forms and ways. Companies like Mercedes, IBM and McDonalds have credibility. They have credibility in their own unique way - one for quality manufacturing, one for quality technology, and another for certainty in the food and service they produce. 

Companies lack credibility too. For example, 5 years ago in Australia, Vodafone was not known as a credible phone company. Too often you could not get coverage, or reliable coverage, and their market share showed that. They were the cheapest, and the flashiest, but their lack of credibility where it mattered was a genuine problem. It has taken them years to build up their credibility again, but it took a lot of investment and hard work. 

Think of the suppliers you have now and consider whether they have credibility. What does credibility mean to you? Now think of your own company and whether it has credibility, and what that means to your clients.

What is it about your company that they can bank on? Is it the consistent service, is it the quality of the product they deliver, is it the competency of the people you put before them? 

Now think of a supplier that has lost credibility with you. What was it that they did, or did not deliver on, or do that caused them to lose credibility? 

Has your company lost credibility in an area where it counted in the past, or recently? What did you need to do to recover from it? 

2. Exposure

Exposure comes in many forms, but let me sum it up for you in a brief description: “Does your market know that you, or your products, or your services exist?

I recently had a client that said to me in frustration, "I have the best team in the entire country assembled in this business, if only the market knew this!" 

We have all heard the stories about how Beta was better than VHS, and how Microsoft stole the idea for Windows from Mac, but the fact of the matter is that people just new about these companies first, and they knew that they existed. The losers had more credibility but were lesser known. 

The greatest example of exposure in modern times is Donald Trump's election. He never spent a cent on advertising. He was a walking and talking example of how to get exposure. Like him or not, it worked. 

Facebook is a great representation of how a company went viral and turned into what it is today. 

Also, who would know about Nike shoes if it had not been for them signing up Michael Jordan? This was a double move in the Exposure category, and the Credibility category. 

Think about what it is that you have that you wished that the rest of the market knew about:

Do you know why the market does not know about what it is that you have? Think about your own suppliers, and how they found their way to you.

Was it through a conference, or online, or through a recommendation? Word of mouth? Was it through an advertisement at an airport? How did your competitors get their name, products or services known? 

3. Energy

Energy is my favourite; it trumps all, and without it, you will have trouble fixing the previous two.

My definition of energy cannot be summed up easily, but I will give you some examples of what my version of energy looks like:

  • You're enthusiastic
  • You cannot stop talking about what you are working on
  • You are always working on becoming better at what you do
  • Your people are looking for new ways to improve themselves and their business
  • You and your people go the extra mile, and with enthusiasm
  • And, most of all you give a shift

The Maths

Let me break this down for you..

If you have Credibility and Exposure but no Energy =

You are a company that is living in the past. Your market will be taken over by the disruptors, and the changing world. Difficult times will come, and you will wonder why your clients are going to competitors. 

If you have Exposure and Energy but little, or no Credibility =

You have a company that is working hard, but at times it feels like you are spinning your wheels. You are investing a lot of money and time on marketing and development, but you are not landing the big fish. You may have small clients, up/down quarters and financial years, but you are not getting considered for the large projects, or opportunities. If your credibility is bad, you may even be losing customers due to it. Your business is shrinking from this. 

If you have Credibility and Energy but no Exposure =

You have a company that is very frustrated. You have people that are very good, intelligent, and diligent, and they also have great ideas, but is not getting enough business. 

If you have Credibility, Exposure and Energy =

You have a company that is in growth mode, that is scaring the pants off your competitors, and is growing beyond your expectations. You are managing the growth, and challenges with great composure. You keep good people. Your staff are happy and your culture is great. 

Which one are you? Which companies in your supplier group have this? Do your competitors have this? 

Do you know what you need to do to improve? Are you missing more than one of these?

There are other combinations of these, and other ways to score these, but if you are missing more than two of these, there is a very good chance that you will not be in business very long. 

The good news is that they can be fixed. Some can be fixed quickly, and permanently. Some need a strategy on how to tackle problems for the long term, but they can all be fixed! 

If you would like an assessment on any of these, please contact SG Partners today