When it comes to business, growth is always critical. Your ability to achieve growth goals determines everything from the money you make to the long-term success you see. It’s the reason you invest in marketing campaigns, and take out loans to secure your business future. And, done right, when you attempt to grow your business, you could see it sticking around for a long time to come.
It is worth noting, though, that a firm focus on growth isn’t always the best way to do business. Blindly watering your business seed without thought could see you killing it before it breaks the soil. That’s not to say, of course, that you don’t need to grow your audience or efforts as you go. You have to take a long-term view on growth, grow your business organically, and avoid the pitfalls that come when you artificially try to boost growth. It merely means that you might want to pay attention to where you are at the same time. Fail to do that, and you could fall foul to some common business mistakes.
Several high-profile business fails over the years highlight the pitfalls when you try to grow your business too fast, and many of them have come about because entrepreneurs have been keeping their eyes too firmly on future expansion, rather than taking care of existing customers, building the highest quality products and services, and generally focusing on the health of their existing efforts, such as ensuring employees are happy and engaged. To prove the point, we’ll look at a few of the ways you don’t want to grow your business, according to the pros.
A questionable marketing campaign
Big marketing campaigns are essential for business success. This is especially true when you’re new on the market and attempting to make a name for yourself or when your competition invests heavily in advertising and marketing. But, these efforts may fall flat (or worse create a damaging brand image), if you fail to hit the mark with your marketing efforts. Poor attitudes fostered by poorly crafted marketing campaigns damage, or even destroy, your reputation and follow you far into the future given you’re only a click away from new consumers discovering your faux pas.
If you offend someone with your marketing efforts, you can bet consumers and, more damagingly, influencers will grind your name into the dirt in no time. Consider and learn from the mistakes plenty of big brands made mistakes with questionable marketing campaigns in the past. Pepsi, for example, made light of U.S. protests by having Kendall Jenner pull out a can of Pepsi in the middle of the action. Nivea fell foul to similar issues with their clearly questionable ‘white is purity’ campaign. Of course, if you’re a big brand, you might weather the storm and live to fight another day, despite a sizable momentary hiccup in sales. A similar transgression by a lesser-known brand, one without a long-term relationship as a good corporate citizen, could prematurely end your efforts to grow your business.
So, what can you learn from these large companies? For the most part, you should always consider whether a marketing campaign could cause offense before release. If there’s any risk, you’re better off changing your plan altogether. Otherwise, you could face a penalty from Google and a whole load of hate.
An ill-planned merger to grow your business
A merger is a great way to grow your business, especially if you’re a small enterprise. By merging with an established brand, you gain access to an existing audience and the potential of becoming an overnight success. But, as demonstrated by recent merger missteps, like Amazon and Whole Foods, a merger doesn’t always go according to plan.
The main problem with the Amazon/Whole Foods merger was that there was a wide gap in the business priorities of the two companies. It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Amazon’s money-focused attitude soon left Whole Foods staff and customers dissatisfied.
That’s not to say, of course, that a merger can’t provide a great boost in efforts to grow your business. By opting to go into business with a decent rebranding strategy and a company that shares your culture, strategic goals, and support your efforts, you could soon go far. But, if you jump into bed with the first big name that makes you an offer, you’re never going to keep existing customers happy. And, that alone could be your downfall. Always make sure that a merger company has the same business vision as you before signing on that dotted line.
A premature new release
Innovation is imperative in many industries and your efforts to grow your business might create pressure to constantly develop new products. In some fields, you need a new release every year or so to keep yourself competitive. This is especially the case if your competitors are churning out new products faster than you. Sadly, this pressure led to the downfall of many a company by pushing them to release before they were ready.
The fact is that product development takes time. And, even with lean/agile development, short-cutting product testing can spell disaster. But, rushing the development process has led to the downfall of many a large corporation. Most famously of late was the Samsung Note 7, which started to catch fire due to problems with the battery. Adequate testing would have revealed the problem before it hit the market, leading to a lot of embarrassment and a costly recall. Customers ARE NOT quality control, so don’t expect them to find your problems.
And, unfortunately, Samsung isn’t the only company to have customers discover their products’ flaws, either. EE also faced a fire risk with their attempted Power Bar release. Of course, these hiccups soon fade for some of the most significant names on the market today. But, if you had to recall your latest new release in this way, it’s likely customers will never come back and they’ll spread their negative attitudes to anyone willing to listen.
Don’t let it happen. Always take the time you need before launching a new release. You can guarantee the wait will be more than worth your while.