Almost every business owner you come across is interested in ruling their own world, at the least. Businesses and business owners want to do significant things and leave their mark on the earth before they leave. While there is nothing wrong with this, the reality is that many business owners will struggle because they lack a clear path to achieving this desire.
For many, the best case scenario is that they will keep working, remaining faithful to what they do, and then one day, through a series of fortunate events, they will land in their dream future. The only problem with this strategy is that it is based on hope and like they say, hope is not a strategy.
So what are the stages to building something truly great and enduring? From our research, there are 4 stages that are critical:
Phase I – Be Great at What You Do
Any business person who dreams of his business achieving global dominance must first have a product and/or service that works. Without this, it is impossible to rule your world. I am less concerned about what you do but more concerned about how good you are at it. There must first be something about your product and/or service that works and meets needs. Examples abound like Microsoft, Uber, Apple etc. The very first thing must be the ability of a product or service to deliver consistent superior results.
Phase II – Replicate What You Do
The next step will be for the product and/or service to demonstrate its ability to produce the same result in multiple places. Any product and/or service that cannot multiply cannot rule the world. To achieve this, the product and/or service must function as an independent unit without its creator. Wherever you start a Honda car anywhere in the world, the result is often the same and you don’t need the help of the manufacturer in Japan or anywhere else in the world to start the car, unless of course it’s broken. The ability to replicate your superior service delivery in multiple places is a critical step to building a global company.
Phase III – Scale What You Do
When your product/ service passes the multiplicity test, it must then find its way into as many locations as possible around the world. To get into phase II or into this phase, it is very likely that your business will need to raise money. So think of Uber, a company that has raised tonnes of money to replicate itself around the world and provide convenient transport services to millions globally. Every product or service has the potential to scale but the approach may differ depending on the nature of the business and the products or services it offers. You will find the may best suited for your business if you spend enough time thinking and asking about how it can be done.
Phase IV – Brand What You Do and Let It Soar
This refers to building a solid brand with your target audience such that presents your product and/or service as the first and/or the best in the world. This doesn’t mean that you leave all branding and marketing efforts till you get to this stage. It simply means that the focus, energy and resources required at this phase will be significantly more than any of your previous efforts at branding and marketing combined. It’s no coincidence that you associate certain brand names with certain activities. For example, most people don’t ask you to search for something online, they ask you to “google it”. They key thing to remember though is that you can only build a solid brand for something that works.
Sadly, 99% of the world will never make it past the first phase. The reason is because it’s tough to do, but with the right partners to guide you, it can be done. And if anyone can do it, why not you?
Deji Agboade helps clients execute their growth strategies at BPI Advisory, a consulting firm making it easier to grow and scale businesses in Africa. Check us out at bpiadvisory.com and on social media @dagboade or @bpi_advisory