3 Marketing Challenges You’ll Face in Fast Growing Business
There is only one thing that is certain about business growth: it is uncertain.
It’s extremely rare for a company to grow at a predictable pace. Either your business doesn’t seem to be growing much at all, despite all of your hard work, or it’s growing like crazy.
Why is this?
Well, people are followers. Not that we all aren’t individuals, unique and special, but… we still tend to follow. Momentum is powerful and real. When a new trend hits, many people will jump on board.
Sometimes this is completely inexplicable. Remember the Tamagotchi craze of the 90s? Or the juicy couture jumpsuits that somehow became appropriate for any occasion? Or worse, the popularity of frosted tips in the early 2000s (…thanks a lot JT).
Hopefully you see my point….
All of these things were trends that gained overwhelming popularity and dominated the market…and once they became popular, they’re growth continued to accelerate…for better or worse.
Once you hit that point of momentum, it is an exciting ride for sure… but there are also huge challenges in navigating your business when it’s growing at a rate that you can’t keep up with.
Watch out for these 3 main challenges you’ll face as your product becomes the next big thing:
1) Don’t try to build the airplane while it’s flying.
Fast growth can cause you to neglect the things that are core to your business. In the pressure of the moment, it’s easy to become purely reactive instead of proactive.
When your business is growing rapidly, of course you need to react quickly to the changes in your business and make quick decisions, but always check back to your core brand values and your long term business goals before moving forward.
If you don’t, you might end up landing somewhere completely different than your original destination.
NOTE: Landing somewhere different than where you set out to go may be OK…as long as it’s an intentional change in business strategy. The point here is not to get lost.
You don’t want to be a one hit wonder. So keep the long term strategy in mind at all times.
2) Don’t try to please everyone
Know who you are as a business from day 1 and stay consistent with your branding and messaging.
It is key to define who you are, what you do, and why you’re great early on. And be concise. Many early stage businesses are in the grey area here and try to be everything to everybody.
Simply put, don’t.
Being everything to everyone might get you a few smiles and pats on the back, but when it comes to a successful long-term business strategy, you will not get very far. You need to have a specific value proposition that is different and unique. In the long run, you cannot please everyone, so focus on pleasing the people that really matter – your target customers.
If you define your core values and your messaging early on, everything will flow out of that. It is your compass as your company takes off.
Again, this does not mean you cannot respond to market demands, but you need to stay true to your core values, your target audience, and your business vision.
3) Develop and maintain trust with your customers.
Finally, make sure that as your business grows, you develop and maintain trust with your customers.
First you must pass the initial trust test with your customers. This simply involves providing some quick cues on your website that you are reputable. It helps to have a professional-looking website with a quick intro to who you are and what you stand for at the top of your homepage. Visitors make their initial decision on whether or not to trust you within a few seconds so make sure you make a good first impression.
Then you have to be able to maintain that level of trust with your clients.
Maintaining that trust starts with providing social proofs and customer testimonials to back up your brand claims, but it doesn’t end there.
It is an ongoing relationship. You need to consistently deliver your audience with high quality interactions with your brand.
Just because you’re growing quickly and your employees may be overwhelmed, don’t sacrifice your customer’s experience. Be consistent, and maintain a high quality of customer interactions. Give them a high quality consistent brand experience at every touch point. This is what will ensure that your customers keep coming back again and again.
A final word to the wise:
It’s important to remember that there are no “instant successes.” Earlier this month, we attended a talk at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and were reminded by Jackelope Brewery that even businesses that seem like an overnight success had to go through a long difficult period before we were even aware of them.
As consumers, we don’t get to see this phase. We only gain visibility once the trend hits.
But this early stage when growth is difficult (perhaps even seemingly impossible) is incredibly important. This is when a business defines itself and builds a solid foundation.
If a business takes off too quickly, there is risk of having a hollow core and limited direction. It’s easy to get lost in the hype and excitement and forget what it is that your company stands for and what it is that you ultimately want to accomplish.