The aim of scaling is not to be better than your competitors, but to attract and keep more customers. Staying focused on them and satisfying their needs is key to success. This is how you will stand out.
A business that can’t define clearly its own customers loses itself in the debris of adjoining markets and acts like a lunatic without any profit either for itself or its customers. Its products miss targeted customers, and thus the business is effectively invisible.
A modern company should be built and managed precisely for its purpose and nature. Otherwise, customers have difficulty finding it in the overcrowded marketplace while in turn, the company has tremendous difficulty in recognizing and satisfying customer needs. Every little problem puts distance between the business and its customers.
Whilst scaling, a company is moving from leadership as a function to leaderology as a system of leading and making a difference for people. Leaders face more responsibilities and much higher expectations in terms of the execution of their roles. The leader’s responsibilities are expanding enormously, demanding much stronger competencies and skills.
These days, corporate culture is essential to competition as well. This is true for any business. Those with a stronger culture are those who will continue to succeed and grow.
As you set your company on this ultimate journey of scaling, consider these two critical things about human resources.
1. Help your people to scale first.
Scaling is not about size but the ability to execute larger-scale operations. Help your people to scale first. Grow your people and then grow your business. Culture is responsible for the development of people. No company can move further than its employees’ competencies. Strategic development is bound by the development of individuals.
Scaling demands a lot of managers’ attention often at the cost of shifting attention away from people. Mistakes in how people are treated are costlier than any technological or process mistake. As a result, culture often turns negative. A company with a negative culture is falling into an abyss of underperformance without realizing it. It may feel like everything is fine, but the results say different. The underlying cause of underperformance of a fast-growing business is a cultural bankruptcy. It kills a seemingly promising venture before anyone recognizes the causes of the vital problems.
2. Leaders and employees must be customer savvy.
Scaling means satisfying more customers from diverse approaches and countries, and keeping customers in the center of attention is a path to success. An entrepreneur just forming a business or an owner of an established company who is about to scale the business needs to be a master in hearing customers, a mind reader of sorts. At the same time, employees must be customer savvy. Their competencies in satisfying customers must be stimulated and grown to a level of mastery. At the same time, scaling the business means making every employee even more responsible for customer care, regardless of their role and rank.
Customers’ expectations, the nature of competition, and the need for innovation should not be neglected even for a moment. Staying firm with the basics of human interaction and forming productive relationships with a growing customer base is a must. A human touch would never lose its appeal and importance.
Here comes an issue of cultural differences. However, don’t obsess over them. Differences will remain obstacles until you start using them as clues or bridges to opportunities and potentials to make people more satisfied. Focus on what is most important for people and build upon the commonalities. Cultural differences obscure enormous opportunities for development and growth. Explore them thoroughly instead of worrying about them.