The Four Essential Building Blocks of Growing Companies
Have you ever been sitting in your office admiring the pretty tiger-lilies on your desk and appreciating the crude (yet somehow brilliant) drawing of a horse/duck pinned to the soft carpeted wall of your cubicle that your ten year-old drew last week and asked yourself…
“Is this all there is?”
This is the first in a six-post series on taking your business to the next level: Impact Writing for Growing Business.
Growing Companies are Committed to Improvement
As a growing one-person business, content manager, group leader or program director (at any pay-grade), you’re probably responsible for a large portion of your organization’s future development. There’s nothing wrong with feeling comfortable with your current lot in life.
In fact, comfort with one’s position is a common trait amongst all growing companies – both at the organizational and big picture levels as well as the individual, grit-your-teeth-behind-your-desk-and-commit-to-something-more level – and is a crucial component of growing your business.
Growing companies excite me. I’m thrilled when clients of mine make the decision to push their boundaries, set new goals and reach beyond their cubicle walls to say “hey, we’re comin’ at you world, and you’re gonna be happy we did.”
Growing companies are confident. Here are the four pillars of confidence possessed by all companies on the rise.
1. Product Confidence
Growing companies feel strongly about their products or services and their ability to help people. Unless your given name at birth is Honest Hal and you inherited a shady used car lot from a shady uncle, chances are you want to expand your business for the right reasons.
Is an increase of cash into your jeans considered a ‘right’ reason? Heck yes it is. Making more money on the back of a product that helps people and that you fully believe in screams integrity. Does anyone disagree?
For example, Function’s primary product is content. Your company’s probably is too. Want a quick shot of content confidence? Then check out Paul Jun’s three basic elements for content that will spread like wildfire.
2. Message Confidence
Not only are growing companies confident in their product, they’re confident in the message that educates their market on their product.
Being confident in your products or services blends seamlessly into being confident in your message. As a copywriter and content marketer, it’s my job to craft messages based on product confidence. Does your business do work that’s worthy of a conversation?
Building a set of positive words around your products is a signal to your market that your business is worthy of increased attention.
3. Influence Confidence
Here’s where things get interesting. Ready?
Somewhere in the nether region that exists parallel to product confidence yet far beyond message confidence exists the surreal dimension of influence confidence.
I’m going to take the long way around to effectively hop into this magical realm so I can effectively illustrate a point. Bear with me for three paragraphs – I really want to explain this concept thoroughly.
Have you ever considered the fact that people might disagree with what your growing company is selling? It can happen – people might think your websites look tacky, your blog is
crass sarcastic stupid useless or whatever it is you’re creating may fly in the face of their beliefs, preferences or intrinsic tastes.
This is ok, as long as you’re not affecting people in an overly negative way (by infringing on their rights as human beings, for instance (I’m looking at you, Nickleback)).
Trying to please everyone is a gigantic waste of time.
Growing companies are comfortable with the lessons they’re delivering regardless of who’s paying attention. If you’re operating within a set of guidelines that you believe are worthwhile and of benefit to more than just you and your wallet, then chances are those who don’t appreciate your work will simply turn their attention elsewhere.
The point I’m trying to make is that being confident in your ability to influence a subset of people is crucial to the power of your business. This is the essence of inbound marketing – attract attention with influence rather than interrupt people with noisy gimmicks.
Once you’re comfortable with the influence of your growing company, people will more rapidly flock to your work.
Step 1: Consistently deliver positive work and promote positive action
Step 2: People with goals achieved more easily by the use of your product will be compelled to act
Step 3: Your business will surge based on your continued demonstration of quality and positive relations (your influence!)
…a comprehensive, technical take on how content influence works (beyond my take on it simply existing), read Christopher Butler’s article on Newfangled: Content and the Buying Cycle.
4. Delegation Confidence
Hate is a strong word, but is there anyone out there who doesn’t hate being micro-managed? Even when they’re fully aware that it’s 100% necessary?
(Completely unrelated: One time I knew this guy who thought he could totally handle the afternoon lunch rush at a busy downtown restaurant on his first day on the job as a waiter and wouldn’t accept his manager’s (who was a year younger than him) help whatsoever and he had a nervous breakdown and cried in the bathroom for an hour. True story. Totally wasn’t me.)
A sure sign your company is growing is the need to hire more people. Whether it’s in the office or to do contract work like web development or marketing, hiring new staff, freelancers or contractors is a big step. Relinquishing a bit of control of your growing company is a healthy way to build positive reinforcement around your product, your message and your influence.
A Hungry Company is a Growing Company
That last point brings us back to the beginning: staring at your cubicle, wishing for more. So stop wishing already; let’s build your company!
Big companies are sweet anyway – you get your own parking spot, private jet and keys to the mayor’s bad-ass indoor bowling alley. Cause and effect.
Ok, so most likely that last part is slightly fictional, but no matter how busy you already are, keeping one eye on the future growth of your company is exciting, rewarding and ultimately lucrative.
Next week in part two of Impact Writing for Growing Business we’ll work together to answer a question that I know is burning a dollar-bill sized hole in everyone’s brain: What the hell is the point of blogs, anyway?
So tell us; at what stage of growth is your business? One-person show? Four or five skilled and wonderful people in a dece office? Mad Men Season 5?