Last year, Chief Executive published an article on Seven Tips for Succeeding in Asia that, when you get right down to it, really presented seven tips for succeeding in any market. And while they were sales focussed, they did contain some good lessons for Supply Management, which is why SI is covering them. So sit back, relax, and after we get through the basics, we’ll dive in to the real lessons.
The seven tips for succeeding in any market are:
- Pick a segment within a fast-growing market sector that still has an unmet need your company can fulfill with a differentiated product or service.
Let’s face it, you have a much greater chance of breaking into a market that is still growing when you can meet a demand not currently being serviced than you do of breaking into a stagnant market that already has a number of established products that dominate 90% of sales and that people unconsciously trust.
- Find a mentor who understands your business, the local culture and can also help you cement connections, stretch financial resources and expand into new territory.
Even in an established market, your chances of success are better if you have an advisor that is tapped into what the public really wants, and can hook you up with appropriate marketing and advertising agencies to target them and contract manufacturers / providers to fulfill your manufacturing or contract service provider needs at the best value.
- Scale your business by tapping professional management who can bring in sophisticated financial and management tactics.
Most businesses lack sophisticated financial modeling skills. As a result, any business that acquires them has a much better chance of scaling.
- Be sure to retain a good corporate lawyer, who can help you to navigate intellectual property-protection issues.
It’s imperative to protect your intellectual property no matter where in the world you are.
- Keep an eye on your cash-burn rate, ditching products/services that don’t work out quickly and focusing on the money makers.
Cash flow is the life-blood of any business. It doesn’t matter what your valuation is or future (projected) receivables are if you can’t make payroll.
- Conquer markets within grasp before trying out new opportunities.
While it’s nice to have stretch goals, over-extending your reach and spreading yourself too thin is a just a recipe for disaster!
- Keep human capital by rewarding fast learners with pay tied to results.
Reward your value-generating star performers and they will stick with you and help you make more money.
And each of these tips has a supply management corollary, that we’ll address in tomorrow’s post.