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Articles of Interest

The 5 Ps of Business Success and Growth

By: Craig Wagener - Ph.D., MBA, MCNE, D.Optom.

If you are familiar with the TV show “The Profit” and Marcus Lemonis, the business rescuer, you will be familiar with his model for success; namely, People, Product, and Process. If you are not familiar with the show, I would suggest watching an episode or two to see how Marcus gives attention to these 3 areas in failing businesses.

I agree with Lemonis that these 3 components are essential for business success, however, I would like to submit that there are another 2 P’s that need to be added to the list, making it the 5 Ps of Business Success and Growth.

These are Passion and Promotion.

So, from my point of view, the 5 P’s of Business Success and Growth are:

Passion, People, Product, Process, Promotion.

Let’s look at each of these components individually.

1. Passion

An owner needs to have a passionate fire in his/her belly and believe in his business enterprise. It is the owner’s passion that transforms a business idea into an actual business enterprise. If the owner lacks passion, it is unlikely that a real business will be realized. Also, if passion is diminished or lost along the way, the business will dive into a death spiral and end in failure. An owner must remain passionate about the services and products he/she offers, knowing that it is unique and ahead of competitors. The owner must maintain the concept that, “We have better products and deliver a higher level of services than our competitors.” In other words, an advantage is had over competitors by the way business is conducted. Owners need to continually recharge their batteries so that they will remain passionate about business and not become indifferent which can transfer to attitudes and productivity of staff members.

2. People

A successful business cannot exist without conscientious, diligent, and passionate staff. An owner must take a careful look at their interviewing and hiring process to ensure its effectiveness in selecting motivated staff who will disburse a passionate attitude. Customers do not enjoy doing business with unmotivated, lazy or rude staff. On the other hand, people love to do business with cheerful, motivated, staff who are passionate in their work. Word of mouth advertising, by happy customers, is the easiest and cheapest means of marketing. It is the life blood of the business. So as an owner, remain diligent in honing the staff selection process and ensure that your employees are fulfilled by and focused on their goals.  Adequate staff training, along with the proper tools and policies and procedures that are articulate and well enforced are essential to success.

3. Product

It goes without saying that absent a product or service, business does not exist. Products and services are necessary elements to business. However, quality control that is lacking can easily cause business failure.  Careful attention to the quality of offerings is key to gaining an advantage over a competitor. If the competitor offers better products or delivers a higher level of service, the competitor has gained the advantage and will eventually usurp customers. Customers talk to their friends and family and let them know just how happy or unhappy they are with the products or services they purchase. So stay ahead of the game by being conscious of your products. Be open to adding additional products or services to meet customer needs and research what is being offered in the marketplace as those additional offerings can generate additional revenue sources. A good owner will compare his or her offerings with that of the competitors and weigh options and needed changes.

4. Process

Process is the way you do business. If the business is manufacturing then it may be an assembly line, the way raw materials are ordered, the manufacturing process, and the packing and shipping. If service related, it may be the way customers are received, the way the services are delivered, the wait time, and the convenience factor. In all businesses, it is the administrative function, the collection process, the payment methods, the advertising, and the first point of contact, staff efficiency, and friendliness. It is imperative that detailed attention be given to how efficient a business process is and how it can be improved. Purchasing new equipment or refining processes to become more effective, or streamlining processes to save time and money, can mean the difference between success and failure. Compare similar businesses to see how their processes differ. Sometimes great information and ideas can be gleaned from dis-similar businesses if those processes can be adapted and applied.

5. Promotion

Promotion is the way a business is advertised to new potential customers. Every business enterprise needs a continual flow of new and returning customers in order for it to function and grow.  Without adequate promotion, a business will soon die. As already mentioned word of mouth can be an effective way to promote a business. However, there are many other ways that a business can promote itself.  Advertising in all of its forms is effective. A business owner will need to research which form of advertising causes the greatest results and is cost effective. Advertising can be in the form of, TV, radio, or print ads, coupons, vouchers, freebies, Bogo, 50% off additional purchase, signboards, billboards, sandwich boards, flyers, email blasts, social media, special invitations to valued customers, combined advertising with synergistic businesses etc.

If owners will give diligent attention to the 5 P’s, namely, Passion, People, Product, Process, Promotion they will go a long way to ensure that their business does not fall into the category of one of the failed statistics.

Adhering to these 5 P’s will make the difference between life and death of a business in the long term.

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