What is this ‘special ingredient’ you ask? Simple: It’s being small. Small enough that you can cherish your customers and know the true meaning of why you created this business in the first place. It’s all about knowing what is core to your success so far. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have that special spark once you start getting bigger, but it is a reminder of what’s always made you so unique: knowing your customers, being core to your values and knowing what makes you different.
But, while it is important to stay true to your core, growing is also an essential part of business. Growth can come in the form of expansion and new products but also by doing what you’ve always done, just a bit better. I hear you ask, ‘But how can my small business grow while mitigating big risks?’ It’s all about four main tactics: Staying true to your core, building strong partnerships, standardising and centralising and using your data. These four tactics are outlined in Oracle NetSuite’s The Small Business Growth Playbook. This article will focus on the essential tactic of staying true to your core.
Emma & Tom’s core: Customer service
If staying true to the company’s core is so important but growth is also a priority, then how do you scale up without losing those solid relationships you worked so hard to build with your customers? Well, the founders of Emma & Tom’s, Emma Welsh and Tom Griffith, can answer that for you. The healthy drinks and snacks producer made its mark by having personal relationships with customers and face-to-face visits regularly. All of the company’s distribution was also made in-house to guarantee customer satisfaction. This was always Emma & Tom’s core: making sure the customer was truly satisfied. But, the business continued to grow organically, and demand became very high. Maintaining that same customer service as before became almost impossible.
Emma & Tom’s expansion success
The company noticed the growing complexity of its growth and adopted the JCurve edition of Oracle NetSuite as an end-to-end business and supply chain management platform. The system helped track its inventory and fleet of 40 distribution vans as they delivered to more than 3,000 cafe’s and retail outlets all across Australia. Oracle NetSuite allows Emma & Tom’s operations staff to quickly add extra vehicles to its fleet and ensure that the business distribution network can grow even further without compromising quality of products. Emma & Tom’s revenue has grown by an average of 30% per annum since 2013. The drinks producer’s success is not just about the logistics network and technology, it’s about the core vision: making delicious healthy drinks and snacks. By regulating and being strict with growth, the company was able to not risk compromising core customer values. Companies such as Emma & Tom’s can only grow successfully with minimal risk when growth comes second to what gives the business a heart: the underlying values and mission.
Know your priorities
Remember your unique selling proposition (USP). What is it that makes your business tick? It is essential as a small business to prioritise USPs, no matter what they may be. As long as the small business doesn’t forget its values, it will continue to grow organically. Embracing technologies and processes to safeguard USPs is also essential. So, it’s simple really: Remember why you created this business, remember why it’s worked so well so far and stay true to those core values no matter how large the company grows.