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More Leveraged Growth Fuel for Inexpensive Business Growth

By Jeff Bloch, Chief Growth Officer
With Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

business growth

Part 5 in our series:  Business Growth: Rebuilding Your Business’ Engine for Tomorrow’s Race

At the end of Part 4 of this series I promised a few more ideas for leveraged business growth — ways to drive growth while also controlling costs. A couple of these ideas leverage emerging trends, and that will “warm us up” for Part 6, in which I’ll write about looking into the future to identify and capitalize on those trends.

Channeling the love

Your customers, vendors, consultants — even your employees — are all fans of your business. The latter three groups even have a vested interest in seeing your company thrive, and they’re all potential champions of your company. You can take that enthusiasm to the next level by creating a channel partner program. For example, at Decision Toolbox (DT), we reward channel partners (CPs) with a percentage of the revenue from any client that a CP brings in.

At DT the CP doesn’t have to do the full-court press on selling (it’s not DT’s style anyway) — a CP just has to set up a conversation between a potential client and a member of our biz dev team. In addition to growing new business, a channel partner program enriches the relationship between your company and your CPs.

Virtual resources = help for pennies on the dollar

One of the emerging trends I referred to above is the virtual workforce. I think Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer made a mistake when did away with her company’s work-at-home arrangements. According to a 2012 BusinessWeek article, virtual workers are more productive and the arrangement saves money. The same claim is made in a 2013 Wall Street Journal article, which also states that 13.4 million people — 9.4% of US workers — work from home at least one day a week. One survey claimed that 79% of professionals WANT to work from home!

Virtual won’t work for every company or every employee, but it is growing in many professional categories. DT has been 100% virtual for over 11 years now, and people love it. There are two keys to success: first, hire people who are smart, passionate and entrepreneurial. Second, create a strong virtual culture to accompany the virtual infrastructure. DT CEO Kim Shepherd offered great tips along those lines in her blog series, Ignore Culture at Your Peril.

Three (million) is a crowd

The Internet also has created the opportunity to do crowdsourcing, or farming out tasks and projects to freelancers. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (mturk.com), for example, lets businesses list “human intelligence tasks” (HITs), from finding addresses to translating from one language to anther to comparing online product searches. Amazon describes it as “access to a diverse, on-demand, scalable workforce.”

While mturk.com’s HITs tend to be single tasks, Project4Hire.com is a marketplace for larger projects, including web development, engineering, writing, graphic design and more. Businesses post projects for free, and freelancers bid on them. These are just two examples, but you get the idea: freelancers are cost effective, and connecting with them is now easy.

Powering up the point

Interactive media isn’t just for World of Warcraft. It also can extend the reach of your sales and business development efforts in ways that not only control costs but also increase productivity. On one level an interactive presentation is like taking your slide stack online, but that’s just the beginning. You can customize content to each prospect and it can be viewed before, during or after the first live conversation. It can be a first point of contact or used in conjunction with a phone or in-person meeting, and the prospect can easily share it with his or her colleagues.

This is much more than an electronic brochure. Prospects can get quickly to the information that’s relevant to them, and you can even embed a live contract. Behind the scenes, the presentation can track analytics like who’s viewing it, what pages are viewed, and other factors that influence success. DT’s great IT team developed one for us, called a “PresOmatic,” but there are others out there. ClearSlide.com offers a great version for a cost that compares very favorably to travel expenses.

I’ll wrap up this series in Part 6 by writing about Future Growth Fuel and Inspired Growth Fuel. They go hand in hand!

To learn more about Decision Toolbox, please contact us – we’d love to hear from you!

Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn!

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2 Responses to “More Leveraged Growth Fuel for Inexpensive Business Growth”

  1. January 13, 2014 at 8:11 am, Kim Shepherd said:

    This series keeps me hungry to read the next!

    Reply

  2. January 20, 2014 at 5:04 am, Future Growth Fuel and Inspired Growth Fuel for Inexpensive Business Growth | Blog | Decision Toolbox said:

    […] emerging trends are relevant to your business? Only you can answer that, but I did refer, in Part 5, to a few that you can leverage right now to manage costs and grow your business: a virtual […]

    Reply

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