Admittedly this blog goes a bit beyond the boundaries of marketing strategy and communications, however, it hits the primary buttons of why some companies remain strong in their markets and others fade away. Through personal observation of the last 30 years, I can honestly say that an organization that has balanced the primary elements in the illustration above stands a better than average chance of sustainable growth. This is born out by Doug Tatum, author of the best seller “No Man’s Land” that says there is a place where companies grow to where they are too big to be small and too small to be big. The line between these two points and a company’s ability to navigate through them is what usually determines their fate.

Napkins and the ideas that are written on them are excellent places to start focusing your business. In fact, I would argue that the world’s best ideas started on napkins!

When was the last time you looked at your company’s business model?

Sales and marketing performance: do you have ways to track the results of your sales and marketing programs? Many companies admit they do not know where their best leads and customers come from. In order to improve something you need to know where you stand. Tracking results will help you do that.

Sales to Marketing to Technology to Delivery: how well does your company deliver an order once it is placed? What about information requests? Do they take seconds, minutes, days, or weeks? The longer your prospect has to wait the less chance you have that they will buy.

Go-to-Market Framework: this is the standardized approach that each customer receives from the time they first contact your company until the time they receive their product including any follow-up questions they may have along the way. Is it the same for each customer or does it vary based upon various factors such as the customer’s size, location or product complexity? The best companies deliver identical services to all customers regardless and have the capacity to fill everything from a small to an enormous size order.

Your big idea that may have started out on a napkin needs to be proven each day in every way to build a successful business. The more you do the more your customers will approve; and that leads to repeat business and business referrals. And that’s something you would love to write on a napkin!