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The 5 Keys to Growing a Small Business

How any business, regardless of its size, can achieve greater success and growth.

How does someone take a good business idea, turn it into a viable company, and over time become a national, regional, or global champion? My parents are a living example of how the combination of several guiding principles, talent, hard work and being at the right place at the right time resulted in national, regional, and global success. There are five key principles that THP follows, which has resulted in the company’s national dominance and increasing global presence:

1. Create Authentic Local Products

Authentic local products are very hard to beat. This is because they are the only ones that truly deliver on the four basic principles of successful marketing: product, price, promotion, and place for any specific market. Truly local products are intimately geared to their local markets. They consequently provide what is actually desired. They are also priced appropriately, positioned to speak to the right audience, and stocked in places that make sense to the consumer. These are the kind of nuances, which multinationals often fail to fully grasp.

2. Adhere to International Standards

Being a successful national company doesn’t mean you cannot successfully operate at the global level. When a company says it is working to international standards, it is generally referring to ones that have been tried and tested by global market participants and become accepted as industry benchmarks. The best known are the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) commercial and industrial standards. These standards help third parties to more easily understand what stage a company has reached, or the quality of what it is offering. Adopting these best practices will make your company better in a number of areas including sourcing, production, and distribution–regardless of its current scope and/or reach.

3. Govern Growth

Many small companies want to become bigger ones, but one of the most important lessons they need to learn is to not focus solely on growth. If they do not put the right IT systems, operational procedures and governance in place to control it, they are very likely to come unstuck. Companies of all sizes should recognize the important role IT plays in scaling up. Improperly implementing technology, or not recognizing the need for it, will result in time, resources, and opportunities lost.

4. Motivate Employees and Foster Community Spirit

Culture is a significant component of a company’s success. The most successful companies are those whose employees successfully interact with each other, senior management, and the organization’s customers. One of the best ways to distill this is to create a set of core values that every company member adheres to from the senior management downwards. The successful implementation of these values and priorities becomes more and more important as a company grows and direct links between individual employees diminish. In my next post, I’ll specifically address how THP has cultivated a company culture that ensures long-term success.

5. Take Responsibility

All human beings are a work in progress. We all make mistakes and our family has been no different. One of the most important lessons we have taken on board is that only by learning to manage ourselves can we hope to provide leadership for everyone else who works at THP and everyone who handles the crises and issues that beset the company. To help us as a family, we have created a family mission statement with a set of core values, just like our company. This allows us to regularly re-visit the values and priorities that matter to us. They also serve as the foundation for clear communication from one generation to another. We use this mission statement and these values to guide family meetings and remind us of what we want to accomplish, how we want to accomplish it, and our individual responsibility in achieving those goals.

Our adherence to these five guiding principles is the foundation stone of THP’s success and the company it is today. These five key principles can help any business, regardless of its size, to achieve greater success and growth.

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