Every entrepreneur wants to be a build a strong business: one that’s not just instantly recognisable to consumers but beloved as well. One that’s not just outcompeting its rivals, but one they actually look up to as a model as every tiny tech start up looks up to Google.
The problem is, strength is a difficult thing to quantify: it comes down to much more than money in the bank. After all, if your business is set up to sell a single product once to a limited number of people, then your success has built in limitations. If you’ve built the perfect, energy efficient never-failing lightbulb, you can only sell as many lightbulbs as there are lamps in the world. Then your market is exhausted, and your success and strength disappear overnight.
Consumer recognition is a good measurement of business strength. A brand tracker survey can show you how many consumers recognise your branding, and crucially, what they think about it (after all, 100% recognition of your brand as one to avoid is the ultimate demonstration that there is such a thing as bad publicity) and how it rates compared to your rivals.
You’ll be able to see if you’re falling behind your closest rivals, or gaining in recognition compared to the biggest players in the field, and why! This form of success measurement is at its best when done over time, so you can what effects your decisions have: whether that ad campaign has resulted in more customers having a high opinion of what you offer and deciding to shop with you or use your services, or if your investments haven’t produced a result.
Capacity for Growth
One of the most important things about your business isn’t just how much it’s grown, but the space it has to grow into. A strong business is one that doesn’t just have a good history, but can predict a good future for itself too.
This requires significant investment into market research: you need to know just how far into your potential market you have penetrated. This tells you whether your growth could be a smooth line, or might start to tail off. The strongest business are planning for a future where they need to diversify so if demand for their original offering collapses, they have multiple different markets, products and deals that can support them.
This is the form of strength that mature businesses can start to build towards: those that have made good on their original offer and can start planning for long term survival.