Whatever its real dimension, in a “society of one” rules, simple processes and solutions are affirmed.
Complexity is the order of the day in large companies, often the implementation of a business, albeit small, is slowed down by many changes of hand: approvals, revisions, meetings in which too many people often participate. Obviously, this does not happen if we stick to the model of “one’s society”, always keeping in mind that the basic rule is not to encourage growth, in order to stay fast.
Whenever we are tempted to add something, we should ask ourselves these questions: is this process efficient? What steps can I remove while keeping the final result valid? Does applying this rule help or hinder activity?
When a company is big enough
There is a kind of magic zone for sustainability, an area that I love to call “enough”: if growth is too accelerated, serious problems can arise.
There are four reasons that generally push companies towards growth: inflation (the increase in production costs pushes to increase production to recover margins), the pressures of the financiers, who want a return on their investment (still more when the capital arrives in the so-called early stage , that is, when the company is still immature).
The third factor is the churn, the abandonment rate of customers: when it is higher than the acquisition rate, companies try to solve it by increasing the latter instead of working to resolve the reasons for abandonment. Yet, according to data from the E-consultancy / Responsys Cross-Channel Marketing Report, winning a new customer costs 5 times more than maintaining an existing one.
Prioritizing the acquisition supports growth, but it is very expensive. The ego is the last of the 4 factors that leads companies to grow: our society leads us to respect the people who own or lead large companies.
The purpose, shared with customers, is the founding value of the “companies of one”
To be successful as a “company of one”, you must be driven by a very solid reason: far more than a slogan, your business represents who you really are.
Virgin founder Richard Branson sums up this concept: “success in business isn’t just about making money, it’s about achieving a goal.” A very important thing is to keep the concept of purpose separate from that of passion. Passion is something that produces pleasure in us, purpose is a value that an entrepreneur possesses and shares with his customers.
William MacAskill, a researcher at Oxford University, has shown that doing exciting jobs helps develop passion, not the other way around. The definition of compelling work? What absorbs you completely, manages to keep you in the state of flow (being so taken to lose the sense of time). To obtain it, you need 4 key components: having clearly defined tasks, performing activities in which you excel, receiving feedback on performance and having autonomy of work.
The sharing of purpose that binds customers to the “company of one” leads us to talk about a very important concept: the relationship and customer care. In the past, customer service was considered a cost, and as such was subject to cuts. According to this old way of thinking, the automation of the service was legitimate, despite the frustration of speaking with a recorded tape.
The fact is that even if savings are generated at first, provoking customer frustration quickly leads to heavy losses. The new way of looking at the customer, based on emotion and simplicity, is proving successful: according to a McKinsey study, 70 percent of shopping experiences are based more on the way customers feel treated than on the tangible values of the product.
The feeling of being treated exceptionally well pushes the customer towards the company, marketing coincides with the happiness of the customer: understanding his needs, motivations and desires corresponds to knowing him and serving him better.
Building a strong bond with your customers
One of the most effective tools for customer care is email marketing: using personalization and segmentation is essential to send the right message to the right person, at the right time. If the content is not relevant to the recipient, the opposite effect is obtained.
A Campaign Monitoring study shows that emails with the personalized subject have 26% more chance of being open. According to the Epsilon E-mail Institute, the segmentation of e-mails produces an opening percentage of 70.5% more and a click rate on the message of 152% compared to those obtained from e-mails sent massively.
Another fundamental contribution comes from the recommendations of the acquired customers: the Word of Mouth Marketing Association says that word of mouth drives sales five times more than paid online media and is the basis of an expenditure that is around 6 billion dollars per year. ‘year. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust the advice of family or friends more than any form of advertising.
If for a large company focused on exponential growth, it is not easy to make use of this model, for the speed and size of growth of a “company of one” the creation of this type of “personal” relationships is a winner.
Turning your customers into “evangelists”, supporters of your product spontaneously led to fuel useful conversations for your business is not trivial. A Texas Tech study finds that while 83% of customers are willing to provide references, only 29% actually do.
Hence, it is essential to learn to exploit what is potentially a huge opportunity, and to adopt strategies to encourage happy customers to actively promote your “one-of-a-kind” company.
How does a “company of one” become profitable
For a “company of one” to achieve profitability quickly is vital, since there is no investor capital to act as a protective net, every minute spent in creating the product is a minute in which you are not earning.
Starting quickly, even with a reduced version, is not only wise from an economic point of view: the sooner you can compare yourself with your customers, the sooner you can take advantage of their feedback to improve the performance of your service.
As already said, the happiness of the acquired customer must be your top priority, even higher than the effort to acquire new customers. The slow, but steady and solid growth of your user base will produce an increase in the size of your sustainable and trust-based business.
As a one-of-a-kind company, your business philosophy is clear: to make products that respond effectively to a problem, to ensure that your customers are satisfied, to offer systematic ways to share their appreciation with others.