By Greig Jansen, Founder and CEO of the PURA Beverage Company
Scaling means adding resources at an incremental rate, while creating revenue at an exponential rate. Scaling is attractive, but it’s not right for every business and has to be rolled out at the right time. As your business takes off, you’ll begin growing quarter over quarter, year-on-year. That is, until the day comes when you’ve either grown so fast you can’t keep up with customer demands and expectations, or you’ve reached a growth plateau.
As consumers demand greater convenience and embrace online purchasing, e-commerce sales continue to rise. It is critical for today’s business owners to equip themselves with the right solutions to remain competitive.
So what steps can business leaders – especially those looking to scale up this year – take to keep up?
1. Enhance your digital strategy
The pandemic has caused a major change in our purchasing behaviours. The value of South Africa’s online retailers has more than doubled in two years, and while the growth rate is expected to be more subdued in 2021, online retail is still expected to top R40 billion and account for 4% of all retail in South Africa. It’s clear that customers have started to shift more towards online transactions and businesses will need to adapt to this trend. If you haven’t already, invest in your digital sales strategy and have a clear plan on how this will grow over the short and longer term.
2. Focus on your core offerings
Although it might make sense for you to try to expand your target market, you risk spreading yourself too thin, and that can harm your business as it scales up. When you’re scaling up, it’s prudent to narrow down your focus on the services and products you know will succeed. Once you’re confident in your business position, you can then start to introduce new products and services.
3. Invest in your employees
Investing in employees is vital for companies that are looking to grow. This entails training, upskilling and nurturing a work culture that recognises the value of each worker. You will be rewarded when you find yourself surrounded by people who share the same goals and vision for your business. You also need the right people, not necessarily more people. You need high-performing people who care about their work and the company; people who invest themselves in their jobs.
4. Review often
Even the best business plans need readjustments from time to time. Tracking key metrics can help you keep your finger on the pulse. Doing so can also help you monitor how well the objectives, goals, and strategies outlined in your plan are working. The nature of your business and the competitive environment will determine how often your reviews should take place. Even if your company is progressing as planned, certain parts of your plan demand ongoing attention. This year is an opportunity to rewrite the rules. It presents an opportunity to develop a strategic vision that is different from the past and to create more success and growth in your business.
Greig Jansen has been involved in the FMCG industry for most of his professional life. He was previously the CEO of the East African Bottling Company, the Ethiopian subsidiary of Coca-Cola. His role entailed promoting collaboration with companies to advance trading workflows across the globe and creating positive opportunities for an open society. He was responsible for identifying social responsibility as a priority, supporting sustainable business, and stimulating economic growth with smart business practices. This ultimately led to reinforcing initiatives that encouraged human well-being and ecosystem integrity.
Upon leaving Coca-Cola in East Africa, Greig wanted to stay involved in the beverage industry, however, wanted to add his own spin on things based on the consumer insights and emerging trends that he had learned. This was when PURA Soda was conceptualised and brought to life.