Forbes and EY - 5 Growth Strategies

01 Nov 2013

Forbes and EY - 5 Growth Strategies

Forbes article - click here for details

What you believe create

That's the foundation of DCS Europe, now a leading health and beauty brands sales and distribution company in the United Kingdom.

The famous “Tesco steering wheel” management tool has inspired the way we look at our business strategy, and it has delivered year after year.

Here we are in 2014 — our 20th year in business — and I’m able to look back and identify our business’s five growth accelerators, which have driven our customers and our suppliers to not only grow, but to help deliver success to DCS.

Growth Accelerator #1: Focus on best brands. In any business there is an 80/20 rule — 20% of products that deliver 80% of sales. As entrepreneurs, we often get distracted. We try and do a good job, and we start selling everything. But strong focus delivers the numbers. Focus is good not only for your business, but also for your customers. When faced with a wide array of products to choose from, consumers will be happy to be offered the very best quality products.

Growth Accelerator #2: Value consumer insight. It is so vital to understand your customer. That may be a consumer, a retailer, a wholesaler or even a business channel. Having insight and knowledge is crucial. Behavioral buying is key. Understand what your customers want, and deliver it.

Growth Accelerator #3: Cultivate creative marketing. It is all about the value add. Ban the boring boardroom! We set up an Innovation Center instead of a boardroom, and it has delivered millions in added sales. Our Innovation Centre looks like an Apple Store — fresh, superb lighting and funky. We sell more because the room is now a catalyst for ideas. All of this is an added value service. It is a powerful offering.

Growth Accelerator #4: Invest in leading-edge technology. Invest in technology earlier than you think you need to. I was so obsessed with technology that I even started a business, called Enable Software, around it. Not surprisingly, DCS has some of the most amazing software. It makes a massive difference.

Growth Accelerator #5: Aim for achieving excellence. Our industry is measured in terms of “service level,” and we score 99.5% on customer satisfaction (even on orders of more than 1,000 items). But it’s important to set a high bar for excellence in other areas. We started a “Visually Brilliant” campaign internally, where our sales people share their big wins and take a photo of the display or products on the shelf. Excellence at every level of the business will deliver growth.

I am confident that, with these five growth accelerators in hand and embedded in our culture, we will grow to be a £300 million company by 2020.

Tell me: To what do you attribute your company’s success? If you were to stand in front of a group of young entrepreneurs today, what guidance would you give?


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