In 30 years in the corporate business world, Ralph Scozzafava has learned a lot about what it takes to make a successful business. During his rise through the corporate ranks Ralph Scozzafava saw a lot of business practices that succeeded, and a lot more that failed. Now CEO of a major furniture manufacturer and retailer in the United States, Ralph Scozzafava has had ample opportunity throughout his career to grow his business and improve his company, and has done so with great results. Here Ralph Scozzafava offers a few tips for those seeking to grow their businesses.
- Innovation. The key to winning against competitors is to understand what customers want and deliver it to them better than anyone else. Differentiation is the key factor and it can only be achieved by finding the innovative solution before anyone else and being first in the marketplace with it. The primary reason that we were able to double our revenues at Wrigley over our 5-year growth period in the early 2000’s was our relentless focus on driving product innovation by bringing consumers new and unique product forms, flavors and packaging. It became part of our culture and a way of life.
- Technology. We have to all be able to recognize and harness the power of technology in reshaping the way people do business in the modern age. Many processes which were once laborious and time-consuming can now be done with the push of a button. Valuable information is everywhere around us and we have the opportunity to get smarter on our business than ever before. My experience is that by taking a hard look at your business model: chances are there is at least one way you can significantly improve your knowledge and understanding of your business by leveraging the power of technology. At the very least it can give you a good idea of where the business stands in this regard and what can be done to make a giant leap ahead
- People. At the end of the day, the company with the best people will ultimately come out on top. The ability to understand the needs of a business and to develop the products and services needed to win all resides in the minds and hearts of the people working on the business. The ability to identify, attract, motivate and retain top talent is the single most important skill set that any leader can have. When I think about the businesses that I’ve worked on over the past 30 years like at Wrigley and Clorox, the breakthrough results were always driven by supremely talented teams of highly motivated people. The simple rule: Great people drive great results.
There is no one tried and true method for successfully growing a business or improving a company, of course, and Ralph Scozzafava states that these are only some general guidelines. Growing your business should ultimately be a path you choose on your own, but don’t be afraid to get some guidance along the way; you may find that is the most useful advice of all.