Key to Business Growth in 2024: Three Questions to an Expert

  • by Ilona K.
Key to Business Growth in 2024: Three Questions to an Expert

How do you go about achieving sustainable business growth in what is proving to be a tough market this year, 2024? What mistakes do you need to avoid and how, in particular, do you find your way if your business is just taking off?

On the sidelines of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Domains CEO Andrey Insarov asked three burning questions about growing businesses in 2024 to James Williams, Vice President of Business Development at XConnect, the global number intelligence specialists.

The former Director of Programmes with the Mobile Ecosystem Forum, and a renowned mobile industry and business development expert, James shared his advice for businesses of any size who wish to succeed in the current economic landscape.

Andrey Insarov: What is key to business growth in 2024?

James Williams: The key to business growth in 2024 is the same as it was in 2023 and it will be the same in 2025 and forever. It’s keeping things simple. 

There are over 300 million listed businesses around the world and most of them don’t have a website, don’t use business messaging like SMS, or other basic tools. Great services, which can materially benefit a business and bring extra revenue, are not truly accessible to them.

Now the good news is that there are plenty of solution providers out there who can help businesses of any size. For example, is the perfect platform for any business, no matter the size, to buy one or many domains at a reasonable price. A domain name, web presence, is super critical, and gives businesses the ability to be in the .com zone.

Coming from the world of business messaging, I see there are some great companies making fantastic rich business messaging solutions easily available to companies of any size. You don’t need to be rich or have a huge amount of technical knowledge – any company can take advantage. 

Never forget that knowing what is going on with the phone numbers of your customers at any point in time can help massively too. This is where XConnect’s suite of services comes in, helping companies of all sizes to reduce risk and exposure to fraud, and the business messaging companies reduce their cost base by routing more efficiently.

So rather than delaying creating a business, do not wait for everything to be perfect because it won’t be. Rather start up and get going as fast as possible. It’s OK to make mistakes along the way as long as you learn fast from them and it doesn’t hurt at all if you just happen to have a nice brand name and matching domain name. Simplicity is key. Focus on the basics and the rest will come. Domains CEO Andrey Insarov interviews James Williams, vice president of business development at XConnect, at Mobile World Congress 2024. 

AI: From the success to the pitfalls: what is the single mistake to avoid in business development? 

JW: Assumption. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting your career off or you’re super experienced, assuming too much can be very dangerous; it can affect the very existence of your business.  

There is a 2006 movie called “Open Water 2: Adrift” where people on a sailing boat decided to jump and have a swim. When it came to putting the ladder down to get back into the boat, everyone just assumed someone else would do it. But no one did. They were in the middle of the ocean – and let’s just say things didn’t exactly go well for most…

That extends very much into the world of business. When I just started in business development, I attended one training course, and I remember one thing particularly well. It’s called SPIN (situation, problem, impact, needs payoff) and it’s fantastic in business. It takes a lot of assumptions off the table and helps to see benefits of doing business together.

It’s also easy to think the decision maker is always the most senior person, the CEO or the Chief Financial officer. However, quite often, there is someone from the technical department or someone who’s been in business for 20 years. They might not have a fancy title, but they love what they do, they are highly regarded and they can influence the ultimate decisions and might just be the key to unlocking that successful sale.

Do not assume the highest ranked person, in any form or in any area of life, is the one that has the ultimate power. Treat everyone equally and bring everyone on the journey along with you because you never know who might be ultimately holding the keys. 

AI: Finally, if you were to give one piece of advice to entrepreneurs right now, what would it be? 

JW: Don’t be scared of getting things wrong. Of course, if you have sold your house, every single worldly good, invested in something and you got it wrong, it’s an issue, but still – don’t be scared. Just get going with an idea. It may not work but get going. 

I must admit, attitudes towards risk and failure vary depending upon the prevailing culture. For example, in the United States, there’s a culture of entrepreneurialism and people are encouraged to start their business. If it fails, people pick themselves up off the ground. In other countries it can be very different. Not so long ago in the UK, where I come from, if people failed with a business, a feeling of negativity from others could hang over them for a long time. Thankfully, things have improved. So don’t be scared of making a mistake and move forward, but most importantly, learn from that failure. 

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Ilona K.
Ilona K.
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