Ketty Nilsson President, NoroGard

Ketty Nilsson has her agricultural roots in southern Sweden, and specialized in chemistry engineering. She started her career as a scientist, but then pursued more technical and business development expertise. After earning a Master in Business Administration, she was recruited as the president of NoroGard where she has been able to combine her scientific background and business savviness. NoroGard has been engineering and manufacturing seed treatment equipment since 1965, with a focus on quality. The average lifetime of a NoroGard seed treater is 20 years. All NoroGard seed treaters are manufactured in Sweden, and seed dressing methods to fit new seed treatment formulations are continuously developed in close collaboration with crop protection companies and universities.

Running a business is an art. It’s an everyday struggle, and every business has its own challenges. I think I speak for most business owners when I say that most of us want to grow our business, and there are some key factors to do so.

First of all, a golden rule is if you do the same thing every day, you will most likely get the same result. So, in order to achieve growth, you need to step up and make some improvements.

Be Lazy

To grow your business, you most likely need to increase your turnover — sell more. Most of us have experienced the eager salesperson who just won’t give up, and when hiring salespeople, we often talk about finding “hunters.”

I claim the opposite. Make it easy for your customers to choose you. Be very clear with the advantages and why they will benefit from choosing your products. Selling something the client wants is easier than trying to sell them something you want to sell. And there is one way to make it easy for you: listen to the customer and find the mutual win-win opportunity.

Be Attractive

If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers. Having a great team with skilled people makes a world of difference. And in order to have access to skilled people and make the best people work with you, you need to be attractive. This is more true than ever, as millennials enter the market.

They are not just looking for a job … they don’t even want a job. They want to make a difference, and for a workplace they might consider you if your brand adds value to their self-image. For us, as a machine manufacturer, it’s a challenge to attract young people to enter the production line, we need to be more attractive than game developers and real estate agencies.

Set Standards

Scaling up your business doesn’t just affect the sales department. It also puts your production on the spot. Everybody in your organization needs to focus on the delivery. If you have set the standards, it’s much easier to introduce new co-workers, and to keep track of quality control and time management overall. You as a manager also gets a clearer overview of where you need to put your resources to improve your performance.

Be Innovative

As mentioned above, doing the same thing over and over is just keeping you in old patterns. If you’re not growing your business, you’re most likely decreasing it.

It’s highly important that you have a good business intelligence and stay innovative. The only way to stay interesting, both to customers and employees, is to be adaptive to change. Always seek to improve what you are already good at, and look for areas within your organization that could be a prospect for an upgrade. Still whilst only providing what the customer is looking to buy, but in a way that ensures your business is in it for the long run. Constantly ask the question how you can do what you do, but better.

Stay Authentic

The importance of staying authentic can’t be stressed enough. Nothing gives you better marketing than a good word from a customer, co-worker, bank or supplier. Keep your promises and stay authentic to yourself, your vision and your stakeholders.