1. Business Growth is a mindset.
Yes, your growth may be influenced by factors like the economy or the market sector you have chosen to play in. But your growth is not fixed by fate. It’s driven by a growth mindset.
Right now, there are growth sectors that have failing businesses in them. And there are sectors that have reached maturity which have growth stars rising in them.
You decide to grow. You commit to grow. Growth follows the will to grow.
What’s the difference between someone who has a successful local restaurant and someone who has a chain of successful restaurants? Mindset. One wanted to expand, the other was content with the success at hand.
There is nothing wrong with being content with your current level of business scope and scale. But don’t deceive yourself that you cannot find ways to grow your business.
Consider this: The minute you see the economy or the market as the reason you can’t grow, you’ve surrendered control of your business to outside forces beyond your control.
The only way to regain control is to decide to grow in-spite of what others in your industry have decided to do.
2. You often grow faster by doing less
I often have an audience of business leaders make a list of all the ways they can think of growing their business.
I’ve never seen anyone put on that list things they are going to STOP doing.
There is something instinctive in human nature that makes us think of adding when we think of growth.
Yet, numerous times over the years I’ve helped clients grow by stopping certain products, marketing channels, sales processes, etc.
Imagine you have a bucket of water and 7 rose plants to water. Your water (resources) are now equally divided between those rose plants. Now imagine that instead of watering all 7 of those plants, you only water two of them. Which scenario will create the largest, most beautiful roses?
One client I had discovered that their most successful clients all came from one type of lead source. They stopped spending time and effort on all others and only focused the sales team on that one channel. Sales doubled in a month.
Another client discovered that one type of customer was far, far more valuable than all the others. They chose to narrow their business focus to that one customer type and grew from $1 Million to $7 million and got on INC’s Fast Growth 5000 list.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. Stop thinking of all the things you might do. Do a 80/20 analysis on your business and focus your efforts on the best opportunities.
3. Listen to the market
Very often a business leader has a passion for a product, service or segment. Yet, if you do and 80/20 analysis on a business, you’ll find the profit and growth is coming from somewhere else.
You have two choices. Continue to swim against the current — or swim with the current.
I think you can guess which is going to help grow your business the fastest.
Just because we have a passion, an idea, a focus doesn’t mean the market is going to buy it. Sell them what they are buying!
4. Test, Test, Test
By helping companies innovate their sales and marketing processes, it’s not unusual to see their sales double or triple.
That growth doesn’t come from working harder, it comes from working smarter.
But often you cannot predict in advance what ad, what sales process or what product is going to be the big winner. So you have to conduct very careful split test.
And when you do, you’ll have uncovered the path to fast, low risk growth.
5. Follow the right sequence of growth steps
There are 4 ways to grow your business.
A) You can focus on market penetration and sell more of the same product to more of the same people.
B) You can sell different products or services to your existing customers
C) You can take your existing offerings out to new markets.
D) You can create new products and services for new markets and customers.
The highest probability, lowest risk strategy is “A”.
The second lowest risk, fastest payback is “B”
Yet, time and again I see business leaders by-pass these two steps and leap right into higher risk “C” and “D” strategies.
I strongly encourage you to find ways to increase the effectiveness and productivity in step “A” before moving on.
Many business mistakenly think they are doing all they can in step “A” but too many times I’ve seen new ideas and knowledge applied to existing sales and marketing efforts double sales.
And if you improve your “A” game it will make your ventures up the growth ladder even more sure and successful.