If you haven’t read our previous post “Why every business needs a growth strategy” we recommend you take a few minutes to read it first. It covers the basics, and why continuous and sustainable growth only comes to those who plan for it.
To get back to the main topic, what do all great growth strategies have in common?
1. Strong USP
A strong unique selling proposition (USP) removes grey areas from your growth strategy because it suggests you are clear on why customers are buying from you, and how your service or product is different from your competition. Also, understanding these fundamentals will make it easier to identify new opportunities.
2. Uncomplicated And Measurable Goals
Always be wary of growth strategies which include complex spreadsheets, especially concerning revenue targets. Complex goals are often confusing, and for most people difficult to comprehend. Growth-related goals should be easy to understand so that all employees are clear on how the organization is trying to grow.
Also, all goals must be measurable and time-bound. If they are not, they are almost impossible to monitor and evaluate.
3. Clear Tactics
How exactly are you going to reach your growth goals? Having an overall plan or vision is excellent, but without well thought-out tactics it’s just an idea. Also, you don’t have to get all your tactics right from day one, because tactics can change over time. Obviously, you will try different tactics, if you miss revenue, acquisition, retention, or any other important growth milestones.
4. Customer Focused
As organizations grow, they become more complex, and naturally, the distance between the leadership team and customers becomes greater. Therefore, keeping your finger on the “customer pulse” becomes more difficult. If your organization starts losing momentum, chances are your customers found a new, more valuable proposition; therefore, your growth strategy has to be centered on your customers.
5. Known Risks Are Addressed
Every growth strategy should outline risks and have a mitigation strategy in place. Otherwise, you are likely to change your growth strategy every time you confront a risk or threat. Known risks and the process for dealing with them should be established upfront. Of course, not all risks can be identified at the beginning, but it is foolish to ignore known threats. For example, regulatory changes, shifting trends, product recall, or a new incumbent entering the market are all risks which should not be ignored.
Finally, you have to be realistic with your growth strategy. If your current growth rate is 8%, setting a short-term goal which triples your revenue is not realistic. Sure, there are exceptions, but continually missing goals is demoralizing and will lead to productivity issues. All strategies, including growth strategies, should be ambitious, but at the same time achievable.
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