Identifying your growth engine can be challenging, especially when the current economic climate has given startups a rude awakening. Since these young companies were founded in the last decade, rapid growth was likely achieved with few roadblocks.
Now some businesses are realizing that their growth was driven more by hype than fundamentals – as inflation increases and funding sources dry up. That is why companies that pursued rapid growth at all costs are suddenly cutting spending.
As a business, your challenge is to remain steady in the face of hard times, growing consistently and long-term. What makes a well-tuned growth engine? Here are some thoughts.
Take a holistic approach to growth
Like a well-oiled engine, every component of your growth strategy should be working properly – so you could move on to the next level with confidence.
Fast-growing companies often fail because they try too many things at once. To find out what works and what doesn’t, you need to be focused, disciplined, and gather the data you need.
Otherwise attempts to figure out why a certain strategy has failed won’t be successful, no matter how promising it was.
A growth mindset consists of understanding who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, as well as what your team’s strengths and weaknesses are. A business isn’t built on one good sale or one good quarter, just like you don’t get fit on your first workout. It’s crucial to repeat!
You can build a sustainable business powered by continuous improvement by combining a growth mindset with consistency, resilience, and support.
A growth mindset isn’t evident in the early days when quick victories are achieved easily. You get most challenged when it’s time to experience growth that could take the company to a new level.
And without having the right systems and processes, businesses will struggle to remain consistent, measure progress or repeat things as they scale. Systematic and process-driven businesses thrive best.
Yet, as startups are different from established companies and need to grow fast, tending to put more and more complex processes into place can stifle innovation and prevent teams from delivering business results.
Make sure there’s a fine balance between processes and innovation. It may be necessary to rethink successful team structures or break previously strong processes during these turning points in order to find the solution that will better serve tomorrow’s needs. Growing pains may be inevitable, but by committing to learning, assessing, and adapting, a company should be able to weather them.
As your company gains traction, the decisions you need to make become more complex. Your potential for success can suffer and even be set back if you make poor decisions under such pressure.
The key is to choose what you want to do, but also to choose what you don’t want to do because the excess of opportunity kills more companies than the lack of opportunity. The key to preventing overwhelm, stress, and disorganization is to know where your focus is.
As an example – don’t go crazy trying to add new product features or integrations once you’ve achieved product-market fit. Think wisely about where to invest your resources, so you are able to do one thing much better than the competition.
Related: Prioritizing marketing efforts for early-stage startups, an episode from the GrowthMentor podcast with Anna Furmanov
Rapid growth without proper preparation does not necessarily translate into profitability. Make sure you understand the unit economics of your company before investing in new tools or hiring.
Ensure that your growth is sustainable by digging deep into numbers. In any other case, the company will just be getting bigger and less efficient – right the opposite of good scaling.
Business growth depends on diversification. You may have achieved PMF through word of mouth, but that doesn’t mean this channel will never dry up, so diversify your growth efforts by smartly testing new approaches.
A growth channel will eventually peak and become unproductive if you don’t have multiple irons in the fire. Don’t wait until that happens, because it will be too late by then.
Keep working smartly to find the next growth hack – every scaling tactic has an expiration date.
Rapid growth and overnight success can often be attributed to flashy products and clever branding, but these tools will only work for so long. In order to sustain growth through bull markets and bear markets, an organization needs to concentrate on ordinary day-to-day tasks rather than extraordinary events.
Working hard, consistently meeting deadlines, solving problems creatively, and serving customers with a smile is essential to maintaining a loyal customer base while building a reputation that attracts new clients.
Leadership requires foresight and planning to execute exceptional projects. It is particularly important to demonstrate creativity and agility in challenging business environments, where maintaining customer satisfaction while finding new opportunities can be challenging.
Leadership teams that understand this challenge and share the same mindset might be a good choice for executives. By doing this, your company can remain flexible while maintaining a positive culture.
If you want to get advice on how to improve your growth strategy, please feel free to book a session on GrowthMentor.