Scalability/Growth is one of the crucial factors for mid-long-term sustenance for any business. We start with the validating the idea/business, right product-market fit, research, initial consumers (Zero to One) and building the product with passion and commitment and the next phase is about growth.
One of the widely used definitions of startups/new business (line in the existing company) is to have both of these characteristics:
1. Growth: The startup has the potential to grow exponentially rather than linearly. It is scalable
2. Innovation: A startup has tested assumption has not been tested before — sufficiently new technologies, products, services or markets.
In this blog, we are going to focus on the Growth for an existing business (where you already have paying consumer) and primarily for B2C companies.
There are of the suggestive points:
a. Branding — It all starts from here. Often entrepreneurs/business owners don’t focus much on this step. This gives the direction to the business on your Why — Why your business exists, why consumers will care for you, Values, Positioning, Archetype. This gives clear indication and GPS. Please read more in detail about branding
If you had not spent on this — highly highly recommend starting with this step.
b. Growth Leader — This is a full-time role like marketing, sales etc. A person who is only thinking/working on the growth throughout the day (& in sleep as well J ). Mostly CEOs, founders, division head perform this part-time because of lack of resources, focus. If there is a constraint in resources or not a clear strategy in place — we can start with existing resources. The Growth Leader should align the vision of the company, existing performance of the company, key team members and start creating the growth plan.
c. Growth Planning — There are various ways in which this can happen.
E&Y has 7 growth frameworks https://www.ey.com/en_in/growth/7-drivers
Porter has Five Forces Analysis:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter%27s_five_forces_analysis
The important thing is to look at available options and choose the right framework of you keeping in the mind the industry, stage of the company, current capabilities and resources.
d. Alignment of Primary Growth Metric — The core/leadership team should create alignment of the Growth metrics — revenues, customers, markets, new product launch, bottom line etc. In this step, all are on the same page is to align what is the Topmost important dimension of growth. It is the primary growth metric. There can one secondary metric as well. Depending on the business this metric should be evaluated real-time, daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly etc.
e. Growth Hack — In order to achieve this growth and metric we create the guidelines/rules for us. What resources we need to fuel to achieve this metric. What are the growth hacks we can use/collaborate to achieve our growth targets? If your step 1 of Branding is done well this would be an easy step — you will know your core and branding would help you to look a product and service beyond the existing product or service category. Collabs (With Celebs, other brands etc.), Licensing (to non-core categories with Brands/manufacturers/Personalities), New concepts (in trend, consumer need, market gap — aligning with the core objective) are some of the ways. This is lead to exponential growth.
f. Content & Community — In the new world these two critical core components for organic and inorganic growth. Once you start creating the content for the mindset of your core audience, they would want to engage more with you, and you should provide them with a platform where unknown consumers can also interact with each other with a common purpose/interest (defined by brand). There are new platforms to grow communities like Discord (if you TG is young), Circle.io part from existing social media platforms, WhatsApp etc.
g. Intellectual Property — When you are growing — you are growing 2 things:
1. Tangible — Topline, Bottomline, valuation sales on both
2. In-Tangible — There is intangible growth in terms of Brand Value (TM, Copyright, Patent etc.)
Especially in digital businesses, these In-tangible will have the highest valuation in the balance sheet. Need to make sure all the IP protection measures are done, and you are not infringing any other company’s IP