As you can see, the odds aren’t in favor of most businesses. Many never reach profitability, and others make it a few years before they have to close. Much of this is because they gamble on get-rich-quick tricks.
Many businesses invest in short-term goals early, such as buying ads that drive traffic to an infant website that isn’t ready to maintain long-term traffic. It seems like everyone is using the same tools, including Youtube, blogs, and social media, but not achieving the same results.
Fast-acting tricks and schemes don’t work as your best growth strategies.
Too often, people hurry to get famous quickly and don’t end up with lasting results. They get frustrated when results don’t come quickly. The truth is that the best way is usually the long path.
When it comes to growth, having the right strategy in place is critical to success. But not all growth strategies are created equal. Let’s look at the best long-term growth options.
The Best Growth Strategies
Not having a growth strategy is like pouring expensive fuel into a wheel-less car but having the wrong growth strategy is like not having a car. You've got all this expensive fuel, tires, and engine, but you're trying to put them on a horse. You create unnecessary and avoidable problems.
The best growth strategies are tailor-fit for each brand because each brand has a different customer journey and experience. Therefore, each process needs to be unique. However, there are some commonalities of the best growth strategies:
1. A Long-Term Mindset
Why do only 33% of businesses make it to the 10th year? Because of short-sighted growth strategies.
When you're using short-sighted growth strategies, you often sacrifice long-term, quarter-over-quarter growth for some quick wins. You cannot make these sacrifices and have a successful long-term business.
Some of these examples include businesses buying paid ads early on and driving traffic to their website that is not ready for that kind of attention. Pouring more into a leaky bucket means that you spend money quickly without creating customers — especially not repeat customers.
Another example is new businesses that hire SEO companies promising quick-wins. They get a rush of traffic, but then they end up with penalties from Google before they realize it.
Don’t get frustrated when you can’t build significant results overnight.
2. A Strategy to Increase Authority
All the brands that are experiencing remarkable growth are establishing themselves as authorities in their space. How have they done this? By publishing great content consistently over a long period. Regularly posting content gives you a stable, long-term audience.
You have to keep publishing content, which takes time and effort. But you will build a lasting audience and genuine customers.
You have to be visible, and you have to add value — and when you do that consistently, people start to take notice. Over time, they begin to rely on you as a source of information. At that point, you are an authority — in both the human’s eyes and the search algorithms.
3. A Relentless Focus on the Customer
Marketers should always be advocating for the customer. Marketing must have a close relationship with sales to understand what issues the customer brings up. Marketing must have a close relationship with support, so they know what misunderstandings a customer had or misconceptions about their experience that drove them back to support.
Focus on the customer means making your message about them instead of about your company. You have to set aside the idea that your company is the best-of-the-best and get inside customers’ needs and wants. What situations may lead them to need your services? What are the everyday essentials in those situations? What can you do for them?
Everything needs to be about the customer and not the company — including the website, emails, ads, and everything else. If you focus too much on the company, you lose sight of why the customers want to choose your brand.
4. A Focus on Moving All 6 Levers of Growth
The six growth levers all work together to affect real change. They all feed each other, and each step that follows guides the previous one. Without one step in the equation, the rest of them fail. Each step should get a particular focus to produce success.
Awareness: People learn your brand exists
Acquisition: A prospect follows through on a transitional call to action (like downloading a lead magnet or signing up for a free workshop)
Activation: They believe your product is the one they need and believe in the product, company, and brand. Your lead is ready to buy from you.
Revenue: They buy your product and like it.
Retention: They stay with you long-term, like your product, and want to keep coming back.
Referral: They become advocates for your brand.
For example, if you are a limousine company, you cannot build awareness around chocolate chip cookie recipes. It doesn't make sense, and it loses sight of your goals.
Model Success and Grow With the Best
Don’t look to scale too early and waste your budget or crash and burn. Instead, commit to a long-term growth plan. Break down the significant, long-term growth into smaller quarter over quarter numbers. And then, execute.
Make sure your growth strategy compounds growth over time. Don’t sacrifice your company on short-term gimmicks that will crash and burn right away.
Don’t forget to focus on your customers, too. Remember: Their needs are what your company is all about. Don’t waste your time talking up your company. Determine what the customers are looking for that you can provide.
Lastly, take your time. Grow organically, and remember that you’re not going to achieve success overnight.