For the most part, when we refer to a business's 'growth', we are referring to financial results in one way or another. There could be instances where companies define their growth in terms of building brand awareness or cultivating a (currently) unprofitable customer base. But, for now, let's focus on where the rubber meets the road: dollars and cents.
Large, established companies have reliable revenue streams, well-defined processes, and resources to take on as many initiatives as needed to reach their goals. The maturity of their industry and organization means that year-over-year growth tends to be in small increments. These dynamics are completely reversed on the other end of the scale.
Growth mode companies often...
Endure considerable internal and external uncertainty
Operate reactively rather than proactively
Must make tough choices in the utilization of limited resources
Most importantly, they have a lot more upside potential.
Below we have laid out a streamlined plan for prioritizing efforts to accelerate revenue and profitability. We recognize (and empathize with) the urge to jump right into pushing buttons and pulling levers. However, taking the time to follow the full sequence will help establish continuity that will set you up for longer term success. Depending on the circumstances, you could begin to notice results in a matter of weeks.
Build a strategic framework It is impossible to objectively evaluate how well you are performing if you don't define what you're trying to accomplish or how results will be measured. Developing a strategic framework is the first step in evolving from a company that just sells a product or service into a proper business.
Click herefor more detail on how to frame out a strategy that will serve as a cornerstone for prioritizing workstreams, and in turn, improved decision-making.
Establish a marketing strategy With the overarching strategic framework is in place, we recommend evaluating how that translates to your marketing strategy. Specify your target audience(s) and clarify how your company has a more compelling value proposition than the competition..
Click herefor best practices and templates to guide you through this process.
Activate marketing tactics
Part of building a marketing strategy is identifying the ways you COULD do to promote your business; now it's time to determine what you will do. Prioritize the most impactful tactics as part of finalizing the scope and scale of your marketing campaigns.
Click herefor guidance on how you can execute a program that efficiently reaches the right people with the right message at the right time.
Enable Data Collection
Once your campaigns are live, it is critical to make sure that all data points tied to your KPIs are readily available. Don't rely on your gut feeling on how things are going. Remove subjectivity by leveraging the quantitative measures cited in the strategic framework.
Get in the habit of updating performance against the established key metrics every month. Don't use other tasks as an excuse for neglecting this critical exercise. It is a lot harder to get caught back up after falling behind than it is to keep up with your homework.
All the functionality you'll need to get started can be found in an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets document. Down the road, it may be worth setting up an integrated KPI dashboard that automates data collection and provides real-time analysis.
Utilize Analysis to Inform Improvement
Regularly analyze the data being collected. A monthly update cycle tends to be the right frequency for keeping up with evolving trends without letting this analysis become a distraction. Identify what is working / not working. Hypothesize about what is driving those results. Devise methods for testing those hypotheses and use the resulting insight to improve your approach.
Your data analysis may suggest the need to revise your initial strategic and/or marketing plan. This is to be expected, especially for business seeking exponential growth. Shifting goals, strategies, and tactical priorities are a natural byproduct of that growth.
Keep Your Objectives Top-of-Mind
Through the normal course of business, be on the lookout for new ideas on how you might be able to impact the objectives you've identified. Opportunities to cut costs, juice revenues, or build new partnerships could have been hiding in plain sight.
If a new initiative is promising enough to leapfrog one already being pursued, update your strategic framework and resource allocation accordingly. Even if an idea doesn't immediately become a top priority, be sure to document it for future consideration.
Getting started: Commit to the process
Set aside time in your schedule to work your way through the steps above and don't allow yourself to get discouraged. Include your colleagues in the process to create visibility, gather their feedback, and get them engaged. The more effort you put in, the more you get out.
How Aspirant can help
Experts familiar with these methodologies and frameworks can ask right the questions to guide you through the process. Our support dramatically accelerates and improves the output by flattening the learning curve and keeping you on track.
We have even more pride in the results we have helped generate for clients of all sizes, maturities, and industries. Use the form below to request a free exploratory discussion about how we can do the same for your organization.
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