1. Focus on the Top of the Funnel
Early on, you have to focus on the top of the funnel. Creating content for marketing purposes, getting quoted in magazines, speaking at events, and generally making your customers aware of your existence is the best thing you can do to guarantee future growth. Once you achieve growth, then you can focus on optimization and unit economics.
2. Become a Media-Focused Company
We are all in the business of media. You may not be a content marketing company, but you should be a company with content expertise. You may not be a venture capitalist, but you should have fiduciary responsibility. Become a media-focused company by being dedicated to creating and publishing useful blog posts, videos, podcasts, social shares, and live streams. Appear to be everywhere with your target demographic.
4. Improve Your Processes and Procedures
If you don’t have documented processes and procedures, you won’t have a way to improve them. Make sure every process in your company has a written standard operating procedure and that your employees all have access to it. Then take a process a week and look for ways to improve. By the end of the year, you will have improved 50 processes, which will have an effect on your bottom line.
5. Focus on a Specific Niche
It’s easy to spread yourself too thin with a new venture since there seem to be endless opportunities. Achieving growth in the future is easier for startups that are able to identify a niche market that values their core competency. Becoming a leader in a specific niche will naturally allow for growth if that market matures, but will also provide valuable tools and lessons for success in other markets.
6. Plan for Diversified Growth
When it comes to growth, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of putting all their eggs in one basket by focusing on acquiring a few large customers. While this has a positive effect in the short-term, it’s not the meaningful type of growth you want. Nothing is guaranteed; that one big client could leave you in the dust at any point. By setting diversified growth metrics, you’ll ensure sustainability.
7. Focus on Relationships Over Transactions
Transactions are a byproduct of the great relationships you’ve built with prospects, customers, and referrers. Your business will grow and change, but the rock-solid relationships you cultivate will transcend whatever services or products you sell. So focus on more high-value, long-term, growth-oriented relationships rather than give-and-take relationships with your prospects, customers, and referrers.
8. Be Consistent
We always tell our clients the most important thing they can lock down is their brand voice and tone. Everything across all social channels should feel consistent and on point. Consistency is how you drive people to your brand and keep them there.
9. Focus on Search Engine Optimization
Building a website is a good start, but there’s more to it. The biggest concern I hear is that most businesses don’t want to spend $2,000 a month on SEO. It takes time to develop trust from Google—you need to create great content, post on social media, build more review sites with user-created content, and get great links. Google takes time, but it will be the cheapest acquisition cost in one year.
10. Have a Ready-to-Execute Plan
Having a detailed growth strategy with realistic goals is crucial. Even more important is having extensively developed executions ready to go that you’ll use to meet these goals. If you have goals with no way of reaching them, you’re going to miss all of your targets or spend time trying to figure them out when it’s “go” time.