No matter the stage you’re at in your business, smart growth is key for guaranteeing a solid future for your company. After all, while increasing revenue streams can add to your income, it also requires internal expansion within the company itself.
Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs fail to adequately address the various challenges (and opportunities) associated with building a foundation for repeatable growth, which can eventually cause total failure of the business itself.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Josh Strebel, CEO of Pagely, along with fellow guest Christian Brink Frederiksen, co-founder and CEO of LEAPWORK, and the subject of finding a sustainable growth model came up multiple times during our conversations.
While it’s true that any type of business has a lot of work to do in order to scale successfully, it became clear during our conversations that a few key strategies can significantly help entrepreneurs unlock repeatable growth channels. Here are those approaches.
1. Solidify Your Unique Positioning
As Strebel sharing in our interview, Pagely’s success didn’t happen overnight. The company had been in existence for five years before it really took off, and Strebel associated this growth with one key factor—positioning.
“Once we really solidified our positioning and where we fit in the market, it resonated. We weren’t trying to compete with all the fast followers out there. We stacked our own position and found our own blue ocean and realized that this is what we do, and we do it the best—showing us how we’re uniquely positioned. And then, boom, 100 percent growth came month over month for quite a while.”
It may sound simple, but if you really want to scale, you need to demonstrate your unique value proposition to potential customers.
It’s the only way you can lure them away from competitors and establish yourself as the go-to resource in a new service area. Don’t be afraid to fine-tune your positioning if something needs to change.
2. Let Automation Share The Load
Many startups fail because the current staff gets spread too thin trying to keep up with customer growth.
While hiring new personnel is essential during this phase, business owners should also consider how they can use automation to reduce their burden.
“A lot of computer work is tedious, repetitive and boring—but it’s also unavoidable in today’s workplace,” Frederiksen shared. “This can cause you and your staff to lose focus, increasing your risk of committing costly errors. You’ll also end up wasting time you could otherwise use to focus on other, more important tasks. This is part of the reason LEAPWORK exists. Building automation flows can help with everything from releasing software patches to supporting sales tasks.”
Even something as basic as automating data input can save your team several hours each week, giving them more time to focus on the big picture aspects of scaling your business.
3. Get Your Existing Customers To Market Your Business
For an eight-figure company, Pagely is surprisingly minimalist in terms of their advertising efforts.
“It’s still word of mouth, personal recommendations, organic search, things like that,” Strebel explained. “We don’t do any pay-per-click advertising. If we ever experiment, it’s less than $500 a month.”
A lot of this ability to keep advertising costs low comes from having strong positioning that helps them earn referrals from agencies and other companies that recognize when Pagely will be the right solution for their client brands. Thanks to consistent positive experiences in the past, they are more than willing to refer Pagely’s services to people they know.
Of course, you can always incentivize your current customers to share your brand with special discounts, free service offers or even an affiliate program.
These referrals can bring in new customers who closely match your existing target audience. Better still, it costs far less than an expensive ad campaign, ensuring that growth-related activities don’t crunch your budget.
4. Maintain Quality And Consistency
“One of the biggest problems I see with businesses trying to scale is that they allow their product quality or customer service to deteriorate in an effort to gain new customers,” Frederiksen explained. “You can’t slack on the attributes that helped you land your initial customers. Product and service quality should always be your number one priority, even if it means enlisting outside help to maintain this focus. I’ve maintained this mentality at LEAPWORK, and it’s led to tremendous success.”
Company culture is vital for avoiding this scaling pitfall.
Making sure that everyone on your team remains committed to the goals and ideals you started out with—and that new hires are buying into this culture—will reduce scaling mistakes so that you don’t alienate your customers.
5. Don’t Forget The Long-Term
As much as you might want to experience significant growth in the short-term, keeping a long-term view is essential as you scale.
“The number one piece of advice I would have for someone looking to start an online business today is don’t quit,” Strebel said. “That sounds so simple, but I’ve seen so many people try different things, and they only give it three months before quitting. Business isn’t an overnight success thing… sometimes it takes longer than you think it will before finally clicking.”
It took years for Pagely to grow and achieve the success they’ve found recently.
As Strebel explained, there was a lot of trial and error involved in getting their growth channels nailed down. But by sticking with a core concept and brand identity, they eventually achieved the results they wanted.
By accounting for these factors, you too will be able to lay the foundations for fast, repeatable growth.
Moreover, as you drive customer growth and fine-tune your company’s internal structures, you can scale successfully and plan for lasting success.
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