As a business owner, whether you have a small business that’s no more than a few months old, or a mid-sized firm, you should have one constant focus in mind – relentless growth. The only goal of a young business is to achieve growth for the long term and grown fast. A young business shouldn’t worry too much about short term profits – that can come later. Right now, it’s all about growing and growing fast.
In business schools, one of the most important lessons taught in on business growth. But if you have been through a MBA course in a business school, you will know that these lessons focus on achieving growth for gigantic corporations such as Oracle or Siemens. They bear no relation to small businesses such as yours that operate with different market fundamentals.
So how does a small business grow? There are many business pundits who have thought about it very deeply, including Eric Reis, the author of the phenomenally successful business book, “The Lean Startup,” which has been covered quite extensively here on Liverix.
Essentially, businesses grow with planning, experimentation and iteration. Ability to fail fast is just as important as a goal to grow fast. You should be prepared to fail and when you fail, you should do so quickly, with as little loss to yourself as possible. You shouldn’t let a business failure affect your prospects, in fact, if your business has to achieve fast growth, you will meet with several failures, and whether you succeed or not depends on how well you are able to use your failures as a stepping stone to success. That being said, let’s have a look at 3 important strategies for achieving business growth.
The Three Step Formula – Launch. Revise. Iterate.
This is something Eric Reis talks about at length in The Lean Startup. Unlike the advice given by many business schools, which is to study the market, carry out surveys about a product and so on, you must understand that as a small business owner you do not have the budget for these things. And won’t have the time to waste on them either. Your goal is not to spend too much time worrying about planning.
What you should do is stick to a 3 step formula – Launch – Revise – Iterate. Essentially, you should launch the product fast and release it to the market place, revise it based on how well it has been received by customers and then iterate. Repeat the process till you get it right. If you fail, it’s okay, you will have learned something, and so apply what you have learned in your revisions of the product. According to this strategy, product development is a continuous process and never really stops.
Aim For The Moon!
When Uber began as a small app designed to help people connect to the nearest cab using the GPS functionality in their smartphones, people loved it, but nobody in their wildest imagination thought that the company would achieve the sort of success that it did. Today, Uber has been evaluated by venture capitalists at an extraordinary $50 billion!
There were a lot of people who advised the Uber founder Travis Kalanick to take it slow, that he was growing too fast and would get burnt out. But he never listened – and he aimed for the moon. As a small business owner, that’s what you should do, aim for the moon, or, for the impossible.
Can You Be A 10X Business?
The 10X business strategy is a topic of great discussion. Essentially, it means achieving 10 times as much business growth, 10 times as much sales, 10 times as much profit and 10 times as many products in a short period of time. So as a small business owner, you should already look into the future and ensure that you have got the systems or infrastructure in place or handle 10X of the work in a short space of time. That’s what Google did in the early 2000s. They went on a crazy data center building spree, spending several billion dollars on data centers all over the world. At the time, there was no need for so many data centers as the internet was still in its infancy.
But as the internet grew in popularity with the release of smartphones and fast broadband connections, Google was the first company to benefit because of increased capacity of its systems to handle millions of search queries each minute, 24 hours a day, all through the year. Sure, Google is an exceptional case, but this strategy will work for you just as well as it did for them.
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