Growing for Scale

Are your marketing efforts delivering real, sustainable growth? Are you growing for scale? Traditionally, growth has meant adding resources at the same pace you add revenue. However, growing for scale means you are adding revenue while adding resources at an incremental rate. This requires good strategy and better operational processes—so you generate consistent revenue without adding a lot of cost. The result is better margins over time.

Here are 3 strategies for growing for scale:

Strategy #1: Adopt an Integrated Marketing Plan

Preserving a start-up mentality (agility, outside the box thinking, flexibility) is essential but successful organizations seeking to scale also need to embrace process discipline to sustain growth.

Are your processes well defined and executed? Example: Is Marketing delivering qualified leads to Sales? Is Sales converting those qualified leads to customers? Too many companies fail to define those processes as they grow. They persist in old habits and expect Sales to qualify leads.

How are you currently Marketing your business? Does your Marketing Dept have a cohesive, integrated plan? Your website is foundational to digital marketing but is only one part of the sales funnel. The sales funnel functions like a funnel you might find in a hardware store. One notable difference is that unlike a hardware tool, everything that enters the top of the sales funnel will not come out at the bottom. A good sales funnel should have several tiers so it can process visitors into leads before converting those leads to customers.

Is your website current? When was the last time you updated your website? Are you creating new content? Do you know the key words and phrases used by your market to search for your products and service offerings?

Are you capturing contact information on your site? Where do new contacts go? Are they put into an email list? A sustained lead nurturing effort is a critical component to any sales funnel. Companies that excel at nurture marketing generate more sales at lower costs/lead with a higher conversion rate.

As the word “nurture” suggests, this is a developmental effort and requires a commitment to process and time. The good news for busy stakeholders is that many of these actions can be automated. Would you be interested in having a third party capture your contacts and share your content and offers with them?

Strategy #2: Increase Customer Retention

Customer Retention is critical because of the enormous cost of customer acquisition. Even incremental progress can make a significant impact. Customers want to feel valued and the relationship must be nurtured. This requires consistent communication that expresses your gratitude, reinforces the value of your product/service and elicits customer feedback. Sustained communication will provide additional opportunities for expanding the relationship to other areas. Consider opportunities to package value-added services for repeatable selling using project-based pricing or a subscription-based approach. Expanding the relationship will make it likelier the customer will continue to stay with you for the long haul.

Strategy #3: Ask the right questions

Is your team asking the right questions? Organizations need strong product-minded people with a cross-functional perspective. This is especially true for small business. Someone with an end-to-end perspective can maintain a customer-centric focus, align sales with operations and ask the big strategic questions.

Is your organization taking advantage of the new opportunities created by the current business environment? For example, while it may not make sense for your organization to move to a 100% distributed workforce, some employees may consider less pay and benefits for the convenience of working from home.

Health insurance premiums continue to rise for employers at a time when revenue is down for many. Consider working with a small business consultancy that can provide alternative solutions to traditional models.