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The Fast Company Executive Board is a private, fee-based network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.

14 factors that can impact the success of your growth strategy

Developing a growth strategy is important, but it takes the right resources and circumstances to make it work right away.

14 factors that can impact the success of your growth strategy
Members of Fast Company Executive Board share their expert insights. [Image: Courtesy of the individual members.]

If a business wants to grow, it must consistently change and adapt to meet the expectations of the market. Many growth strategies revolve around enhancing your customer’s experience, whether that be through increased communication services like live chats or getting involved with non-profits they might align with.

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Whatever the method, having a solid growth strategy in place, and the resources to execute it, is key for any company. To that end, 14 Fast Company Executive Board members share growth strategies that work immediately and how to implement them.

1. SOCIAL IMPACT

Social Impact is key to growth in 2022. Today, 85% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that supports a social cause than one that doesn’t. Once you understand that profit maximization is not in conflict with social impact, you create a growth strategy that is foolproof. Profit maximization and social impact are mutually reinforcing, rather than mutually exclusive. – Nina Rauch, Lemonade

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2. CLEAR METRICS

Having a clear set of metrics (ideally one cardinal metric) to measure the effectiveness of all growth activities and then pursuing that metric with zealot-like tenacity. We use customer lifetime value per pricing page visit. It sounds complex, but it’s a direct way to calculate how much value you have on the line at the key moment a customer is considering whether to buy your product. – Raleigh Harbour, Bitly, Inc.

3. DIFFERENTIATION

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With today’s explosive growth in new technology-enabled products, services and businesses, your target audiences are seeing many offerings with overlappings and conflicting capabilities and solutions. Winning companies must have clearly differentiated products, services, and customer value propositions to stand out from the sea of sameness and their competitors. – Steven Moy, Barbarian

4. DELEGATION

If you want to grow, you have to share the load. For some leaders, it is about automating or even outsourcing certain tasks. For other leaders, it is about effective delegation. Whatever the strategy, one thing is certain: Your capacity is finite and the only way to scale is to find ways to share the burden. Doing this well is also contingent on trust—trust in your systems and trust in your team. – Camille Preston, AIM Leadership, LLC

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5. INNOVATION

An innovative iteration of a current product or service is one method that can bring immediate ROI. Better end-user experiences always work in favor of overall business objectives. Happy users are the most loyal users and loyal users are the best ambassadors for your brand. A growth strategy should be structured for longevity and this is the only way to make it sustainable long term. – Goran Paun, ArtVersion

6. FULFILLMENT OF CLIENT NEEDS

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A powerful factor in growth strategies is alignment with clients’ needs. You already have a core of the business that provides value for clients. Your clients share what they need. Listen to them so you can fulfill their needs and then you can be disruptive with further innovations that meet your clients’ unexpressed needs and expectations. Your growth strength is around your clients. – Karl Giuseffi, Talent Plus Inc

7. ENHANCING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Companies can achieve growth the right way by focusing on the customer experience. Instead of living by a fast-to-fail mindset or rushing for funding, businesses should focus on accelerating growth by improving their customer experience. This will allow them to grow with a purpose and keep their original mission intact. – Jason VandeBoom, ActiveCampaign

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8. CLARITY

Demonstrating the ability to have some clarity is definitely a strategy that works. You’ll find it extremely difficult to grow when there’s no vision for the future of the business. So, it’s key to have clarity on your sales process, your niche, your product offering, pricing, customer service, you name it. And once you get all of those boxes checked, you’ll start seeing the results very quickly. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

9. RESEARCH

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Before a solution can enter the market, it’s imperative for brands to know what problem they are trying to solve and who they are trying to solve that problem for. By researching from a problem and solution standpoint, brands can create customer-centric products or services that directly benefit the user, ensuring a quick growth strategy. – Matthew Tengwall, Verint Systems

10. CLIENT-FOCUSED CONVERSION POINTS

Focusing on a conversion point that is built with the target audience in mind. So if you are going to look to grow your email list or your demo appointments, make sure that the offer you are sharing is one that your audience is extremely interested in and highly likely to follow through with to get. This takes a little testing and audience auditing but is worth the time and effort. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency

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11. EXPERIMENTS

One factor that makes a growth strategy work immediately is the ability to generate and execute experiments. Experiments are the best way to test a hypothesis and find out what works best. They allow you to measure your progress and make changes accordingly. – Kristin Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

12. PLANNING

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Immediate growth is more common when there is a solid plan and actionable inputs from a knowledgeable team. Having the right team is perhaps the most critical element. When a quality team is in place, things get done as they should and execution occurs. If you want to grow, get a good plan, and a great team, and execute! – Tyrone Foster, InvestNet, LLC

13. COMMUNICATION

Many factors contribute to making a growth strategy effective, but one that stands out for me is a deep understanding of your target audience. All your campaigns and KPIs and ROIs are irrelevant if you do not know how to talk to your core audience. Invest in building communication that speaks to this audience coherently. Figure out what your audience likes, and reroute your resources to grow. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Agency, Inc

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14. REVOLUTIONARY IDEAS

If your product or service mirrors what’s already in the market, or only offers a marginal improvement over current options, you won’t grow. Your product has to be revolutionary, not evolutionary. In our case, our goal is to create next-level products and services for every client, every single time. This ethos has driven incredible growth for our business. – Beau Oyler, Enlisted Design

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