Everyone is talking about growth. It’s the new black, so to speak. Everybody wants more of it. But with everyone looking to grow fast and grow big, how can you stand out? Of course, it helps if you have a billion-dollar idea. But even then, not every business will get lucky enough to be acquired by Google for that amount of money (as happened with HotelTonight). If you don’t have that kind of luck or those kinds of ideas, what can you do? This article explains 9 actionable strategies from the book Hacking Growth that you can use to grow your business . . .
9 Actionable Strategies From the book Hacking Growth that You Can Use to Grow Your Business
Be a growth hacker, not just a marketing department
A common misconception is that a growth hacker’s job is to create marketing materials. That’s only one piece of what a growth hacker is responsible for. A growth hacker is responsible for bringing together the entire company to focus on one single metric: growth. This metric is the growth rate of your customers, the growth rate of your revenue, and the growth rate of your team.
A successful growth hacker knows that every decision made by each department has an impact on one of these three areas. They partner with each group to help them understand that their work impacts each of these metrics. In order to do this, a growth hacker must have a strong understanding of each of the three metrics. For example, they must know how to create an offer worth paying for, how to get customers to pay for that offer, and how to get customers to recommend the product to their friends. Only then can they start to connect the dots across departments to help the company work towards its growth goals.
Be obsessed with finding your growth path
When you’re trying to grow, there will be many paths you can take. The key to finding the right path is to be disciplined enough to know that not every path is worth pursuing. Just because something is possible doesn’t mean it’s worth it. When you encounter paths that don’t seem to be worth the time, effort, or money needed to pursue them, you must be able to shut them down.
When you are trying to grow, it’s important to learn to ignore paths that don’t lead to your goals. You may be able to get more customers faster, but if they aren’t going to be long-term customers, they aren’t helping you grow.
Be clear on what success means for your business
Before you can find your path, you have to determine what success looks like for your business. For many, success is revenue-related. Others may use quality, customer retention, or customer satisfaction as a metric. Whatever metric you use, be sure it relates to your business.
When you know what success looks like, you can begin to prioritize the things that help get you there. And you can ignore things that don’t help you achieve your goal.
If revenue is your metric, then you can ignore all the things that don’t increase the number of customers buying from you.
If quality is your metric, then you can ignore the number of customers and focus on making your current customers happy.
If customer retention is your metric, then you can ignore the short-term revenue and focus on long-term retention.
Knowing what success means for your business will help you choose the right paths to get there.
Define your core user experience – then build it
All businesses have a core user experience: the experience a customer has when they interact with your product or service. Your core user experience is the foundation on which you grow your business. The better job you do at understanding your core user experience and building it out, the faster you will be able to grow.
When you start a new business or take over an existing one, one of the first tasks you should do is audit your core user experience.
- What are the touchpoints that customers have with your business?
- How do you deliver on your promise?
- What experience do customers have when they interact with your company?
These touchpoints include things like the website, the product, the sales process, the support, and the way you handle the payment process. Once you understand your core user experience, you can start to identify the pain points. You can also look for places where your customers are dropping off.
Leverage your users to find your next product
If your customers are already using your product, then you can use that to help you figure out what to create next. You can ask them what other problems they have that your product doesn’t solve. Then, you can work to solve that problem for them. When you do this, you are using the customers that are already using your product to help you create the next thing your company will offer.
By leveraging the customers that are already using your product, you don’t have to guess what your next product should be. You can get the data directly from your existing customers. Your customers are the people who are using your product right now. They are the ones who can tell you when you’re on the right track and when you need to adjust. If you use your existing customers to help you find the next problem to solve, you will be able to create new products that are more likely to succeed.
Don’t be afraid to fail (and recognize when you have)
Not every path is going to lead you to success. Not every product is going to be a long-term winner. That’s okay. Not every product is going to be a long-term winner. That’s normal. You can’t expect every new product to become a long-term winner. You can’t expect every new path to lead you to success. You can’t expect every new customer you acquire to be profitable. Some of them will be, but some won’t.
You need to be willing to fail. You need to recognize when you have failed. Then, you need to move on and use that failure to help you grow. When you fail, it’s important to recognize it. It’s important, to be honest, and recognize when something isn’t working. When you do this, you free up resources so you can focus on other things.
You free up time to focus on new paths.
You free up money by not having to invest in something that isn’t working.
Data is not an end in itself – use it to inform your decision-making
Once you get good at data and analysis, you can collect a lot of data. Very quickly, you will have more data than you know what to do with. This is when people often make a critical mistake: they let the data drive their decision-making.
Every product manager, marketer, and CEO should have access to the data. They should be able to look at the data and make decisions based on the data. But when one person, or one department, has access to all the data, they can often drive the decisions of the entire company.
When data becomes a dictator and dictates all the decisions, you lose the ability to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and improve.
You need to collect data, but you also need to be willing to ask questions about the data. You need to be willing to challenge the data and be open to being wrong.
Integrate, integrate, integrate
All successful companies have one thing in common: the ability to integrate other products with their own. Most companies start by building a product and then adding a marketing strategy on top of it.
When you want to grow, you can’t just build a product. You have to build an ecosystem around your product that allows you to engage with your customers. The best way to create an ecosystem is to integrate it with other products your customers are using.
When you integrate with other products, it lets you connect with your customers in new ways. It also allows you to tap into the network of other products that are already connected to each other. When you create a new product, you have to think of which products you could integrate with.
What products are your customers already using?
What products do you want your customers to start using?
Growth is a culture change – don’t expect overnight results
Growth doesn’t happen automatically. It’s a lifestyle change. It’s a way of thinking about your business. It’s a philosophy. It’s something you have to stick to and not give up on.
A summary is only a summary. We highly recommend you read the actual book. Thank us later!