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Organic Growth: Tips for Growing Your Business | QuickBooks
They have the reputation, reach, and budget to acquire and retain customers. But if the biblical allegory teaches us nothing else, it does demonstrate that an informed and savvy underdog can defeat a perceived champion.
Tips for Organic Business Growth
No matter who or where you are, or how much money you have to work with, a sustained and focused plan to organically grow your audience, reputation, and customer base can deliver big, big results. Organic growth refers to growth as a result of efforts achieved through internal efforts within a company, such as by means of creating higher-converting marketing content, increasing sales, and retaining more customers.
Essentially, organic growth is growth that's achieved by the company, versus growth that's achieved through mergers and acquisitions or rounds of funding. Organic growth generally achieves a higher rate of return for companies, but takes longer to achieve because it involves upfront marketing, sales, and customer service investments. The black and white statistics for startups and new businesses can be a bit frightening at first glance:.
You need to change the narrative. Failure is a part of doing business, and the reasons for it vary : insufficient or lack of market research, poor planning, not enough capital, bad or misguided marketing, outcompeted, no demand, expanding too fast, and on and on. In the business world of the 21st century, the tactic that levels the playing field is online organic growth. Generate leads , spread awareness, grow your reputation, acquire and retain customers , and produce advocates. There are no shortcuts, and you need to remember that going in.
- What is organic growth?.
- 1. Product integration: Look for opportunities to bake growth directly into your product.
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Successful businesses of any size play the long game, understanding that growth and profit may take some time. In and beyond, inbound and content marketing are fantastic strategies that get results. Source: HubSpot. Source: Content Marketing Institute. That said, you're not going to dethrone the king with blog posts. Invest time, effort, and whatever money you can. Create a concrete plan. Write it down and share with every stakeholder. None of this is fast or easy, but you get what you put in. Successful startups aren't afraid of hard work. Don't be intimidated by the big guys. They may have an existing audience and catalog, but their success can sometimes work against them.
Maybe they've grown complacent. Maybe they don't put a premium on growth anymore. Maybe retention is not their strong suit. As a startup, you can't outspend them, but you can out-hustle them.
You can innovate, experiment, and think outside the box in a way that may either be impossible or ridiculously slow to implement for them. Create better content. Visit the blogs of the biggest businesses in your niche, and you'll likely see the same subjects, topics, categories, and even headlines.
Identify what works — an online search query or tool like BuzzSumo can instantly show you — then improve upon and expand it. For example, in the early s, Microsoft grew and reinforced demand for its core MS-DOS business by adding its suite of Office products. Amazon added entertainment streaming to its Prime membership service, because people who stream content through Amazon shop more frequently, spend more, and are more likely to renew their Prime account.
More generally, companies are spurring growth by adding a promised outcome to their value proposition, such as a higher success rate for a particular medical device or lower readmissions from a provider of home health services. Others are enhancing the value of doing business with them by turning their products into services, such as subscription-based access to vehicles, construction equipment, air travel, software, data, gaming, and even guitars.
The means to enhance your value proposition is limited only by your imagination.
And one of the fastest ways to kill your imagination is by starting with the organic-growth-versus-acquisition question. The third and final path to growth is to create new markets and revenue streams for what you already do well. And WeWork set up a new service called Powered by We to offer real estate, design, and office management services to large companies. American Airlines, Amazon, and WeWork created additional revenue streams by commercializing their sharpest capabilities in new ways and, moreover, they strengthened those capabilities by exposing them to the rigors of market competition.
A business thrives by having a handful of market-leading capabilities. Some of these can become new revenue sources in their own right. Note that none of these three paths to growth is independent of the other two. Each will often enable and enhance at least one of the others. By commercializing its strengths in office design and management, WeWork expanded its customer base beyond startups and small professional practices to also include major corporations. The odds are good that when you generate ideas for one growth path, you will end up producing a rich set of ideas for the others.
Could we acquire any of them cost-effectively, partner with any productively, or replicate what they have ourselves?
The answers to these questions will tell you what combination of buy, borrow, or build makes most sense for your business. Reviews and mentions of publications, products, or services do not constitute endorsement or recommendation for purchase. All rights reserved. Growth is a tonic for most companies.
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It attracts talent and creates strategic options while generating financial resources to fund new moves —provided the growth is profitable. Digital technologies and the pace of competition, however, also open new avenues to organic growth for those companies that have the capabilities and dexterity to take advantage of them. To understand the relationship between organic growth approaches, capabilities, and performance in this environment, we recently surveyed approximately executives at leading companies in the European Union and North America.
We asked companies to determine their growth strategy, providing the option of choosing more than one. We then asked respondents to indicate how much each strategy contributed to their growth in percentage terms. We found that companies exhibit three basic growth tendencies; that an approach combining two or more of these holds particular power in driving growth ; that advanced analytics is an ingredient of standout growth; and that success depends on nurturing a set of reinforcing capabilities that fit the growth approach.
The corporate growth goals and the behavior tracked by our survey show that companies can be described as having three broad growth profiles.
Investors have a clear understanding of sources of growth from existing products and services and squeeze funds from a variety of areas, such as low-growth initiatives or unproductive costs, to reallocate capital and double down on winners. Creators build value by developing new products, services, or business models. And performers grow by constantly optimizing core commercial capabilities in sales, pricing, and marketing. Understanding each profile is helpful because leaders tend to fall back on what has worked for them in the past, and this can often blind them to new growth opportunities.
In our experience, companies that carefully evaluate each growth profile, and make choices based on the strategic fit, will increase their chances of achieving above-market growth rates.