Is Your Business Growth Strategy Unscalable?

10 min read
Nov 26, 2021

Is there anything worse in business than devising the perfect business growth strategy only for it to fall flat faster than a speeding ticket?

Probably not!

If you're one of the many business owners out there struggling to get their growth strategy going... Have you ever asked yourself if your strategy is scalable or not?

By scalable, we mean that your strategy looks good on paper AND actually helps your business grow once you start executing it.

If you’ve got a plan but it continues to fall flat once you attempt to execute it.. Then odds are that it is unscalable!

Believe it or not, but many business owners devise what they believe is the perfect business growth strategy only for it to never manifest any results.  

The reason for that is because they make fatal mistakes during the execution of the strategy.  Those mistakes are what make it unscalable.

With that being said, we are sharing 6 of the top mistakes made during the execution of business growth strategies that make them unscalable.

If you’re one of the many business owners who’s strategy never seems to lift off the ground, then odds are you are making one of these mistakes!

It doesn't matter what type of business growth you're trying to achieve... If you make one of these fatal mistakes, then you're basically asking for your strategy not to scale!

Don't waste your time on an unscalable strategy!  Business growth is in your hands.


What Are Business Growth Strategies?


Broadly speaking, a business growth strategy is a company's overarching plan to achieve a specific business growth goal under a set of conditions. 

It outlines what approach a business will take to position itself in the market to achieve growth.

Common business growth goals include increasing sales by a specific number in a current market, or successfully making a certain number of sales in a new market.

There are a few primary types of business growth strategies, with the most common ones being:

  1. Market penetration
  2. Market expansion/market development
  3. Market segmentation
  4. Product development/product expansion
  5. Mergers, partnerships, franchising

By far the most common types of business growth strategies include market penetration and market expansion.

Market penetration is increasing a company's market share by snatching up additional customers within their target market.  Most market penetration strategies attempt to increase sales by developing newer, better sales and marketing strategies. 

Market expansion is a company moving outside of their current target market to pick up additional customers in an untapped customer base.  Like market penetration, most expansion strategies attempt to make sales in the new market by going hard on their sales and marketing strategies.

Once you decide which business growth strategy you want to go with, you can start putting it on paper to determine how you will execute it.


What are the major growth strategies?


What’s The Root Problem of Most Unscalable Business Growth Strategies?


Every business growth strategy is a potentially unscalable one.

How does that work out?

Once you pick a specific strategy, you then need to put a pen to paper to decide how you will execute that strategy.

This is where most mistakes are made... What was a potentially excellent business growth strategy suddenly turns into an unscalable one, due to mistakes made in the execution of that strategy.

But, there is a specific, underlying mistake made during the execution of strategies that causes countless other mistakes to be made, including the ones we will mention below!

The specific underlying mistake is over-complication.  It's believing that business growth is hard, and that making highly complex plans is the best way to make a splash.

However, complexity is the enemy of all things business growth!

Therefore, if you are coming from the mindset that business growth is hard and that you need to make things complex to be effective, just know that you're setting your growth plan up to be unscalable.

Bottom line: What makes a business growth strategy unscalable is mistakes made during the execution of that strategy.  And, most mistakes made in the execution have to do with making things wildly more complicated than they need to be!


Common Mistakes That Make Business Growth Strategies Unscalable


You might have the most full-proof business growth strategy in the world.  

But, if you make a mistake executing that strategy, then the plan means close to nothing!

Therefore, ask yourself if you are making one of these potentially devastating business growth strategy mistakes during the execution of that strategy.  Any one of these mistakes will turn a great plan into an unscalable one.

Don't let your business growth potential go to waste!  Instead, correct course by stomping out these mistakes from the execution of your growth strategy.


1. Setting Unclear Growth Goals


If you follow conventional growth strategy advice, the first thing they'll probably tell you to do is to set growth goals.

They say that the goals should reflect a vision that you have for your business.  Specifically, where you want it to be in the future.

While setting growth goals is the perfect first step in executing your business growth strategy, the truth is that conventional advice doesn't guide business owners to set the right kinds of business growth goals.

What makes a growth goal the right kind of growth goal?

In short... The right business growth goals are the most clear ones!  They are so clear that you can tell them to a complete stranger, and they are able to paint a perfect picture in their heads of what you want to happen in the future.

Unclear growth goals are unscalable growth goals!  

Therefore, while setting growth goals is an absolute must, you’re better off not setting them at all if they are going to be unclear.

The most clear goals are the ones that:

  1. Explain in simple, metric-based terms what your desired outcome is
  2. Describe what your desired outcome will feel and look like
  3. Explain why you want those desired outcomes in the first place

Again, you want your goals to be so clear that you can explain them to a complete stranger and they will be able to get an immediate grip on what you want to happen!

What makes having clear goals so essential for business growth strategy?

To put it simply, clear goals are the foundation for growth because they determine what path you need to get on to turn your vision into reality.  Moreover, goals are what shed light on what steps you need to take to reach your desired outcomes.

Unless your business growth goals are perfectly clear, they’re going to put you on the wrong path.  As a result, you’ll end up wondering why you aren’t getting your desired results.

Furthermore, executing your business growth strategy will fall to pieces unless your growth goals are crystal clear.


What are business growth strategies?


2. Not Focusing On a Single Type of Business Growth


Speaking of setting growth goals... If you did the first execution step correctly by setting clear and concise goals, then this next step is easy!

Moreover, the next step in executing a growth strategy is to determine a specific type of business growth that you want to focus on.  

Whether it be increasing your market penetration, diversification, or creating new products, you need to pick a focus type of growth and stick to it.

Believe it or not, but many entrepreneurs set clear business growth goals and then subsequently don't follow that up by picking a specific type of business growth that they want to focus on.

Essentially, this completely defeats the purpose of setting growth goals.  Because after all, goals are meant to set you on the right path to growth in the first place!

Moreover, not focusing on a specific growth path is highly unscalable.

If you don't pick a specific path, then you're almost guaranteed to get lost on the journey to your goals.

Again, it doesn't matter which path of growth you want to go down!  Rather, what matters is that you simply pick a path, and then stick to it.

Unless you do that, you're asking for the remainder of execution to go wrong!

To put this all into perspective, we will leave you with this Steve Jobs quote... "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on.  But that's not what it means at all.  It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.  You have to pick carefully."


top 10 business growth strategies


3. Sub-Par Industry, Customer, and Market Research


Once you know what type of business growth you want to achieve, the next step in the strategy execution process is to research how you can be successful tackling that type of growth.

As a business growth strategy, research is of the utmost importance, as it lays the foundation for your business growth plan.

For example, if you’ve chosen increasing your market share as the specific type of business growth that you want to achieve, then doing extensive research of your target audience is essential.  Without that research, you won’t know what your potential customers' needs are.  And if you don’t understand their needs, then deeper market penetration is nearly impossible, as you won’t know what plans you need to execute to capture their attention. 

What makes research potentially unscalable is if you don't dive deep enough into that research.

Here's the thing... Anyone can technically do research these days if they have a smartphone.  In fact, the phrase "I've done my research" is a bit of a hot button phrase.

But, you and I both know that not all research is good research!

With that being said, doing sub-par research into your industry, potential new customers, or new market is totally unscalable.

Think of research as the thing that fuels the journey to achieving your business goals... Are you going to use the highest quality fuel, or the lowest grade fuel?  

Regardless of which one you chose, you'll eventually get to your desired outcome.  BUT, the higher quality fuel will take you there faster and not hurt your engine as much as the low grade fuel.

So, if you want to fuel your journey to business growth, then you need high-quality research!

If your research strategy is low-grade, then the execution of your growth strategy is unscalable.


4. Developing Over Complicated Business Growth Plans


Now, we've made it to what is probably the worst unscalable mistake in the execution of the growth strategy of them all! 

In short: Developing overcomplicated business growth plans is highly unscalable.

As we mentioned above, overcomplication is the root cause of almost every unscalable growth strategy mistake.  And, that couldn’t be more true than it is here!

Here's why over complicated growth plans are unscalable... When you set up a business plan and fill it with tons of steps, tactics, and techniques, you're creating more opportunities for problems to arise.  

For example, if you create a business plan that involves a complex marketing strategy to create a buzz around your new product line, you've created a breeding ground for more problems to come to life.

As a result, those new problems will act like additional hurdles standing in the way of you achieving your goals.

Before you know it, you've made business growth WAY more complicated and challenging than what it needs to be!

Bottom line: If you want to create the perfect business growth plan, then aim to make one that is as simple as possible.  Having simple growth plans reduces the odds that other problems arise on your journey to growth. 

Business growth is challenging enough as it is.  Don't make things harder than what they need to be by creating a highly complex and therefore unscalable business growth plan.


5. Neglecting Your Existing Customer Base


Once you've set your goals, determined what kind of business growth you want to achieve, done solid research, and devised a perfect growth plan... All that is left to do is let the plan create magic, right?


This is usually the point when business owners make another fatal execution mistake.

And, that mistake is neglecting their current customers and the relationships they have with them for the sake of trying to increase their share of the market.

Your plan might be doing a great job of capturing new customers in your existing market.  But if you have to neglect your current customers for new ones, then you'll eventually experience stagnating growth.

Company growth is just as much about maintaining ties with your existing customers in your current market as it is acquiring new customers.

The same can also be said for companies rolling out new products... If they neglect the quality of their current products for the sake of developing new ones, it's inevitable that sales of the existing product line will suffer.  As a result, there will be little to no overall company growth. 

Whether you're expanding to a new market or making new products, don't let the execution of your growth plans diminish the relationships you have with your current customers or the quality of your current products.

In the end, it'll only cause your business growth to stagnate.


6. Not Making the Necessary Investments to Match Growth


Last but not least... We're going to paint a picture for you.

Let's say that you've done everything perfectly executing your growth strategy up to this point.  From setting goals to making detailed plans, your execution has been fantastic.  As a result, business growth gets going fast!  While week-to-week growth keeps building, you eventually see growth begin to flatline... AKA, you hit a business plateau.

What gives!?

This exact scenario plays out all too often.  And, the effects of hitting a plateau can be damaging to say the least.

When a case like this arises, there is a common culprit related to the execution of the growth strategy.  And that is not investing in the company in an equal amount to match how much business has grown.

Think of it like this: When your sales double, who is going to manage those new customer relationships?  Or, who is going to manage all of your social media channels to keep the elevated marketing strategy going?

Unless you make investments in new team members or technology, then it's only a matter of time until growth begins to flatline!  

You might see short-term growth, but in the long term you can only grow so big without making investments to match growth.

Therefore, along with executing your growth strategy, you MUST make the necessary investments in your business to help keep up with your expected growth.  Furthermore, budget for growth!

Unless you do so, your business growth will only last for a short period of time, and you'll eventually have to return to step one.

In addition to executing your strategy, make sure that your business is ready to bear the brunt of that anticipated growth.


Final Thoughts on Unscalable Business Growth Strategies


Straight-up: Now that you know what the potentially devastating business growth strategy mistakes are, it's up to you not to let them slip into the execution of your strategy.

If you can avoid all of the above mistakes, then your odds of business growth success increase significantly.

So, what will it be... Smooth sailing business growth, or growth devastated by compounding mistakes that only lead to poor results and endless frustration?

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