Why 99% of Business Growth Strategies Fail

12 min read
Mar 9, 2022

When it comes to their business growth strategy, most entrepreneurs jump through hoops trying to make it work.

In most cases, not only do business owners not achieve solid growth (if any growth at all), but they never figure out exactly why they couldn’t make it happen.

More often than not, it’s their growth strategy itself that’s setting them up to fail!

To help you avoid making this mistake, we’re sharing exactly why almost every business growth strategy is doomed to fail. Additionally, we’re sharing what you can do to develop a strategy that actually sets you up for success.

Unless you reinvent your strategy, you’ll likely end up:

  1. Wasting time;
  2. Being passed up by your competitors; and
  3. Starting from scratch again only to end up unsuccessful.

Whether your idea of growth is increasing your market share, diversification, or new product development, your strategy creates the pathway towards your desired outcomes. Is your path clear or taking you straight towards a cliff?


What Are the Major Growth Strategies?


From now on, think of a business growth strategy like a blueprint for a house: You have a vision for a house and put together a technical model for bringing it to life. 

Similarly, you have a vision for a bigger business, so you put together a strategy for making it happen.

There are several key ways to grow a business, therefore there are several different growth strategies, including:

  1. Market penetration - Increased customer acquisition in your current market
  2. Partnerships - Partnering up with a complementary business
  3. Product development - New products or existing product improvement
  4. New market expansion - Targeting new customers in a new customer segment
  5. Diversification - Diversifying services or product lines

While a business can technically grow in more than one way at once, it isn’t necessarily suggested. More often than not, attacking growth in multiple ways at once usually only leads to unnecessary complexity.

When it comes down to it, almost every growth strategy is rooted in one defining factor...


This 1 Factor Is Central to Every Growth Strategy


Business growth is not hard. While it can pose a challenge, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s exceedingly difficult, complicated, or confusing.


Because business growth success is rooted in one single factor: Sales growth.

Think about it. Want to increase your share of the market? Increase sales. Need more capital to invest in new technology? Increase sales. Want to simply increase your bottom line for whatever reason? Increase sales.

At the end of the day, business growth is rooted in making more sales!

This hard fact is the key reason why most business growth strategies fail: While business owners are struggling to figure out why they’re not growing, they’re forgetting that unless you focus on sales improvement, then the growth strategy is virtually meaningless.

With this in mind, shift your entire focus to improving sales processes and strategies if you want your growth strategy to actually manifest results.

Without making sales-related improvements, business growth will either stagnate or fall off a cliff.


What is meant by business growth?


Why 99% of Business Growth Strategies Fail & What to Do About It


These are the key reasons why almost every business growth strategy is doomed to fail. Most of these reasons are rooted in sales-related issues, as sales growth is central to overall company growth.

The best news is that shifting your strategy to manifest successful business growth is anything but difficult. In fact, the most effective growth strategies are usually the simplest and most straightforward.

Just like you can’t build a house without a blueprint, you can’t manifest company growth without the right strategy!


1. Sales Strategy Isn’t Front & Center


A bit of a no-brainer here... Before diving into marketing development, product expansion, or target audience research, you need to put sales at the center of your entire growth strategy.

Unless the growth strategy delves into how you’re going to increase sales, you’ll only end up wandering in the weeds.

Bottom line: Business growth and development strategy mean nothing without a solid sales growth strategy.


Sales First, Everything Else Second


While the fact that sales is central to company growth is a bit of a no-brainer, many business owners don’t realize it because they’re not actively monitoring their company metrics. More specifically, they’re not monitoring their sales growth metrics.

At the end of the day, you might feel as if you’re making progress, but numbers don’t lie. Moreover, you might be taking all the initiatives in the world to kickstart company growth, but unless those initiatives create measurable growth, they're not really doing you any good.

Before doing anything else, start monitoring your growth metrics on a daily basis. Set time aside at the end of each day to assess how things are going.

What isn’t regularly measured isn’t managed, and sales growth is no exception to that rule.


Sales Enablement


Would you believe me if I told you that the majority of entrepreneurs have been completely misled about sales? 

More specifically, they’ve been taught a standard set of practices and tactics that are more likely to create negative sales growth instead of positive growth!

Don’t agree? 

Consider this: If traditional sales training methods, including college-level sales courses, online webinars, and business books were so effective, then why do so many B2B companies struggle so much with sales?

For starters, the single best way to kickstart sales growth and sustain it for the long-haul is a foolproof B2B sales training course. And no, not a pre-recorded webinar that teaches tactics that you can learn for free online. Rather, we’re talking about a full-scale, live course taught by an industry insider with a proven track record of success.

Remember, just because every other CEO follows a set of traditional sales practices doesn’t mean that they’re effective!


2. You Don’t Understand Your Customer Base


Business isn’t about selling products or services. Rather, it’s about selling a vision through products or services.

Think of it like this: There are dozens of different smartphone brands on the market these days. Yet, there are only a few that stand out to most people, with the Apple iPhone being the most notorious of them all.

When there are so many smartphone options in the world that almost all do the exact same thing, why is the iPhone often considered to be in a class of its own?

The iPhone is in a class of its own because Apple understands their target market better than any other smartphone company. Apple knows that, while there are certainly other smartphones on the market, their customer base wants more than just a high-tech phone. Rather, Apple understands that their target customers desire to feel empowered and sophisticated each time they pull their phone out of their pocket. 

Because they understand the feeling that their existing market is craving, they’re one of the most dominant businesses on earth.

In the same sense, company growth comes down to understanding those deep desires that your potential and current customers want to feel. Then, it’s about shaping your product or service in a way that fulfills those desires.

Understanding your customer base's true desires is the only way to achieve growth.


Growth Comes Down to Understanding Customers


While understanding your target customer’s deepest desires is important for any type of business growth, it’s most important for market penetration strategies.

How do you expect to snatch up new customers in your current market unless you have a deep understanding of who they are and what they want to feel?

In short: Don’t expect to build a bigger customer base unless you already understand your existing customers inside and out.

The best way to improve your understanding of customers is by developing an ideal prospect profile and an ideal buyer persona.


Ideal Prospect Profile & Ideal Buyer Persona


An ideal prospect profile (IPP) describes an ideal B2B company in your target market. It includes its demographics, and whether or not the company is likely ready, willing, and able to buy your deliverable.

An ideal buyer persona (IBP) describes the ideal traits of the decision-makers at your ideal B2B companies. Think of an IBP as a caricature of an ideal person who you would form a solid customer relationship with.

Most importantly, the factors of your IPP and IBP should align well with your company’s brand.

Market research means nothing without an IPP and IBP!


3. You’re Alienating Your Existing Customers


If snatching up new customers forces you to alienate your existing customers, then you’re not doing growth any justice!

Think about it... If you alienate your current customers for the sake of gaining new ones, then your current loyal customers have little to no reason to re-purchase from you.

Best case scenario: Growth will plateau, as you lose an existing customer for each new one you gain.

Worst case scenario: Growth decreases, and you lose existing customers while not gaining any new ones.

Never forget that B2B business success is rooted in strong customer relationships! And, one of the easiest ways to ruin a relationship with a long-term customer is by showing them you don’t value their loyalty by alienating them for the sake of gaining new clients.


Customer Relationships Are Business Assets


Strong customer relationships have the potential to be your strongest business asset for a few key reasons, including:

  1. Easy referrals for highly-qualified leads;
  2. Recurring business; and
  3. Potential for future marketing collaboration.

Think about customer relationships like insurance for business success: When you foster a solid relationship, it’s like insuring yourself for success in the short-term and long-term!

Keep in mind that word travels just as fast in the business world as it does in any other dimension. Word-of-mouth can literally make or break you! You might have the best product or service on the market, but a bad reputation will ruin that.


What are the business growth strategies?


4. Current Product QualitySlips


Just like how many business owners sacrifice their current customers for the sake of gaining new ones, they also often let the quality of their existing products or services slip for the sake of developing new ones.

In the same way that neglecting current customers will likely only lead to stagnation or negative growth, so will letting product quality slip!

Never forget that your ‘how’ is just as important as your ‘what’. By that, we mean that the way you deliver your deliverable is just as important as your deliverable itself!

To put it simply: If developing new products or services means you have to sacrifice your current ones, then it’s not worth it!


5. You Don’t Have a Brand Message


If your business was a person, what would it say? Additionally, how would it act, and what would it do?

As wild as it sounds, consumers buy from companies as if they were people. Therefore, it's your job to make your business the most likable person out there!

The way to do that... Develop a genuine and unique brand message to resonate with your ideal customers.

Unfortunately, when it comes time for growth, many business owners lose sight of their brand message. In an effort to appeal to as many potential customers as possible, they water down their message.

However, diluting the message only ends up leading to poor or even negative growth.

Likewise, instead of putting a lid on your brand message, use it as a tool to resonate deeply with more customers.


Are You Any Different Than Your Competitors?


Why would somebody buy your product or service if you look exactly like every other option on the market? More specifically, why would somebody buy your deliverable if you blend in with your competition?

Unless you stand out from your competitors as bringing something unique to the table, then they will have little to no reason to buy from you.

That being said, the best way to stand out from your competition and resonate with your target audience is by honing in on your brand message.

Therefore, not only should you hone in on your brand message, but you should be conscious of how it resonates with your target audience. Focus on developing a message that reflects those deep desires that you know your ideal customers have!


What Do You Want to Be Remembered For?


Your brand message is what prospects will remember the most about you. Therefore, keep these two things in mind when it comes to your message:

  1. It’s about what you say AND how you say it
  2. Hone in on what you want to be remembered for

When developing your brand message, focus on both what you say and how you say it. While both matter, the way in which you deliver your message will stick with the prospect for longer.

Hence, why we always say that people are more likely to remember how you make them feel and less likely to remember what you say!

Next, sit back and ask yourself what you want your business to be remembered for. Once you know what that is, then interlace that sentiment throughout your brand messaging.

Don’t be afraid to go all-in with your message!


6. Your Strategy Is Wildly Complicated


Does looking at your growth strategy make your head spin because it’s exceedingly and unnecessarily complicated?

If so, then not only is it likely confusing you, but it's also probably confusing the heck out of your potential customers. Nothing good ever happens when customers are confused.

Instead of allowing your strategy to remain a mess, you need to refine it. If necessary, focus on one key growth factor, or move into new markets one at the time.

In the end, un-complicating the strategy will make both you and your potential customers much happier!


Complication Confuses Potential Customers


Simply put, customers don’t like complexity because it forces them to think more than they need to.

For example: Let’s say that you walk into an electronics store looking for a new computer monitor. A sales rep approaches you and immediately starts giving you the run-down on all of the options. They’re using high-tech words that you don’t even understand, and then all of a sudden you’re unsure of what to do. All you wanted was a monitor, but now it sounds so complex that you can’t make a decision.

The easiest and fastest way to make potential customers turn away is to confuse them. The more complex your strategy, the less growth you’ll have.


Business growth and development


7. You’re Not Heading In a Clear Direction


Do you ever feel like you’re in a constant state of business fog and don’t know which direction to head in? Or do you feel that your life is so overwhelmingly noisy that you can’t even think clearly?

If you’re like most business owners, then you certainly understand those feelings- especially when it comes to business growth!

The hard truth is that, in order to make your growth strategy work, you need to know exactly which direction to head in. More specifically, you need to have a clear pathway that takes you from where you are now to where you want to be in the future.

Without that kind of clarity, not only will you not achieve growth, but you’ll also:

  1. Spin your wheels without going anywhere
  2. Constantly cycle through updated strategies that never work
  3. Be in a constant state of blinding fog

Bottom line: Your strategy means nothing without clarity!


Vision, Business Strategy, Growth Goals


There are three key pieces to business growth and business in general, including (in order of priority):

  1. Vision
  2. Strategy
  3. Goals

First off, having a clear growth pathway starts with having a clear business vision. After all, it’s the vision that paves the clear pathway from where you are now to where you want to be!

Think of a vision as the experience that you’re trying to create through your business. It’s the dream that you dream about when you imagine what’s possible for your company!

Moreover, clarity starts and ends with your vision.

Next, think of your growth strategy as a blueprint for manifesting the vision. You can think of it exactly the way you would think of a blueprint for a house; there is no house unless there is a blueprint to bring it to life!

Lastly, accomplishing goals is like putting the small pieces of the blueprint together. With each new growth goal accomplished, you get one step closer to completing the blueprint’s directions.

Ultimately, there is no growth without all three pieces of the puzzle. What is most important is starting off with a clear vision of what you want your business to be after growth. Without a clear vision, there is almost no point in putting together a strategy.


8. Mindset, Mindset, Mindset!


The easiest way to go from 100 to 0 in a second is by having a terrible mindset. By a terrible mindset, we mean to overwhelm your mind with negative thoughts.

What makes having a negative mindset so detrimental for business growth success?

When you think overwhelmingly negative thoughts, you’ll feel overwhelming negative emotions. When you’re overwhelmed with negative feelings–particularly fear–you’ll make minimal or poor actions. As a result of minimal or poor actions, you’ll get subpar or negative growth results.

While it’s super cliché to talk about the power of mindset, there is so much truth to it, especially when it comes to business growth strategy!

Furthermore, you can have a bullet-proof strategy, but it will certainly go to waste if you allow your negative mindset to take over.

Instead of letting yourself and your business be dominated by bad thinking, turn those bad thoughts into the kind of energy that builds you up instead of tears you down.


Final Thoughts on Why Most Business Growth Strategies Fail


Almost every business growth strategy is doomed to fail, but it doesn’t have to be that way. That is, at least, unless you do what it takes to turn the tides!

Guarantee solid, sustainable business growth for yourself by developing a foolproof strategy. No more running 100 miles per hour only to go nowhere. Shift your strategy to obtain growth results that match your efforts (and maybe even more).

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