Can Your Second Stage Business Handle Exponential Growth?
Updated June 2, 2021
Loch McCabe of Shepherd Advisors uses an interesting frame for thinking about your company’s health and growth. What would it take to double your revenues – and then double them again? Loch recently spent an hour with me describing his process for creating Exponential Growth, as he calls it.
Those kind of results aren’t easy to achieve, but there’s definitely a formula that works, and Loch is good at describing that formula.
Where to focus for exponential growth
What stands out for me in Loch’s process is the focus on customers and markets. At the heart of Exponential Growth is customer-based strategy — using insights about your customers to identify the “leverage points” that will give you outsized returns for the investments you make.
From there, he goes beyond your current customers to look at emerging market trends. An important part of exponential success is being able to ride the right market waves, and Loch’s process highlights which ones to jump on.
Loch had asked me to talk about the organizational-development aspects of Exponential Growth during a past workshop he hosted. When you get the strategy part right, what does it take from a leadership, teamwork, organization, and culture perspective to manage and execute that growth?
Organic Growth vs Exponential Growth
Organic Growth is more accommodating of cracks and stresses in your organization. Don’t have the right VP of Ops? Haven’t solidified your sales process? Don’t have a solid pipeline of talent? With Organic Growth, those issues are OK – they’ll need to be addressed, and will be over time, but they won’t create any serious risk.
Exponential Growth, on the other hand, forces and enables you to get your house in order. It magnifies the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. It offers a carrot and a stick for dealing with your issues — solve them and you see big results. Avoid the issues though, and you’ll feel the pain.
Is exponential growth right for your business?
Honestly, Exponential Growth is not for most businesses. It requires strong leadership, solid teamwork, effective operations, and a dynamic culture. That’s what most companies are aiming for, and struggling with. And that, I think, is the opportunity that an Exponential Growth vision offers. It’s akin to saying, “We’ll put a man on the moon”. It’s a rallying vision to get people to break out of the patterns they have, and address the issues that could linger and smolder for years. If your leadership team is satisfied with Organic Growth, then focus your efforts on maintaining that goal. Businesses that are ready and eager for Exponential Growth can and will benefit from a solid strategy, committed leadership, and a team that is willing and able to go the distance.
As the leader, if you’re ready but not sure where to begin, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll schedule time to talk it through.