7 Lessons From High-Growth Businesses

A few weeks ago I spoke to the leadership team of one of my retail clients about what creates a high-growth business. Here, very briefly, are the 7 lessons I shared:

  1. Willing to be first. Most successful businesses are generally the first to successfully exploit new market opportunities. Requires entrepreneurialism and prudent risk-taking.
  2. Relentless focus on where you can win. High-growth businesses don’t try to be all things to all people. They make choices and trade-offs about where they can truly succeed.
  3. Less really is more. You should not have more than a handful of priorities at any one time. It’s far better to move three things a mile than 100 things an inch. You can always come back to your other ideas later.
  4. Fixed on the vision, flexible on the journey. This is a quote from Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. It’s likely that you will need to constantly change your sails to harness the power of the fickle market winds, but you can only do this if you’re clear on your destination. Expect your initiatives and tactics to change, but be relentless in pursuing your key goals and priorities.
  5. Actions speak louder than plans. Success generally goes to businesses that learn – and apply those lessons – the quickest. Don’t wait till your offer is perfect, get it out in the market and refine and adapt as you learn. Fail fast, fail cheap and win big.
  6. Persistence and Discipline. Maintain commitment to your goals. Don’t give up if you don’t first succeed. This is the critical capability that enables you to deliver #4 above.
  7. Healthy paranoia. Nothing fails like success, so relying on your past successes is a great way to die. Focus on delivering constant innovation and evolution so that you can avoid having to try last-minute revolutions.

Which of these 7 lessons should you focus on to help accelerate your next stage of growth?

© Stuart Cross 2015. All rights reserved.

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