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Are you making growth strategy mistakes? If so, you are not alone. So many businesses struggle to wade through the generally outdated growth tactics and “hacks” on the internet to find the growth strategy gems that will help them scale.
If you miss the mark with your growth strategy, here are five common growth strategy mistakes, so you can avoid them!
1. Follow trends — all
Analyzing other companies’ growth strategies is a great way to get ideas for growing your own business. But just taking someone else’s strategy and applying it to your business? Not really.
Your business is unique. Even though you’re in the same industry and have a similar product, your specific mix of company values, skills, and employee personality is unlike any other company. So why try to copy their growth, marketing, or messaging strategies?
Instead, take what you learn and break it down to understand why it works. You will then be in a much better position to decide if this strategy will also work for your business.
Related: 6 Essential Components of a Solid Growth Strategy
2. Focus on the wrong KPIs (or none)
You need to have a way to measure performance. KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are what you will use to do this.
But simply having KPIs in place will not be enough. You actually need to review them regularly and then act on what they tell you. The KPIs you use should relate to your strategy, and like the trends we just discussed, not every KPI your competitors use will be right for you. Choose KPIs that make sense for your strategy and business goals.
3. Ignore your customers
Growth doesn’t have to come from more features or product improvements. Customer research and CX mapping help you make strategic and impactful decisions. Understanding your customers leads to messaging and positioning improvements that build customer loyalty for your business.
4. Not building a go-to-market team
Your company probably has several different teams working on marketing, product and engineering, customer experience, and more. You’re missing out on valuable information if you don’t bring these teams together to develop or refine your go-to-market strategy.
Of course, each team has a specific set of responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring them together. In fact, bringing these seemingly disparate teams together ensures that everyone is on the same page, working towards the same goal. The marketing team will be able to gain an understanding of the customer experience from the CX team and learn what it takes for the product and engineering teams to launch these “simple” product updates.
The result? A team that has a deep understanding of how the whole business works, a better understanding of how they fit into business operations, and a greater chance that your business will produce a scalable and sustainable growth plan.
Related: Building the Right Growth Strategy for Your Business Sustainability
5. Constantly trying to reinvent the wheel
Not all growth strategies have to be shiny and new. One of the simplest things you can do is make a list of what worked and what didn’t. Then do more of what worked and (surprise!) less, if anything, of what didn’t.
It sounds incredibly simplistic, but it works. You don’t have to think of 100% new ideas every time you make a growth effort. If you feel the need to do something different, try testing and optimizing things instead of starting from scratch.
And, seriously, what if something doesn’t work even after testing and optimizing? Drop it. There are too many things you could do to stimulate growth without trying to make something work when it just isn’t working.
Whether you are starting a business or scaling an existing business, having a growth strategy in place is key to your business success. But that doesn’t mean you have to lay down a path and keep going no matter what.
If you encounter one or more of the growth strategy mistakes I’ve mentioned here, take a minute to pull yourself together. Take a look at what’s going on and make some changes to your strategy before moving forward.