For many leaders, it is a constant struggle to define ways to grow a business. Consequently, many senior leaders further complicate matters by over-thinking and over-engineering their growth strategies. It doesn't have to be that way!

Here are 5 easy steps to follow to grow your business:

1. Drive value through laser-like focus on the Customer: There is one unmistakable business truth--growth strategies begin and end with the customer. It is just that simple. Place focus on the customer and the world is your oyster. Adopt an outside-in point of view by seeing your business through your customer's eyes, and, you will begin to identify new ways to delight your customers and grow your business.

2. Convert prospects into clients through greater understanding of their wants and desires: A deeper understanding and empathy for your current customers will help you to convert prospects. This insight will help you to identify ways to deliver the products and services that exceed their "needs and wants." Do this and you will attract new customers to your business.

3. Extend your reach through innovative partnering: A mistake that many of my clients make is to believe that they much "own" all of the resources that comprise their businesses. Don't make this mistake. It's fine to "rent" talent via innovative partnering. It will extend both your company's reach and capabilities. Learn to do it (i.e., scale to size as needed) well, and, you'll have a readymade approach to weathering the peaks and valleys of your business cycles, too.

4. Create client relationships that make you indispensable: If you can integrate your products and services within your customer's life (or key business processes) you will become a very important part of your customer's thinking. If you make it easy for them to do business with you, your company will become indispensable to its customers. Become indispensable and you will grow.

5. Introduce deliberate and disciplined Account Management: Business retention is a key underpinning of growth. You don't want to lose ground by having to replace customers lost to a competitor. So, don't leave the management and servicing of your customers to chance. Rather, be deliberate and disciplined in your account management approach. It is an important key to business retention.

When appropriate to the business, I tend to counsel my clients to establish a tiered account management model that allows differing levels of service (i.e., diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze) to be delivered based on the revenue potential and strategic significance of a given customer. High-end customers get diamond service, while smaller, lower potential customers get bronze. Additionally, this approach to account management enables firms to shift service delivery costs into product and service pricing--allowing customers to choose the "right" level of service to meet their needs.

To close, I hope that these tips help to demystify your growth strategies and enable you to simplify your thinking on the subject. Business growth doesn't have to be complicated. Just remember that growth strategies begin and end with the customer. Place your attention on them and your growth opportunities become a whole lot easier to identify and your business strategies become easier to institute.

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Published on: Oct 5, 2015