Facebook did it. Oracle did it. Even Slack did it. Pick any successful company and you'd find three things that all of them did well--they nailed a niche, they identified their growth channel and they understand that speed is essential.

If your company is currently struggling to get onto the brighter side of the journey, do a bit of soul searching to find out where the problem lies.

You could have achieved product/market fit and yet struggling to grow. Or you may be pulling in leads through inbound, outbound or PPC but failing to increase conversion.

The reasons are almost always one or all of the following.

1. Nailing a niche

Aaron Ross, author of the #1 best-selling 'Predictable Revenue' recently launched the Predictable University with a 4-week course in mastering sales for founders.

He says, "Nailing your niche is about specializing or focusing in not a small target market but something that is defined and you can be focused in. So, you can know exactly who needs you the most, you understand their pains and feelings, and how can you communicate with them the way they are interested."

In his new book, From Impossible To Inevitable, Aaron writes one of the indicators that you've nailed a niche is when you're able to signup unaffiliated paying customers. Hyper-growth comes from focusing on where you have the best chances of winning customers.

For instance, Salesforce.com started with Sales Force Automation, Amazon started with books and Zenefits started with Californian tech companies of 100 to 300 employees.

2. Identifying a growth channel and building predictability

Do you know where your leads are coming from that give the highest RoI? Can you pinpoint the channel(s) and double down on them to drive growth? While it seems simple, most often companies fail to identify their growth channels.

For your company to scale growth, you need to build predictability in your sales or marketing process. Aaron Ross writes in his book, "Your company won't sustain growth if you can't proactively drive new leads that can turn into customers.Even if your funny YouTube video or app download goes viral, how are you going to keep the party going after that initial burst of success plateaus?"

You have to get to a point where you're able to identify what that channel is to drive hyper-growth. Brian Balfour of Coelevate and VP Growth at HubSpot tells me, "There's only really five channels that are super scalable--sales, paid acquisition, virality or word of mouth, search such as large scale SEO and content marketing. And if you look at most $100 million companies, they have scaled off of one of those five channels."

3. Making speed a habit

Dave Girouard, who's well known for building Google's enterprise apps division into a $1B+ global business, writes in an article, "All else being equal, the fastest company in any market will win."

Be it about decision making, shipping product updates or firing bad apples, you don't want any of these holding you hostage in your path to growth.

In his many years at Google, Dave noticed that Larry Page was extremely good at forcing decisions so fast that people were worried the team was about to drive the car off a cliff. He'd push it as far as he could go without people crossing that line of discomfort.

Published on: Feb 17, 2016