Few companies are fortunate enough, or unfortunate, to experience a static industry. Even the traditional economy sectors of manufacturing, oil & gas, and minerals must adapt to the changing marketplace in order to survive. With changing technology and intercontinental cultural shifts, this fact has never been more important today for company to be capable of rapidly changing their entire business model in order to hack their growth to tap their full potential.
This article presents some clear techniques that your company may adopt in order to rapidly capitalize on new market opportunities and not be left behind as markets continue their dynamic nature. The approach we take is one towards growth hacking, the ability for entrepreneurs to ‘do more with less’ – which typically means using unorthodox methods thanks to taking a growth hacking mindset.
Establishing a culture that welcomes growth hacking
Traditional business promotes slow and systematic processes for progression. In growth hacking, we are seeking a dynamic hybrid between art and science to propel our business to new heights by whatever means necessary. We have techniques for market adoption, guerilla marketing, and business models with a disruptive focus. When you acquire employees and consultants that support growth hacking, your company is more prepared for change and any dynamic market events that throw your competition off. Long term success is maintained by consistently outperforming your competition and in a dynamic market, a team that has a firm grasp on the principles of growth hacking will aid in this objective. Of course that’s easier said than done: “On the surface that all sounds idyllic but in reality that means change and we all know how much each of us, personally, loves to embrace change we didn’t think up. I asked Ott how companies get in front of change. His response wasn’t a litany of change management tactics but some very simple advice – “walk in the customers’ shoes”. Once companies understand their customers, what’s relevant, how they make decisions and how your solution fits into their outcomes, then understanding change and the path through it becomes easy,” writes Christine Candell, in an interview with explains Greg Ott, vice president of marketing for Intuit.
Isolating the new business model before total adoption
For established companies, adopting a radical change for a business model can grow costly and confuse consumers. In order to mitigate this, a test version of the business change should be developed and separated from the key business. This separation will not only enable greater risk management, but also enable more direct measurement to fully measure its success or failure and identification of contributing factors. One way that your company could separate the business model for testing, is by creating a separate business plan with independent financial projections. Your company may decide to test multiple variations of the model, or even entirely different ones, enabling easier analyse of each one. For example Amazon Fresh has attempted to unroll its food delivery business many times, but has not yet scaled to all major cities. The company is currently testing the implementation of a change to its main business model, but wants to ensure that it is a valuable one before it is scaled by learning from a key tenet of growth hacking, first find the demand before growing a new business.
Ensuring total alignment amongst all business functions in any shift
Finally, consider the value of strategy maps as part of this business change process. Strategy maps were first introduced in the mid-1990s, quickly adopted by the management community as ways to ensure total alignment amongst business functions. When seeking techniques for growth hacking on the scale of an entire business model shift, a shift in the operations is likely required across all areas of the company.
The finance department must be in communication with the marketing department to understand measurement techniques for the new strategies adopted. An operations team must communicate with the technology specialists to ensure that the supply chain of a new service introduction may be effectively streamlined. Clearly growth hacking when re-engineering a business model is not a one function initiative. The change must take place at the enterprise level, but using tools including strategy maps and flexible business plans can be tested with great rigour and analysis in relative isolation, before rolling out across the business. “To succeed in business and continually compete for the future takes a culture of intrapreneurialism to spark innovation within. Remember it’s less about doing more with less, and absolutely about finding or creating solutions when resources or opportunities are either constrained or inhibited by convention. Growth hacking isn’t just about finding new means for the sake of hacking it, it’s about discovering a means to an end when the various forms of other means produce mediocre or lackluster results,” suggests marketing guru Brian Solis.
This is a guest post by Chase Hughes, Founding Partner at Pro Business Plans.