When developing your core growth strategy, you must look deep within your own company to acquire a thorough understanding of why your company will be in business for the next fifty years.  You must plan for long-term growth.  That plan starts with determining your “why”.
We started our business because                     and we will standout in our industry because we believe                    .  (Start With Why by Simon Sinek)

Operating by everyone else’s rules handcuffs your possibilities.  You must not focus on doing business in the traditional marketplace.  Don’t compare to companies in your own industry.  Develop your own market space and benchmark against leaders in an industry outside of your own.  It’ll give you a fresh and more challenging view of your business strategy.  If you’re the only company that does what you do, it’s pretty hard to go out of business as long as your customers are happy.

We will create a different product or service in our industry by changing                    , creating an entirely different market space.  (Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim)

What can you be the most of (ie. friendly, interesting, prestigious, delicious)?  What can you do that would be completely different than every other company in the market place?  Find your super power and harness it by constantly seeking feedback and evolving over time.

We will be the most                   in our industry.  (Practically Radial by William C. Taylor)

In Built to Last, Jim Collins gives many important lessons on how to grow a company that stands the test of time.  Arguably the most important is that of the Hedgehog Concept.  He tells the parable of the Fox and the Hedgehog, the lesson being that some companies are good at a lot of things (foxes) but never become great at one thing.  The “Great” companies in Collins’ book are more similar to Hedgehogs than foxes.  They relentlessly focus on their core ideology or purpose and strive to be the best in the World at it.  Your Hedgehog concept lies at the intersection of these three questions:

We are deeply passionate about                     .

                    Drives our economic engine.
We can be the best in the world at                       .  (Good To Great by Jim Collins)

If you’re trying to grow your company, incremental improvements to your product or service will not give the competitive advantage you need to be the dominant leader in your industry.  You need a disruptive innovation.  An offering your competitors can replicate.  Something that people can’t find anywhere else.  You’ll never have to advertise if you’re leading your industry, customers will seek you out if what you have to offer really is that much better than the current service offering.  It begins by identifying where you can create value.

We will create a disruptive technology in our industry by changing                    and create value by                    .  (Innovators Dilemma By Clayton M. Christensen)

How will you stand out?  What will influence your customers to keep coming back to your company again and again?  How can you incredibly different than all of your competition?  How do you create a level of service that is truly remarkable in the sense that people insist on talking about it?

Our Purple Cow is                     .   (Purple Cow by Seth Godin)

start with why-quote-why-how-what

How do you establish a business model that grows by people wanting to recommend you to others?  Creating a core referral strategy is one of the smartest endeavors a company can take on.  If done properly it will pay on exponentially.  It’s those companies that don’t need to spend a dime on advertising because their marketing is baked right into the product or service.  That should be your goal; a product that markets itself.

People will talk about us and refer others to our business because of                      .  (The Referral Engine by John Jantsch)

We take an intimate look into your company and develop the most effective strategy possible.  Every three months we set objectives and reassess last quarter’s objectives.  We believe it is wise to develop a business “model” instead of a “plan”.  Plans change and whatever you think will happen probably will change before it does.  You must be ready for anything.  At the rate our world is changing, you can’t afford to be following a business plan that was developed even a couple years ago.

Working with Strategy Lab will ensure you’re well prepared for the information age of business. In 2013 and beyond, it will be the companies that learn the quickest that will rise to the top.  What’s your organization’s education strategy?

“A head start is rarely large enough to matter, and time spent in stealth mode – away from customers – is unlikely to provide a head start.  The only way to win is to learn faster than everyone else.” – The Lean Startup by Eric Reis