And challenge the status quo in their business
As the CEO of an innovative scientific company, you likely do a lot of balancing in your business and get overwhelmed juggling it all. You direct and lead the Service/Product, Team/HR, Client activities, Sales/Marketing, Finance, Legal, Investors, and the Board, not to mention navigating the cash flow roller coaster.
As a leader of a successful company, you often reach a level of complexity in your business where it gets harder to break through to the next level of success. Yet, you desire more - more success, more freedom and more gratification in your business.
The result? You end up spending more and more time on your people, processes, products/services and plans in order to continue generating consistent, predictable revenue and cash flow to channel towards growth and build long-term value. Time that you don’t really have.
The solution? You invest in another sales consultant or marketing agency or even a lead generation service to help you get more clients.
For a small innovative business like yours, however, that rarely pays off.
Or, perhaps you consider raising funds to infuse some VC capital.
This is typically not even an option for services businesses. Additionally, it’s just another to-do for you as the CEO, one that you may or may not be equipped to undertake without investing significant time, which you don’t really have much to spare and why this dilemma exists to begin with.
The better solution? Partner with a fractional Chief Growth Officer (FCGO) or a business Growth Strategy Advisor (GSA) who essentially play the same role of taking some of the business load off the CEO. They ensure that the people, process and product/ service are optimized and aligned to deliver superior customer experience and financial impact (profit) for the business while building long-term value through innovation-led growth and potentially even obviating a need for fundraising. As a result, the CEO has more time to focus on running the business.
Additionally, a Growth Strategy Advisor offers an outsider perspective, which is advantageous in getting around the echo chamber effect and blind spots that tend to limit various options being explored to get the business to that next level.
How? The GSA brings a focus that is strategic, driven by a holistic approach to business along with an insightful plan that resonates with your customers and your employees alike, which is absolutely essential in order to move the growth needle in a big way. Whether by innovating business systems, optimizing existing processes, aligning available resources, exploring untapped markets, or broadening a company’s vision, GSAs discover new pathways to sustainable growth, sensible expansion and meaningful diversification for your business.
By utilizing their incredibly diverse skill-set, which is a perfect blend of art and science, GSAs help drive innovation in the business not only to streamline key business processes but also to rectify any potential challenges getting in the way of delivering an excellent service so that customer experience remains the top priority.
Do you have a true FCGO/GSA in your team – a growth-focused executive planning and setting the pace to accelerate cash flow/ growth while building long-term value? If not, it is time to get one.
Why? Let’s start by first clarifying the role of a Growth Strategy Advisor:
A Growth Strategy Advisor is an executive who understands how the key areas in your business intersect to create profitability: Marketing, Sales, Service/Product, Finance, and has the unique ability to work across all key areas of the business. It’s a hybrid role that’s part marketing, part sales, part service/product, part tech and part customer advocate. The role, as the name implies, finds ways to drive growth, expansion and diversification in your business while building long-term value.
Most executive roles generally do positively impact the business, but rarely have the cross-functional skill-set to strategically align, innovate and optimize various parts of the business to work synchronously to achieve profits.
Profitable businesses attract prospects (marketing); turn prospects to leads to customers (sales); deliver value that customers buy (service/product) and ensure more money flows in than out (finance). Below are some ways GSA helps impact these.
Marketing teams raise awareness, generate demand, craft a compelling unique value proposition/ messaging to equip the sales team with the right leads to pursue.
GSA helps ensure all marketing activities convey a consistent value proposition and messaging that resonates with your potential clients. They use their insights to continuously improve value proposition, messaging and optimize outreach strategy.
Sales teams pursue and nurture leads through the sales process and convert them into paying clients via phone calls, emails, in person meetings and presentations.
GSA helps ensure all sales activities relay the same consistent value proposition throughout the process and all customer interactions. They use insights to improve nurturing, conversion rates as well as to design a repeatable sales process.
Service/Product (Operations) teams perform and deliver the value that customers are seeking to fulfill their project needs and solve their problems.
GSA ensures all service/product development activities are prioritized to deliver the value customers have been promised and expect. They use the customer experience insights to continuously optimize client acquisition, engagement, and retention with the goal of delighting customers and leading to increased referrals.
Finance teams allocate resources and budgets for marketing, sales, service/product, and other teams to optimize a business’s profit efficiency.
GSA helps ensure that all the budgets allow some room for experimentation and continuous development. They use their insights to minimize activities, which are not focused or aligned to steer the company towards current goals and objectives.
And, GSA helps innovate, optimize and align these key activities so they work synergistically and efficiently to increase cash flow and improve profits.
An experienced GSA knows how to orchestrate a superior customer experience - from a compelling messaging for acquiring clients, to tracking sales performance to measuring the right metrics such as pipeline contribution and deal velocity for revenue forecasting while also influencing conversion rates throughout the sales process for attaining consistent, predictable and sustainable growth.
As Stephen Covey postulates in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” in order to succeed one must start with the end in mind. If your business goals are to improve cash flow/revenue/profits, accelerate growth and build long-term value then it is critical to identify a leader who can help keep a consistent focus on the goals, but more importantly, has the skills needed to achieve these goals.
A GSA is exactly such a leader who partners with the CEO to not only ensure they have a finger on the pulse of the company and understand how the business works, but also come up with ideas that are financially viable and also visionary. They help CEOs create a heightened sense of purpose through a culture of innovation in their company, while also focusing on what’s next and how to challenge the status quo in order to discover new pathways for growth, expansion and diversification.
How exactly does a Growth Strategy Advisor enable new business growth?
A GSA’s goal is not just about growing the business by two to three percent; it’s about growing exponentially by taking dramatic leaps.
For this kind of growth, a GSA looks for opportunities across all functions and areas within the business. They help find your company’s hidden strengths—those islands of excellence—and then figure out how to exploit them, expand them and make them scalable. These islands of excellence could be unusual service/products, unique processes, or business strengths or even new profitable niches and markets. Therefore, GSAs always customize their approach for each company before designing a strategic plan, there’s no one size fits all approach or formula for this.
They start by helping clarify and crystallize these five critical aspects of business:
What’s the growth strategy?
GSA helps formulate a customized detailed overarching business strategic (growth) plan that spans across all key areas of the business, not just marketing and sales.
Why the growth strategy?
GSA ensures the essence of the plan is based on target customer insights, market trends, analytics, and uses data (including client data, prospect data, competitive intelligence, economic insights) as its core foundation to develop the strategic plan.
How the growth strategy?
GSA helps outline a detailed execution plan including all the key elements such as marketing tools, sales systems, innovative technology and available resources for a cross-functional companywide engagement.
When the growth strategy?
GSA helps roll out various components of the business growth strategy plan that includes regular tracking of progress being made and adherence to key timelines.
Where (Metrics based) the growth strategy:
GSA implements a dynamic ongoing measure of the plan in terms of measurable and quantifiable metrics that have impact on the objectives outlined in the strategic plan, reassessment and iterations needed to stay the course.
If you are a CEO who is committed to self-development and business growth, motivated to do the work, open to doing things differently and have a passion & persistence to never give up! Then, leveraging a GSA is one of the ways that you can achieve your goals and build long-term value without having to go alone or hire multiple full-time executives.
Here again are a few benefits that a Growth Strategy Advisor brings to your team:
• Create a customized strategic plan of action for sustainable growth and long-term value creation in your business
• Identify and rectify bottlenecks throughout the entire business, end-to-end, that results in increased pace and cash flow to fuel growth and expansion
• Get your whole company aligned and working efficiently with flawless execution of your initiatives
• Attract and retain the right people (clients, team, partners, investors) to drive your company towards achieving your goals.
Be it an organization with thousands of employees or a startup with a solopreneur – a growth executive role is a critical, yet often overlooked. If optimal systems and processes are not in place and well aligned, then business just burns through cash and keeps spinning its wheels while continuing to ride the cash flow roller coaster.
Make today the day you challenge the status quo in your business. Today’s marketplace is moving too quickly, customer tastes shifting far too unpredictably to stay the course. It is imperative to find a strategic-minded, growth-oriented executive who can help build your revenue machine to grow, scale, and thrive.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The future depends on what we do in the present.”
As a growth minded CEO, you know that your action (or inaction) today will determine your company’s future. And, you choose to take action,
Because, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln.