Business Growth Strategies – Early Revenue and Profits (even small) are Important

Business Growth Strategies

In business growth strategies, two excellent thinkers about business growth suggest driving to revenue, profit, and customers quickly (even if small).  These are ideas from Clayton Christensen of the Harvard Business School and author/consultant Ram Charan.

In Christensen’s class at Harvard, he taught that large companies often wait for large business growth projects with large profit potential and then make large investments that take a while to prove their return.  A better way, he said, is for even large companies to require business growth projects to drive quickly to profits, even if very small.  This kept the focus on creating value and proving the concept before too much money was invested in a losing proposition.

100 Day Business Growth Strategies

Similarly, Ram Charan in his book Profitable Growth is Everyone’s Business suggests that every business growth project have a deadline to have a commitment from a customer within one hundred days.  As he writes, “The one-hundred-day-deadline is vital, because it forces everyone to immediately confront issues that can keep the team from succeeding. . . . . You do the best you can in the time available, you take what you have, a very rough prototype, and test it with customers.”

Small business growth projects with early revenue are valuable for many reasons:

  • it can be early proof of a concept
  • even small projects may be able to be used elsewhere in the organization to increase their impact
  • small revenue projects can become large revenue projects
  • revenue can build upon itself from year-to-year, compounding the impact

What growth projects can your business undertake with a goal of a customer commitment within 100 days?