Learn the 4 Essential Pillars of Business Growth

by Christina Hooper.
Last Updated on May 8, 2022

As a business owner, you have a lot of options for growing your business. Every day you see some new marketing channel, sales tool, or strategy that is "guaranteed to help you grow your business — or else!"

You've probably even invested time, money, and resources into trying some of them. You may have even worked with an expert or agency to help you learn and implement some of them.

But — nothing works like you expect.

You keep lackluster results and wasting time and money that you don't want to waste. So what's the solution?

If you're serious about growing your business, then there are 4 core pillars that you have to focus on. It doesn't matter what tools, strategies, experts, or channels that you use. You must understand these pillars and your strategies need to align with them or you will keep getting mediocre results.

What are they? Let me show you.

4 Pillars of Strategic Business Growth

First, a disclaimer. Real business growth isn't going to happen overnight. It's not going to happen just because you finally found the right thing, company, or person to invest in.

Real growth happens when you have the right combination of talent, hard work, tools, and strategies to make it happen.


1. Qualified Traffic

The Foundation

Qualified Traffic is the first step in building a successful growth plan.

Traffic can be visitors to your website, customers walking in the door at your brick-and-mortar shop, or even just someone calling you on the phone.

You need to understand your target market and build a plan to attract them. They need to know that you exist and be willing and able to learn more about what you do and how what you helps them.

The Misconceptions

All traffic is not equal. Many people will sell you on strategies that are designed to increase your overall traffic — but you've likely already learned that having a lot of people aware of you isn't helpful if those people aren't going to buy from you. That just wastes your time and theirs.

This is why this pillar is call Qualified Traffic. Your traffic plan must include strategies to attract the right people and measure success.

The Strategies

What can you to grow your qualified traffic?

Some of the most common strategies to increase qualified traffic include:

  • Developing Buyer Personas
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Website Comments
  • Paid Ads
  • Analytics Tracking to know where your traffic is coming from and how they are consuming your content.
  • Content Marketing including blogging, webinars, videos, and offers. It should be designed to move someone to Pillar 2.

2. Quality Leads

The Foundation

Once you have the traffic coming in, your focus is to convert that traffic into leads.

In an ideal world, if you have qualified traffic, you should get quality leads. However, we know things aren't always ideal. Your planning inside this pillar should account for that. You need to know what a quality lead is and how to identify them.

You also need to create paths for them to follow. Someone might not be ready to buy from you just because they subscribed to your newsletter. But they might be ready in 6 months or 12 months. How are you going to stay top-of-mind so they come to you when they're ready?

The Misconceptions

Just like with traffic, all leads are not equal. You don't want to waste your time on poor quality leads that won't become profitable for your company.

You also need to anticipate growth. Maybe you only get a few leads per month right now and you can vet them and follow up with them. As that grows, you need to have processes and tools in place to qualify the leads and nurture them.

The Strategies

What can you to grow your number of quality leads?

Some of the most common strategies to increase quality leads include:

  • Implement a CRM to track conversations.
  • Lead scoring metrics to qualify leads.
  • Lead Segmentation so you know where each person is in the buyer journey.
  • Paid Ads to opt-in points.
  • Creating Opt-In Points like Content Upgrades, Downloadable Offers, Newsletter Sign-ups.
  • Lead Nurturing Workflows to follow-up with leads after they opt-in so you stay in communication with them and move them to Pillar 3.

3. Profitable Customers

The Foundation

Just like leads traffic and leads, the type of customers that you want to attract needs to profitable ones.

They need to customers that you enjoy working with and ones that enjoy working with you in return.

Your strategies needs to hone in on those customers. You need to understand how they make decisions to purchase, and what you can do to help them along so they sign on the line faster and are satisfied with their decision.

The Misconceptions

You don't want to sell to anyone and everyone. Just because you can offer your services or products or someone doesn't mean that you should.

Some people will be a better fit than others. You'll enjoy working with some more than others.

Ultimately, your business will be stronger and healthier if you focus on the clients that are a better fit for you.

The Strategies

What can you to grow your profitable customers?

Some of the most common strategies to increase profitable customers include:

  • Utilize your CRM's Deal Stages to track qualified leads through the process from expressing interest to signing on the line.
  • Be prepared with customer video testimonials and references.
  • Organize your sales documentation into a central location for your team.
  • Develop a clearly-defined sales process.
  • Use sales workflows and canned snippets to make your sales process more efficient.
  • Remove friction by anticipating areas where prospects say no and back out.

4. Satisfied Customers

The Foundation

Happy customers buy more from you over time, the refer business to you, they leave testimonials encouraging others to buy from you — unless you forget one thing.

You have to be willing to ask for it.

Yes, some customers will be magic little unicorns that have a positive experience with you and then run around shouting your praises from the rooftops and won't buy from anyone else ever again.

But that's not typical. Most of your customers will require some extra work on your part. They'll leave testimonials for you if you ask them to. They'll refer others to you if you ask. They'll buy more from you if you ask.

The common theme here is that you need to build strategies designed to make it easy and intuitive for your team to ask.

The Misconceptions

You can't deliver a service or a product and expect them to be happy with it and willing to take the next steps with you. 

You need to build a scalable and repeatable internal delivery process. Having defined processes for how you deliver for your clients improves your ability to deliver on time and at the quality they expect.

The Strategies

What can you to grow your satisfied customers?

Some of the most common strategies to increase satisfied customers include:

  • Developing processes to gather customer feedback and satisfaction.
  • Planning processes to gather customer testimonials.
  • Marketing strategies to keep you in front of them and promote upsell products/services.
  • Developing internal processes to deliver quality work on time and on budget.
  • Having a process to ask for referrals from satisfied customers.
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