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All fast growing companies seem to have a few traits in common, and these traits transcend industries, countries and cultures.  Here are the 3 fundamentals that differentiate high-growth companies from the rest:

High-growth Market Segments

A big market with unmet needs is the gateway to extraordinary growth.  It may seem illogical, but most growth companies are in mature markets and not newly created markets.  This is because those mature markets are often the largest markets and include things that everyone needs: consumer goods, healthcare, financial services, and energy.

People often assume "mature" markets mean there is little opportunity for growth. But within these markets, successful companies start small and expand rapidly by fulfilling an unmet need in the market better than anyone else.Only a small segment of a very large market is needed to create really big business. If you want high growth, consider looking outside of the hot and sexy markets.

Key Customers

Some customers should be more than customers.  The best customers act as an additional sales force and important advisors.  Growth companies are able to identify and grow their relationships with key customers - those seen as leaders and innovators with their industry.

Key customers represent a subset of your customers that buy a lot of your products or services and serve a unique role in three important ways:

  • First they are beta customers - testing products and providing valuable feedback
  • Second, they help develop the company's value proposition by sharing their experiences in therms of benefits other customers relate to .
  • third, they are an extension of the company's sales force - giving your company instant credibility - they offer powerful endorsements of your product or service.

Strategic Alliances

Most high-growth companies establish long-term mutually beneficial partnerships with larger companies.  for large companies these alliances can deliver much-needed innovation and provide additional capabilities, while smaller companies can increase the credibility of their products and service or gain increased exposure through a valuable market channel.

It is ridiculous to believe that growth only comes from a big disruptive idea.  Growth happens for most companies when they uncover opportunities that already exist but often are hidden by traditional beliefs about what is promising or possible.  the ability to see things differently, and as a result, do things differently is an essential capability necessary to tap into new sources of revenue growth.

 Remember - when it comes to customers, retention is key.