Finding your X-Factor for 10x Growth Requires Asking a Better Question
Although 10x growth sounds like a pretty audacious goal, it is actually quite attainable. But sustainable business growth hinges on finding the answer to one main question. That one main question will be the key to increasing your business’ revenue and efficiency in a relatively short amount of time. This question is not random – it will be directly related to your business and to your business model.
Now, I cannot tell you what the specific main question is for your situation – that is something that you will have to develop as you go through the process of analyzing your individual business. But I can give you a few examples of how other business defined and addressed their “main question”.
Your Primary Question will Define Your Scale of Growth
My wife and myself (Jack Bosch and Michelle Bosch) love flipping land. We wrote letters to owners, made them offers, and then listed the properties for sale one at a time. Using this business model, we were able to sell about 100 properties per year.
But that business model and specifically the sales process left us at a ceiling where we had maxed out the hours we had to sell those 100 properties a year. So after analyzing our business, we decided that our biggest constraint was the way we were selling properties – one at a time. Our Primary main question became, “How can we sell 10,000 properties a year instead of 100?”
And that was the new mantra: “How can we sell 10,000 properties a year?” While we had no clue as to how to make it happen at first, but because we were looking for the answer to a completely different question than before, within just a couple of weeks the solution presented itself: land auctions. We realized that if we could sell 200-250 properties in one day, multiple times a year, then we could sell at least 1,000 properties a year! And if we continued down this path of thought if we could technically hold auctions once per week we could technically meet the goal of 10,000 a year.
While we never got to that point, we were able to answer our main question. We identified the constraint and addressed it, effectively growing our business 10x in a very short time. In fact, one year later we were an 8-figure company.
The strategic planning that Zappos used to dominate their market
Another company that went through a similar process was Zappos, the online shoe retailer.
I don’t know if they followed the procedure the exact way that I describe it, but in essence they also had to identify the problem that was limiting their growth, address it, and then stay consistent. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh determined that their main constraint was the customer experience they provided.
It boiled down to this: people weren’t buying shoes online because they couldn’t try them on for free. And you can understand the logic – who in the world is going to pay a company to ship you a pair of shoes, only to find that they don’t fit and now you have to pay to ship the shoes back?
Once this constraint was identified, Zappos had their main question: “How can we create the perfect customer experience, specifically as regards to shipping?”
The solution was free shipping both ways. Zappos knew that the person who orders 10 pairs of shoes will end up trying all ten pairs on. And chances are they will end up keeping two or three pairs.
That is how Zappos came to dominate the market of online shoe sales.
The importance of climbing to the number one spot
The efforts of Zappos gave them a huge competitive advantage over everyone else in the industry, and they were able to keep that advantage long enough to become the market leader. While other companies eventually caught on and now have similar offers, Zappos has become the undisputed market leader. And it’s really hard to get someone out of that number one spot. After all, is McDonald’s really number one because their burgers are the best? Or is it because they got there first?
The “Primary Question” is so much more than simply making a little more money – it is the key to explosive growth and market domination.
Just ask Zappos.