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Reigniting Growth: Strategies to Overcome Stagnation

by Annastacia | Apr 26, 2023 | Business Growth

Picture this: You have been experiencing steady growth after launching your product, and as you become more ambitious, you set stricter targets to achieve. But suddenly, the growth starts to slow down, and you miss your targets. You reassure yourself it’s just a temporary dip, but as weeks pass, it becomes more concerning.

You try different tactics like additional ads, new campaigns, and even exploring new channels. However, growth doesn’t seem to return. It’s time for you and your growth team to address the situation, but the fear of making things worse holds you back. Growth stagnation is inevitable and can be due to internal or external factors. Regardless of the cause, the key is to stop and reassess the situation rather than merely hoping for a turnaround or running numerous ineffective experiments.

Growth may stall for reasons beyond common internal and external factors, such as:

  1. Relying too heavily on manual and unscalable growth, which is limited by your resources.
  2. Not achieving the right product/market fit, leading to difficulties scaling beyond the initial customer base.
  3. Focusing too much on optimization and neglecting big bets, resulting in diminishing returns.

When growth stagnates, it’s crucial to avoid falling into a blame game. Instead, take a step back and evaluate the situation from a broader perspective; in the words of Geeks for Growth Founder Todd Hogan, “It’s time to reverse the trend!”.

Reversing the Trend

To turn things around, it’s essential to identify the underlying causes. If you’ve already considered the usual internal and external factors, it might be time to reevaluate your current approach.

Start by revisiting your North Star Metric and conducting a full-funnel analysis. Assess not only the funnel but also other elements that could be hindering growth. Remember, growth is a combination of product, marketing, brand, data, company culture, and strategy.

Instead of solely blaming marketing channels, look at the bigger picture and consider multiple factors for successful growth:

  1. Product/Market Fit
  2. Product/Channel Fit
  3. Product/Model Fit
  4. Market/Model Fit
  5. Channel/Market Fit
  6. Channel/Model Fit

Taking a holistic approach to growth can help you identify and address the underlying issues. For example, at Geeks for Growth, we were able to help a client overcome an 18-month growth slump by redefining its target audience, changing their business model, and investing in their brand. If possible, involve a fresh pair of eyes to assess the situation, as working in the same environment for too long can result in tunnel vision. Collaborative discussions and new perspectives can lead to innovative solutions.

Develop hypotheses regarding the factors that may be stalling growth and then research them further. For instance, if retention is identified as a significant issue, analyze different retention cohorts and pinpoint the root cause. This may involve going back to the basics and conducting more customer research. Embrace bold ideas, but start with small tests and push beyond your comfort zone. Sustainable growth comes from taking calculated risks, not from repeatedly trying the same tactics.

When growth stalls, it can feel like a personal failure, but it’s crucial to remember that growth is a team effort. Rally your company together for honest discussions and objective evaluations. By setting aside egos and striving to understand the underlying issues, you can restore growth and get back on track.

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