Breaking Down The Real-Life Principles That Matter To Help You Join The 4% Of Businesses That Make The Leap To 7-Figures
MANAGEMENT • 10 MIN READ
How To Join The Inc. 5000 List Of Fastest Growing Companies In 2023
As we announced a few days back…
2X has secured a spot on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. for 2022.
Now I pride myself on not needing external validation. But I was on a boat with some friends when the email came through…
And I think they thought I’d cracked up, because between me and you… I may have shed a tear or two.
We’d gone through an extended period where the business wasn’t fun… we weren’t growing… we didn’t have leadership alignment… we lost a huge portion of our profits…
AND importantly, we weren’t making the impact I wanted to have.
It felt extra great to get the momentum back and then get it validated with the Inc. 5000 win.
So I’ve set us an ambitious target to get 20+ of our private clients on the list next year too.
Wanna know how you can get on the Inc. 5000 list in 2023 too??
Well my friend, you’re in the right place.
Because I’m going to reveal that in this post…
First Here’s What You Need To Do To Be Eligible In 2023
- Have generated revenue by March 2019
- Have generated at least $100,000 in revenue in 2019
- Have generated at least $2 million in revenue in 2022
- Be privately held, for profit; based in the U.S., and independent (not a subsidiary or division of another company)
How Are Companies Ranked?
Should their selection system stay the same in 2023… then eligible companies will be ranked according to percentage growth from 2019 – 2022.
Our percentage growth for our 2022 qualifying period (2018 – 2021) was 248%.
And that saw us reach 2,361 in the rankings.
All clear? Now let’s get to the good stuff…
The 3 Steps To Build A Fast-Growing Machine To Get On The Inc. 5000 List
Step 1 – Your Elite Strategy
When thinking about strategy, most newbie and six-figure entrepreneurs think about tactics.
And they get drawn in by the “guru” promise of the marketing hack, advertising trick, a new fancy funnel or tool.
But if you’ve tried those things, you know that it’s not the answer for sustainable growth.
The true answer is with a killer strategy. This is the 80/20 of growth. And at 2X, we define strategy as:
- The structure for your business, and how it’s set up to scale (your business model).
- Your go-to-market plans of what products/services you’ll provide to who, and how you’ll reach them (achieving product-market fit).
- A well-thought-out, simplified plan of action—including your order of attack and key levers.
The right structure combined with the right plan of action will add rocket fuel to your growth.
Most entrepreneurs haven’t thought very strategically about any of these three. As a result, it makes things way harder than they need to be.
At 2X, it’s our aim to get you more traction in less time.
So we get your strategy right by going deep into what we call our Model ONE framework. When you get this right, business and scaling become much easier.
There are five elements to Model ONE, and they all fit into a single question.
Put another way, you need your target market, offer, price, positioning, and fulfillment to be clear, effective, and scalable.
Get this right, and boom. You are off to the races.
Get it wrong, and you’ll still be reliant on muscling it, feeling like you’re pushing a boulder uphill when you know it must be easier.
Step 2 – Operational Excellence
Here’s a simple fact: you can’t scale what’s broken.
Sounds pretty clear, right?
Yet nearly every business owner who comes to us thinks they’re ready to go straight toward growth.
When in fact, 100% of the time, we identify multiple very important items that need to be addressed before they can scale to the next level.
This is even true of businesses that come to us with seven- or eight-figure revenue already.
When entrepreneurs ignore our advice and try to scale right away, they end up like most businesses:
- Creating more headaches, fires and longer task lists
- Stressing out their team even more
- Wasting hard-earned profits on marketing agencies or advertising
- Chasing new idea after new idea, wondering why it’s not working
So what should your business machine look like?
I’ll quickly share something I was taught by my first mentor. He’s now the CEO of a $6 billion pipeline company.
One day he sat me down and said:
“Austin, do you know why we’re so successful?”
I shook my head, and he continued.
“We’re so successful because what we do is break up every part of our business, and treat each step as its own entire business. When each step is optimized, performing, and profitable, then it adds up to something pretty special.”
He mapped the complex business into a few simple high-level steps so that he could see the 30,000-foot view at all times.
He didn’t need to be in the nuances of the day-to-day. He didn’t need to be in the trenches. He could see the big picture.
This allowed him to easily identify what’s working, what’s not, where to focus and what to fix.
At any given time, they could see the primary bottleneck holding things back.
This top-down view forever changed the way I saw business, and it’s now at the center of what we do at 2X.
We call the framework we use to achieve this high-level vantage point, the Value Chain.
For each business we work with, we map out the key steps in their business, from someone not knowing them at all, all the way through being a raving fan.
(This could be five to seven steps, but let’s keep it really simple to start.)
The three high-level steps in your business are marketing, sales and fulfillment.
- Marketing’s goal is to generate qualified leads.
- Sales’ goal is to generate customers from those leads.
- And Fufillment’s goals are to create raving fan customers for life.
With this high-level view and the key metrics for each phase, you can identify exactly where the bottleneck is and focus on that.
This is game-changing because the more clearly you understand the specific problem, the easier it is to solve that problem.
The key of everything that I’m sharing is to make sure that we not only drive growth, but that we do so with you being free from the weeds and that we drive consistent, predictable growth.
The way that we do that is by turning your business into a MACHINE.
To do so, we need to take this Value Chain methodology and have each specific phase be able to thrive without you. To make that happen, there are four key elements for each step.
#1 – Strategy
Do you have the right strategy and plan of attack for each step?
Can you make it simpler or more strategic to drive the desired result?
Let’s say that you want to double your leads. Ask yourself “What’s the simplest and most direct path to achieve that result?”
Getting strategic and intentional to make sure you have the right strategy for each phase to achieve your goals is the key starting spot.
From there you can see exactly what you need for the next three elements.
#2 – Owner+Team
At the beginning, you probably own marketing, sales, AND fulfillment.
But to scale to multiple millions, that cannot happen. So, one by one, we need to get you free from the day-to-day and ideally only in the CEO role.
For now, it’s ok to own one or two elements as you scale and generate more cash flow to replace you, but this will be a major focus. Identify which key role you’ll fully remove yourself from first.
Now, for each phase, the department owner is also responsible for making sure they have the proper team and resources to get the results. Just don’t start here.
Start with a clear, simple and effective strategy before building your team.
#3 – Numbers
What are the metrics that matter most for each step?
What are the conservative targets of where you need to be to hit your goals, and where are you at now?
List those out so you can see which parts of your business are strong or weak.
These will be your guide to tell you what’s working, what’s not, where to focus and what to fix.
These are essential and most entrepreneurs struggle immensely to track and manage the right metrics.
Start small and build up with just a couple key metrics for each phase.
#4 – Systems
As we say time-and-time again, systems are your secret weapon.
They drive consistency, repeatability and scalability.
You don’t need a thousand systems, but a few key systems for each step will be revolutionary for your business and team.
List out the top three to five systems per stage that will drive more consistency, performance, and time to work on even higher impact activities.
Step 3: Exponential Growth
Once you have the foundations in place, you’re ready for the exciting part.
That sexy, amazing, hockey stick growth!
Now this is contrary to what most of the “gurus” in the online space will tell you. But If you don’t have:
- A clear strategy
- An irresistible offer
- Fulfillment and operations not ready to go
- You are stuck in the weeds
- Aren’t clear on your numbers
Then marketing tactics just won’t give you the sustainable, exciting growth you’re looking for.
You might grow fast, but you’ll crash even faster because remember, you can’t scale what’s broken!
If you implement the growth tactics too early, they’ll work against you. They’ll give you the illusion of growth, but soon you’ll burn out, your profit margin will get eaten, and your cash flow will hurt.
So marketing is the final piece of the puzzle.
Once you have the foundations in place, you can confidently turn on your growth engines, knowing full well your business is optimized to handle as many leads as you can throw at it!
I hope it does. And that this blog has given you some ideas on how you can find the true path to fast growth.
Ready To Become One Of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies?
We all need a helping hand in this lonely world of business. Gee, even Zuckerberg leaned on Steve Jobs for guidance.
And if you’re like most business owners, you’re either stuck and don’t know what to do next… or you’re just working on the wrong things.
Either way, we can show you how to claim back ownership of your business, by working on the things that will actually move the needle for you.
So if you’re looking for guidance to get on track and achieve everything you want from your business, we’ve got your back.
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