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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Small Business Growth Strategies

Fortune Magazine has recently published "7 ways to join the billion-dollar club" -- or how small companies that grow to chalk up huge sales share seven key traits. Although much of this advice might seem like common sense, it's based on hard quantitative evidence.

Here's the seven traits:

  1. Create and sustain a breakthrough value proposition. Three ways: create an entirely new market for their products and services, redefine an existing market, or underpricing the competition.
  2. Exploit a high-growth market.
  3. Focus relentlessly on cash flow. Blueprint companies tend to be profitable from a very early stage. As a result they are able to finance their own growth at less cost than competitors.
  4. Leverage big-brother alliances. In their early days, most Blueprint companies found a major corporate partner whose high profile and reputation opened doors to new markets.
  5. Pack your board with industry experts. Stack you board with successful CEOs and market experts who offer deep experience and help bring in business.
  6. Use marquee customers to build credibility. The best customers become an extension of your sales force.
  7. Build an inside-outside leadership team. Dynamic duos are the stuff of corporate legend: In most such partnerships, one leader concentrates on internal operations while the other leader represents the company for clients and investors.

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