Planned Growth and Striking Oil

Recently, I read a post about how entrepreneurs like to think that growth is readily planned and predictable. Then, an employee that had been in a hyper growth startup, said “no”, it’s not the planned growth that everyone thinks. Rather, it’s like striking oil and the resulting mad dash to take advantage of it as quickly as possible.

Here are a few thoughts on planned growth and striking oil:

  • Consumer-oriented startups are more likely to strike oil and achieve hyper growth, but more entrepreneurs will be struck by lightning than achieve this level of growth (read about the Beanie Babies story)
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startups that have a human-lead sales process are going to be limited by the number of sales people, and thus growth can be much more planned
  • SaaS startups with a self-service sales process that don’t require sales people can grow faster, but are more rare
  • Growth planning is more realistic once a repeatable customer acquisition process is in place (read the four stages of a B2B startup)

Planning and thinking through different areas of the business is important regardless of growth rate (use the Simplified One Page Strategic Plan). Entrepreneurs would do to plan for growth and know that it’s much more complicated than it seems.

What else? What are some more thoughts on planned growth and striking oil?

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