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The Growth Playbook: 10 Proven Tips from Elite Business Experts

The Growth Playbook


Before building my business growth playbook, I read hundreds of books and ran countless experiments.

The trial-and-error process was an exhausting, expensive and valuable learning experience.

I wrote this playbook of growth drivers for you to eliminate guesswork and to guarantee growth.

In this blog, you will:

  • Discover 10 drivers to unleash guaranteed business growth.
  • Learn why you should evaluate your business every year.
  • Be prepared to facilitate a business playbook session.
  • Get free access to my private business assessment I use with clients.

The drivers to grow your business:

Growth Drivers10 drivers to unleash guaranteed business growth.

The North Star: A good values statement is the soul of your business.

  • Clear, authentic, and actionable guiding principles align and inspire every member of your organization to make consistent decisions and drive toward a shared purpose.
  • 86% of employees in organizations with a well-defined and communicated values statement felt a stronger connection to their company's purpose and mission.

Avoid Distraction: Define your organization’s core focus.

  • The core focus statement guides your purpose, direction, and strengths.
  • It aligns the team and prioritizes critical goals for long-term success.
  • Focused organizations see 9.4% annual revenue growth compared to 1.8% for less focused ones.
  • Tip: Be the best at one thing.

Define Your Niche: Deepen Your Impact.

  • Knowing your target market and ideal customer is paramount to your focus, alignment, and success.
  • Deeply understand their goals, gaps, and preferences to align your products, services, and messaging to create strong connections, loyalty, and sustainable growth for your business.
  • Tip: If everyone is your customer, no one is your customer.

Stand Out: Know how you provide unique value.

  • The organization is clear on how it differentiates itself from the competitive landscape.
  • Your value proposition is crucial. It is the clear and compelling statement that communicates the unique benefits and solutions your business offers to your ideal target market, setting you apart from your competition and driving your company's success.

Humanize Your Brand: People Buy When They Trust You.

  • 81% of consumers said that they need to be able to trust a brand before making a purchase decision.
  • This highlights the importance of building trust and meaningful connections with consumers, as it significantly influences their buying behavior.

Reduce Friction: Create a buyer-centric experience.

  • Businesses with a customer-centric approach achieve, on average, a 10-15% increase in customer retention and a 20-25% increase in revenue compared to those with less customer focus.
  • When you understand the customer’s needs and expectations at each stage of the buying journey, you create a seamless and compelling experience that builds trust, loyalty, and ultimately drives higher satisfaction and growth for your business.

Create a Destination: Describe the 3-year picture.

  • Businesses that effectively communicate a clear 3-year vision to their employees experience a 30% increase in employee engagement and a 25% higher success rate in accomplishing their long-term objectives.
  • Describing the future state of your business is a powerful tool that paints a vivid vision of where you want your company to be in three years, helping you and your team align, focus, and work towards achieving your long-term goals.

Align Cross-Functional Teams: Share the playbook, risk, and reward.

  • This is a big lift and when achieved it means product management, marketing, sales, finance, customer experience are aligned and working hand-in-hand.
  • Tip: Led by Marketing, teams contribute valuable content to a campaign calendar that fully details all online and offline campaigns for the next 6 months.

Create Accountability: Success demands committed hearts and minds.

  • Setting clear, measurable quarterly targets and holding every team member accountable for their role in achieving them is the key to making consistent progress and driving your company toward its three-year vision.
  • Tip: Organizational leaders meet with team members on regular basis to review progress towards quarterly goals.

Go Farther Together: Build your brand community and ecosystem.

  • Brands that successfully build a genuine community around their offerings create a sense of belonging, fostering deeper connections with their customers.
  • By nurturing a thriving ecosystem of loyal advocates and like-minded partners, your brand can amplify its reach and impact, solidifying your position as market leaders.

Still with me? Let’s consider how we use the growth drivers in your business.

Business Evaluation

Why You Should Evaluate Your Business Growth Drivers 2X Every Year

As a trusted advisor to businesses, I recommend companies conduct annual business reviews.

This practice is invaluable to advance in the market, spot new opportunities, and address any potential challenges.

Even if you’re satisfied with your business growth trajectory, I recommend assessing your growth drivers annually to maintain a strong competitive position.

Benefits to assessing your business annually:

  • Business success comes from having a growth mindset.
  • Companies that practice a growth mindset are 2.4X more likely to outperform competitors.
  • Measure growth drivers to identify gaps in performance.
  • Close performance gaps to create more opportunities.
  • Gain alignment, buy-in, and commitment from your leadership team.
  • Develop up and coming leaders through involvement in the measurement process.

OK, final stretch. 

Tips to Prepare Growth Assessment

How to Prepare for a Business Growth Playbook Session

From my experience, there are two kinds of business reviews: Valuable or Disastrous.

Valuable reviews provide actionable insights. Participants come prepared and bring an open mind. There is an environment where is it safe to have open discussion. Ideas may be challenged without offending colleagues. The meeting concludes with alignment and clear direction on next steps.

Disastrous reviews are a waste of time. They leave participants feeling drained, alone, and unclear on what’s next.

Consider these tips to facilitate a valuable business review:


  • Begin with the end in mind. The purpose of the business playbook review is to assess your business against practices shown to be effective. This isn’t brainstorming, yet. That should come afterwards.
  • Identify potential participants. Use filters such as accountability, responsibility, expertise, and growth potential.
  • Pre-brief Participants. Ideally, call first to introduce your intent to hold a meeting to gain a shared understanding of the business’ current state. Explain why you are inviting the participant. Follow up via email.
  • Communicate expectations. Include the objectives, meeting rules, and expectations for preparation.

During the Meeting:

  • Project the playbook so it is visible to all participants. Display one question at a time. I usually display them on a slide. Arrange tables and chairs in a U-shape so everyone may see the display.
  • Explain the evaluation process and facilitate. Participants use the maturity model (pictured below) to evaluate your business against each question in the playbook. Ask participants to make their evaluation silent to reduce chance of biasing fellow evaluators. When everyone finishes evaluating a question, you may invite participants to share their reflections about the question.

Business Process Maturity Model

Debrief and Align on Next Steps

  • Compile the Scores. When the evaluation is complete, you have a range of scores from your participant evaluators. Aggregate the score for each driver.
  • Identify Opportunities to Improve. Select one to three growth drivers that have the greatest potential to help your business if improved.
  • Discuss the Improvements. This is where you get input and align on the benefits to working together to improve growth drivers.
  • Scope Work and Assign Accountability. Get clarity on the work necessary to improve performance of a growth driver. Assign accountability and schedule the work to commence.

Wait a moment, I have a gift for you.

Thank You

Get free access to my private business assessment I use with clients.

The entire process described in this blog is automated, and I am giving you unlimited access to my Business Growth Assessment.

It’s free and your team is going to enjoy the online experience with the Growth Assessment.

Plus, the online assessment has a bonus including five additional growth drivers.

Get your access to the Business Growth Assessment now.

Online Business Growth Assessment

What’s the catch?

No catch. If you like the assessment experience, I ask you to share this blog with a colleague.

I wish you good luck with your growth playbook experience.

About David LaCombe

David LaCombe is the founder of Imperatives Delivered, a fractional chief marketing officer service for small businesses. He helps businesses grow by tailoring strategies and data driven solutions. David has extensive leadership experience in product development, marketing, sales, and user communities. Contact David to speak with him about your company’s growth imperative.