I encountered a forum post yesterday where people were discussing a coaching program that purported to double your revenue in a year (Austin Netzley, https://2x.co). One of the forum participants shared their experience and said that they did double their revenue, but quit the program after a year and a half because they couldn’t grow beyond that. Their assessment was that it worked great when the bottleneck was in their operations, but once they fixed that, they needed more customers and they plateaued.

I’ve written several posts on identifying the blockers of growth in your business. But for most businesses, it’s usually one of these two high-level limiting factors:

  • Revenue
  • Throughput

Revenue sounds like:

  • “We need more customers”
  • “We need better marketing / visibility / funnel”
  • “Our pricing is off”

Throughput sounds like:

  • “We’re working crazy hours”
  • “We’re backlogged”
  • “We’re constantly putting out fires”
  • “We keep losing employees”

Revenue and throughput are high level descriptions because there are a myriad of ways that they can manifest as blockers. For example, if you have a weak culture, you might have systems that should work, but throughput is low because employees abuse those systems.

I have a couple of working theories that I’m gnawing on about the core issue with these two blockers.

1. For revenue, my theory is that for businesses operating in an appropriately sized market (competitors to available customers) if the business isn’t attaining its market share, the underlying problem is the value proposition.

Which begs the question: what should your market share be? It depends. Something to write about in the future (Boo!)

2. For throughput, my theory is that the underlying problem is consistency. Consistent systems, policies, people, resources.

If your value proposition is right and you’re consistent, you’ll still hit some blocker. No one scales to infinity. Eventually, you will max out your optimization for your current approach. At that point, you have to do something new.

These are the theories anyway. New tools to test through the forge of experience.

Think I’m wrong? Let me know. I’d love to sharpen these tools.

Featured image is the title page of Sir Francis Bacon’s Instauratio Magna, 1620. The two pillars are the Pillars of Hercules and the Latin motto inscribed across the bottom says, “”Many will pass through and knowledge will be the greater.” Used under public domain.