Are you still trying to beat the competition? Snap out of it!

19% of the Fortune 100 Fastest Growing Companies scaled through category creation – and they captured 51% of the cumulative revenue growth and 81% of the market capitalization

We understand that not all innovation moves at the same pace. We get it—things take time! But what is your excuse for still following outdated approaches to growing your business?

If nearly 20% of the behemoth Fortune 100 companies can turn their businesses around to a new approach, it’s time to get your exponentially nimbler middle-market business on the program.


The days of slow and steady growth are over. Most business owners today have thrown strategic growth out the window in favor of scale. Unless you’re a startup with a brilliant and novel product that’s just closed a massive round of funding, achieving scale can be tough. And for middle market businesses, it can feel impossible. But scaling your business is an attainable goal provided you have the right model, mindset, and tools.

Before diving in, let’s discuss what it means to scale your business. At FortéOne, we define scale as exponentially increasing the average revenue per customer while reducing operating costs. Essentially, you’re bringing in more for less as your business, customer base, and operations grow.

From our point of view, a company is successfully scaling when it achieves these seven goals:

  1. The unit costs decline as the company grows.
  2. The product or service value increases as sales increase.
  3. Service costs per customer decrease as the company grows.
  4. The business becomes a leader in their category, expanding their market share.
  5. Operational costs decline as a percentage of revenue.
  6. Innovation is an integral part of the culture.
  7. Shared values and expectations, as expressed through a structured measurement and feedback process, unlock positive, productive energy throughout the organization.


If any of these elements are missing, the company hasn’t achieved scale.

What factors contribute to achieving scale?

While there are a number of factors that influence a business’s ability to scale, at FortéOne, we’re highly focused on the customer. By centering discussions about scale around the customer, any business with the drive to create change and an innovative mindset can scale their business.

To achieve scale, we focus on two elements: lifting revenue per customer by providing more value and transforming the customer base to focus on your most valuable customers.

Increase your customer base by focusing on the right people

Too often businesses get caught up on their products, the market, and competitors. While all important considerations, the most effective way to take market share is to ensure you’re speaking to the right customers and establishing a loyal connection with them. And that comes from a deep understanding of your customers and developing an experience (product and/or service) that answers their most pressing aspirations.


You need to dive into company data and customer interviews to gain an understanding of your customers and their high-priority, unmet ”better version of themselves.” From there, you can reevaluate your product or service to make sure it solves for that vison for themselves. You need to ask: How can I create an experience that makes my customers’ lives easier?

By starting with their better version of themselves—rather than pushing a product that doesn’t fully meet that aspiration or a product that meets a lower priority need—you can design an offering that fully addresses that unrealized sense of “wow.” If you can achieve that and bring that experience to market, you’ll not only become a market leader, but you’ll disrupt the market itself.

But finding the right product/service experience and message is only half the battle. In addition to making your customers’ lives easier emotionally, you also need to make life simple tactically.

Lift revenue per customer with the right technology

Once you’ve identified your high-value customers and created a product/service experience that delivers against their aspirations, you have to step up those experiences with the right technology.

Your digital platforms should facilitate fast, intuitive, and engaging encounters for your customers to keep them coming back. This technology will not only help you create compelling customer experiences, but it will continually collect and organize information about your customers’ needs, wants, and preferences that will help you raise their expectation and evolve your offering over time. You can leverage the data you’re gathering via customer interactions to customize interactions and offers to proactively set the bar—unlocking your customers recognition of you as their trusted authority in their pursuit to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.

These modern platforms are able to accomplish all of this with AI and automation, which means fewer time-consuming manual processes for you—and less overhead.

The X and Y axis work together to generate scale

The more you completely solve your customers’ most pressing needs, they’ll tell other potential customers about their positive experience with your company, as well as its products and services. This causes growth to accelerate because it follows the laws of the network effect.

As the size of the community grows, the more valuable it becomes. And you can use your data to identify more opportunities to meet the aspirations of your community.

As you identify more opportunities to satisfy community member aspirations, you begin to scale.


Contributor: Mark Jacobs, Practice Leader


At FortéOne, we’ve been on the forefront of change as thought and implementation leaders for more than 20 years. Our mission is to help Family and Privately Held Business owners as well as Private Equity and Family Office investors become performance leaders in their respective industries. We are more than consultants—we are problem solvers who work side-by-side with you to deliver a business transformation that improves performance and accelerates change in your middle market company.