How to Grow 3X Faster Reviewed by Momizat on . New Study Spotlights Five Proven Strategies There is an easy way to identify the most effective strategies for rapid growth. For the fifth year in a row, the Hi New Study Spotlights Five Proven Strategies There is an easy way to identify the most effective strategies for rapid growth. For the fifth year in a row, the Hi Rating: 0
You Are Here: Home » Practice Management » How to Grow 3X Faster

How to Grow 3X Faster

New Study Spotlights Five Proven Strategies

There is an easy way to identify the most effective strategies for rapid growth. For the fifth year in a row, the Hinge Research Institute conducted a comprehensive study of more than 1,000 professional services firms. Specifically, Hinge looked at what “high-growth” firms (those with at least three years of 20% compound annual growth) do differently than firms that are not growing at all. This article highlights five proven growth strategies.  

Grow your business 3x faster.

Professional services firms face many new challenges, from talent shortages and changes in buyer behavior to the impact of technology and automation—and only the most proactive companies will keep up.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to identify the most effective strategies for rapid growth. For the fifth year in a row, the Hinge Research Institute conducted a comprehensive study of more than 1,000 professional services firms. Specifically, we looked at what “high-growth” firms (those with at least three years of 20% compound annual growth) do differently than firms that are not growing at all.

Image Source: High Growth Study 2020: Executive Summary

With growth rates 3X faster than average, and profitability twice as likely, what sets these companies apart? In this article, I will discuss what our research reveals about the strategies that drive their growth.

Five Business Growth Strategies Used by the Fastest-Growing Firms

Strategy #1: Take Your Place as a “Digital Disruptor”

Over the past three years, adoption of digital and content marketing techniques is up—dramatically. About 50% of study participants said their firms had published blog posts, networked on social media, and did some e-mail marketing.

In a podcast interview, the author of The Business of Expertise, David C. Baker, spoke about the power of giving away “generalized” expertise for free in order to attract opportunities to charge for your “applied” expertise.

Our study also reveals that high-growth companies invest more effort toward creating high-value, high-quality content, such as case studies, downloadable gated content, podcasts, and primary research reports.

In addition, in the book, Online Marketing for Professional Services, we first reported on the relationship between a firm’s annual growth rate and how many leads it generates online. In our 2020 study, that relationship remains true: firms that garnered 66% or more of their leads from online sources grew twice as fast as firms that generated low levels of online leads.

Image Source: High Growth Study 2020: Executive Summary

These firms are known as “Digital Disruptors,” for several reasons. Compared to competitors, they generated:

  • 27% more marketing impact from any given digital or content marketing technique in their mix
  • 60% more impact from podcasts
  • 50% more impact from video, and
  • 40% more impact from publishing guest blogs

Strategy #2: Conduct Frequent Target Market Research

High-growth firms conduct research about their market—frequently.

Daniel Burrus, author of The Anticipatory Organization and a leading authority on global trends and disruptive innovation, also appeared on “The Visible Expert” podcast. For organizations to truly thrive, Daniel says, they must anticipate problems before they happen, and one way to do so is by frequently researching and analyzing target markets and internal business data.

Image Source: High Growth Study 2020: Executive Summary

Professional services firms can use such research in two ways. First, they can inform their branding and marketing strategy with regular research into brand tracking, client experience, and marketplace visibility. Second, they can research issues and topics relevant to their target clients, and then publish their findings as high-value marketing content.

The bottom line is that doing frequent research allows firms to know their audiences better than their competitors, reduce risk, gain competitive advantage, and drive faster growth and profitability.

Strategy #3: Embrace Workflow Automation

In general, the high-growth firms we surveyed worried less about potential future threats than their no-growth peers. There was one notable exception, however: automation.

High-growth firms were 60% more likely than their competitors to regard automation and artificial intelligence (AI) as challenges to overcome in the next three to five years. This data point suggests that high-growth firms are more likely to adopt technologies that power workflow automation going forward.

So, what kind of technologies can professional services firms benefit from? To name a few, there are solutions to boost productivity through ‘collaborative work management’ (a software category launched by Wrike in 2006), technology solutions that streamline payment processes, and solutions that automate project lifecycles, improve planning capabilities, and enhance resource allocation.

Strategy #4: Use Marketing Technology

Our research also showed that, heading into 2020, high-growth firms were 2X more likely to make marketing technology and automation a firm priority.

Scott Brinker, VP of platform ecosystem at HubSpot and founder of the Martech East and West conferences, has observed that firms can use Martech solutions to promote collaboration and avoid potential conflicts between marketing and IT functions. Many such solutions also allow companies to make relevant expertise more visible to their top prospects. For these and other reasons, “content creation” has quickly become the top marketing priority of professional services firms in the last three years.

Our research showed that high-growth firms invested 28% more marketing effort in publishing primary research, 21% more toward case stories, and 30% more toward podcasts. Such investments pay-off: high-growth firms reported 30% greater impact from publishing primary research, 30% more impact from sharing case stories, and a stunning 136% more impact from podcasting.

Strategy #5: Develop an Advantage in Strategic Marketing and Sales Skills

As more companies invest in marketing technology, new marketing skills will be in higher demand. As a result, professional service providers seeking to grow rapidly may need to differentiate their employer brands to attract and retain top professionals.

Across the board, marketing departments within high-growth firms received higher skill ratings. Their research teams were 3X more likely to be regarded as highly skilled, and the firms were 2X more likely over all to have highly skilled networkers, and 50% more likely to have highly skilled strategy and data analytics teams.

Image Source: High Growth Study 2020: Executive Summary

These are five of the major takeaways from our survey and, as the new year gets underway, it may be worth taking a fresh look at your own marketing priorities to see where you can make improvements. To see the results for yourself, I encourage you to read our free executive summary.


Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is Managing Partner at Hinge, the leading branding and marketing firm for the professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high-growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to become more visible and grow.

Dr. Frederiksen can be contacted at (703) 391-8870 or by e-mail to LFrederiksen@hingemarketing.com.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) supports the users of business and intangible asset valuation services and financial forensic services, including damages determinations of all kinds and fraud detection and prevention, by training and certifying financial professionals in these disciplines.

Number of Entries : 2131

©2020 NACVA and the Consultants' Training Institute • (800) 677-2009 • 5217 South State Street, Suite 400 Salt Lake City, UT USA 84107

event themes - theme rewards

Scroll to top
UA-49898941-1
lw