Years ago, when I had Imulus I recall thinking about growing the company from $1M in revenue to $10M. That number seemed so distant and unfathomable. My partners and I had no framework to structure the company to reach that goal. To us, scaling to $10M meant doing 10x the work we were currently doing, with 10x more employees.
If we assumed a yearly growth of 20% (very conservative for our industry), that would mean we'd roughly go from $1M to $6.2M in a 10 year period. For us to reach $10M in 10 years, we'd have to average 26% growth. Given that we went from zero revenue to $1M in 3 years, that $10M figure seemed within reach. Yet, we were never able to reach that goal because we lacked the structured thinking and strategy to get there.
Fast forward to today and my thinking has changed dramatically. I now realize that 10x growth is actually quite modest, at least in the timeframe of 10 years or more. Why? Because if you take a strategic view, the growth rates necessary for 10x results are much more achievable.
For example, if you start with $1M in revenue and grow at 20% for 5 years, you'll have roughly $2.5M in revenue. If we assume a more aggressive growth rate of 80%, we'll hit that $10M mark in 5 years. While the 80% growth rate is aggressive, it's not impossible if you have a great team, sound strategy, excellent execution and an shared understanding of company financials. These are four areas that Scaling Up addresses.
What all this means is that 10x growth is something that can be achieved with consistent, strategic effort. It's not something that happens overnight, but if you set your sights on a 10x goal and put in the work and ask for help, you can get there. The key is to take a long-term view and develop a strategy that will enable you to achieve that growth. So don't be intimated by the notion of 10x growth – it's something that can be achieved with hard work and a lot of planning. Just make sure you have the right tools in place, like those found in Scaling Up, to help you get there.