Growth-Driven Design: A Smarter Way to Build Systems that Scale!
by Kim Garmon Hummel, on Jul 26, 2023 9:24:00 AM
What makes McDonald’s french fries so good? (Note - we didn’t say “good for you”—just, so good!)
It’s the combination of that uniform shape, heat, salt, fat…and the predictability that they’re always going to taste the same. When Ray Kroc joined McDonald’s in 1954 and rolled out the idea of franchising the hamburger stands nationally, he began the process of documenting and replicating what made the hamburgers and french fries so delicious so they could be replicated uniformly. This not only gave their customers a universal experience at every location they would visit, but he also knew that creating repeatable processes was the key to scaling success.
Repeatable processes create repeatable systems that allow you to transfer and teach the steps to others so there aren’t single users holding the knowledge and creating bottlenecks in progress. One key example is when Kroc installed fry machines that controlled the specific temperature and exact time for those golden sticks to bubble in their oil bath—making it pretty much impossible for any individual to NOT create the uniform outcome.
Repeatable processes also mean repeatable success. That’s what visionaries like Ray Kroc understood so they could multiply their success and achieve tremendous results.
McDonalds, which has annual revenue greater than some European and South American countries, created a blueprint that’s followed by their franchises so they can reap the benefits of repeated success as well.
Meanwhile, as business owners in the trenches, we work diligently to grow and scale our business, wondering how in the world we can recreate the impact of the Fry-o-matic time and temperature regulator when most days are a blur of putting out fires, managing people problems, and trying to land new business.
We recognize ideas and innovation are critical to casting a vision for the actions that build a successful business. But if our ideas aren’t scalable, they’re probably not going to lead to long-term success or annual revenues equal to the GDP of Colombia, like McDonald’s.
If you are tired of feeling like you're playing a daily game of “whack-a-mole”––you’re working nonstop and still not seeing movement on your revenue needle, discouragement kicks in and you feel demoralized, exhausted, and totally burned out. Meanwhile it seems like your competitors are evolving faster and faster, gobbling up your market share.
We get it, we feel it, and we know how to overcome it!
It’s not for lack of hard work that your growth goals haven’t been achieved. It’s time to work smarter, not harder.
If you know even the slightest bit about Sauce Agency, you’ll know that Growth-Driven Design (or GDD, as we like to call it) and RevOps Optimization are the dynamic duo of business growth. We are so passionate about these strategies that we reference them often - perhaps to the point of taking a drink every time we hear/say them - in which case, you know Team Sauce is extremely well hydrated.
If you’re new around here, welcome! Before you proceed, we recommend reading up on RevOps Optimization and Growth Driven Design so you’ll have the context to apply these principles to your internal systems.
Using Growth Driven Design to Build Systems That Scale
Growth Driven Design (GDD) is traditionally applied to website design. It’s based on the idea that you don’t build a website and release it into the ether with a hope and a prayer that it works (i.e the traditional “set it and forget it” approach). Instead, GDD says you start with what you know and then test, tweak, and tailor your website experience based on real user data over time. The end result is a website that is fully optimized for conversion and a delightful user experience.
As a team of growth-driven, diligently curious problem-solvers, we think Growth Driven Design is a principle that applies to every aspect of your business—not just web design. GDD is a “work smarter, not harder” approach that delivers better results because the finished product has been refined through iterative improvements to deliver exactly what the user wants.
That’s why we apply GDD to all our Sauce Solutions, including:
- Stories That Sell
- Websites That Wow
- Brands That Beckon
- Moments That Matter
- Training That Transforms
- Data That Drives
- …and last but never least, Systems That Scale
Systematizing Business Growth
Let’s talk about those french fries again. In Ray Kroc’s attempt to perfectly replicate the french fries that the original McDonald’s brothers cooked up, he was confused about how his fries kept coming out soggy. As he soon figured out, the McDonald’s brothers kept their potatoes outside in corn bins where the warm San Bernardino desert winds had a curing effect on them that wasn’t replicable where Kroc stored his potatoes in his damp, dark Illinois basement. The water content made Kroc’s fries soggy, so he created a system to regulate the time, temperature, and water content of potatoes used on the fries to keep the outcomes consistent and replicable.
Kroc was determined to nail down each and every step that created success so it could be transferred and expanded to each franchise. Sustainable growth doesn't just happen out of the blue. Instead, successful businesses, like McDonalds, grow by intentionally doing things that work over and over again. Building repeatable processes means you don't waste time reinventing the wheel and holding back your growth momentum.
In order to construct repeatable processes toward business growth, you need systems that scale. These are systems that are strong, connected, and work in tandem to enrich your customer’s experience and your employee experience. There are no data silos, process dead-ends, or communication gaps—these are symptoms of systems gummed up by friction that your team (and your customer) have to work against.
Systems that scale pave the road for repeatable user experiences and consistent expectations.
How To Start Scaling Your Systems
You might be thinking,”Hey, I have systems! I have a sales CRM, I have a ticketing system, I have a messaging system, I have an invoicing system, I have a time tracking system, I have a production system, I have a delivery system…”
Yup, that’s a LOT of systems.
The problem is that most businesses operate with systems for each facet of their organization and those systems don’t actually work together to help you scale. Your business systems can quickly turn into a “franken-system” that holds back your growth efforts—a tangled web of individual systems for customer relationship management, accounting, time tracking, employee interface, logistics, and operations. Most of these aren’t inter-connected, leaving valuable data out in the cold, and adding more steps in your process. It’s a friction-fest of wasted time, inefficiency, and frustration.
Using the principles of Growth Driven Design, you can cut out these inefficiencies with these steps to building Systems That Scale:
- Take A User-Centric Approach
Begin by focusing on your users' needs, preferences, and pain points. Assess your current data and analytics to inform your decisions.
- Make Data-Driven Decisions
Rely on data and analytics to guide your system architecture choices. Identify areas for improvement by assessing operational gaps, or opportunities for improvement.
- Continuously Test and Optimize
Implement A/B testing and usability testing to compare different versions of your system and identify the most effective elements. Keep refining and optimizing based on the results.
- Make Iterative Improvements
Gradually add new features and improvements based on user feedback and data analysis. Avoid big-bang redesigns, and instead make incremental changes that move you closer to your goals.
- Cross-Functional Collaboration
Data silos are the sworn enemy of efficiency (and customer delight). Foster collaboration between different teams, such as marketing, design, development, and customer support, to ensure that everyone is aligned with the growth-driven strategy that puts the user experience first.
- Take A Flexible and Agile Approach
GDD emphasizes flexibility and adaptability. Be open to changing direction if the data suggests a better approach or user needs evolve. This is key to scaling your systems so that they grow with your business as you crush your revenue goals.
Start Scaling Faster and Growing Smarter With Team Sauce
GDD is a philosophical shift in how you approach your business problems. It can seem like a huge undertaking, but we always advise organizations to take it one step at a time. Start with the proverbial Fry-O-Matic and document one thing that works really well so it can be replicated consistently. Build repeatable processes and then build systems around them that connect the data, prompt the people, and catalyze the customers.
Remember, GDD is an ongoing process. By consistently improving and optimizing your systems based on real user needs and data insights, you can effectively build scalable solutions that drive business growth.
When you’re ready to kick your revenue strategy into high gear and #ScaleFaster and #GrowSmarter, connect with Team Sauce. We’ll help create operational systems that amp up your revenue, cut out the waste, and make your processes smooth as butter. We'll also support your awesome people so they can keep rocking and achieving repeatable success.
Watch your teams flourish and your customers turn into raving fans when all your systems work together! Schedule a connect call with one of our Certified Growth Guides today!