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There Is a Way to Grow by 2,975% in Just 3 Years With a sound product and an unwavering focus on customers, tiny startups become formidable companies very quickly.

By Shaun Buck

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

My company, The Newsletter Pro, grew 2,975 percent from 2011 to 2014. During this three-year period, the company went from being just me and some outsourced graphic designers to 36 team members who are all in-house now.

And we're still growing.

I've had to learn a lot during the last few years. From a marketing standpoint, most of what I learned has been from my fellow marketers and mentors. But if you want to grow a multimillion-dollar business, it takes more than just being an amazing marketer. Below are the three secret ingredients that allowed my team and me to grow a company by nearly 3000 percent in just three years.

1. Be customer focused.

Although many companies claim to be customer focused, I've found few businesses truly are. At The Newsletter Pro we decided to focus on the customers we have, creating a relationship with each one and working toward helping each customer get what they want out of our service … and then some. Because of that, we've had an extremely low customer attrition rate, and that low attrition rate has been the biggest contributor to our crazy growth.

Your goal is always to create an experience for your customers, as well as to provide additional value in the form of a monthly newsletter, semi-regular educational items, or other mailers with valuable information.

But above all of that, don't take your customers for granted. Most businesses feel that they are entitled to "their customers." Once someone becomes a customer, nearly all communication stops. Offers may or may not get sent out, but of course the good offers are for new customers only. Instead of being customer-focused, these incentives seem new-customer-focused.

Related: Forget the 4 P's: Here's How to Measure a Customer-Focused Marketing Strategy

2. Be team focused.

If you are going to have a company, you need a team of people to help support your efforts. Like many people, I used to think that having employees was a zero-sum game, where either I won or they won. The reality of it is there is no reason having employees has to be a zero-sum game. Can't we create a world where everyone wins?

If you focus on taking care of your employees, they will take care of your customers — and I need both great employees and great customers to be in business.

Striving to build a place where people want to come to work and they enjoy what they do has been very rewarding for me personally, but it also had an unexpected benefit; we actually make more money and my employees work harder. I would love to say that I am the reason The Newsletter Pro grew so fast and has been so successful, but that's not the case. I was just a piece of the pie. I need great employees who are passionate about what they do to take care of our amazing customers, so the customer will want to come back again and again.

Related: How to Keep Your Team Focused on Purpose, Identity and Alignment During Growth Spurts

3. Have an amazing product.

I know that statement is kind of like a mom telling you how cute her baby is, so let me explain what I mean. One trend I've noticed in business is owners and companies asking themselves, "How can I create an item that requires the least amount of work from us, the company?" If your goal is a lifestyle business, there is nothing wrong with that question, but in most cases you're limiting yourself. If your goal is to grow a larger company, that is the wrong question. The right question is, "What do I need to create or what does this product need to do to get the results my customers both want and need?"

When I created The Newsletter Pro, I figured out that what my customer really wanted was a newsletter that sounded like they wrote it, without them having to write a single word. There were far easier and less labor-intensive ways for me to be in the newsletter business, but for the customers I was targeting, a generic newsletter product just wouldn't cut it.

At the end of the day, I look up and realize there has been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to grow The Newsletter Pro by 2975% in just three years. But regardless of how fast you're looking to grow, I know without a doubt that if you focus on the three strategies outlined above, you'll find great success.

Related: You May Have an Awesome Product, But It Won't Mean Much Without a Marketing Plan

Shaun Buck

Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author, & CEO of The Newsletter Pro

Shaun Buck is the co-author of No B.S. Guide to Maximum Referrals and Customer Retention (Entrepreneur Press, March 2016) as well as CEO of Boise, Idaho-based The Newsletter Pro, the largest custom print newsletter company in the world—printing and mailing millions of newsletters annually for diverse industries all over the globe.

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