June 2, 2017
One out of nine startups fail and one of the reasons, according to Neil Patel is that the startups takes too long to grow.
By the time your project's going somewhere it’s sucked up its budget, aside from which if there’s no growth by year one, it’s statistically unlikely to happen.
A great idea in a hot market should signal instant growth if marketed correctly.
Fast growth means retaining competition, retaining customers, retaining passion, retaining personnel.
These are just a few reasons why it's crucial that your startup blows the roof off within its first year - and fast!
But we’re barely scratching the surface.
The question is: How do you Impact Small Business Growth?
How do you zoom from zero to 1 million (whether users or revenue) or more in 12 months?
Companies who’ve achieved this quickly have a few things in common.
Keen to know what they are?
Let’s get into it...
The number of active users has proven to be the number one KPI (Key Performance Indicator) for all fast growth startups.
Axel Schultze, CEO of Society3, an investment startup platform, quoted an investor who said:
"If I can't see an explosion of user adoption after year one, just forget it".
He validates his statement by stating, this is because the company has shown it can execute and has marketed it’s idea well.
More importantly, interest shows a large market exists who love the product or service, they’ve promoted it to their peers, and the company is on its way to monetizing its offering after raising initial funds to cover expenses.
Schultze recommends that you connect with more than 1,000 relevant people within your first three months, grow your buyers to about 1,000 within a few weeks, collect advocates and fans within the next two months and have more than 10,000 users by the end of the year.
Not if your product meets a need AND you use budget-lean marketing to create a story around your solution.
One of the best ways of doing so is by…
Onboarding new customers can only be sustained by a top-notch, fast service.
And to do so, you need to have great processes in place.
You need to communicate with your customers, build new features as you get feedback, analyze results and work on constant product iteration.
You’re on the hamster wheel.
You need to keep a level head.
...AND you have to perform.
Outsource tasks to an agency.
The hiring of a professional team actually costs you far less than you think - even when you think prices are higher than what you’d pay someone internally.
A professional marketing agency assume and manage the risks that challenge your startup, such as new markets, government regulations, and changing economies and technologies.
Outsourcing blurs the line between David-you and Goliath next door.
Your intimidating neighbor has certain levels of scale, efficiency, and expertise that he can afford because he has the dough.
Outsourcing gives you access to those same economies that your competitor is perhaps blind to - giving you the overall advantage.
First you're able to meet accelerating demand with an expandable team.
A professional SaaS marketing agency can serve as your customer service, marketing, content management production, IT, distribution, and more.
Your wonderful agency will hire and fire for you while you focus on crucial factors.
Secondly, you stretch your budget which helps you reduce your pricing and improve your quality since you’re not having to hire highly skilled professionals yourself.
More clients. Faster.
The Economist calls it a growth hack where entrepreneurs can rapidly test ideas and increase productivity and competitiveness 10- to 100-fold.
IBM research showed that 27% of companies outsource to help them grow before they exhaust their budget.
In fact, 78% of entrepreneurs believe that outsourcing gives them a competitive edge.
Focusing too much on your failures?
HBS professor Amy Edmondson discovered that analysing your failures can actually hinder you.
A much better thing to do is to look at what helped you achieve your past and present successes, then double down on that.
That was precisely startup champion Jason M. Lemkin’s advice given to one SaaS startup that reached $1.5 million in less than four years, with accurate projections of $5 million over the next two.
This way you can focus on thrilling customers, growing your user base, upgrading your sales team, and improving your product - every bit of it - the high impact stuff that you’re good at.
Failure is overrated.
Throw a short term business plan on your board - and improvise as you go.
You need some sense of direction. You need to yield.
“To get good payback on an investment...there needs to be a good strategy, a roadmap. You also need to adjust the course with seven to ten corrections at different stages of the journey."
While Bodkin focuses on big data, his approach can be tweaked to any entrepreneur's needs.
Paradoxical but there it is.
Two separate studies from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and the American Management Association (AMA) found that the best-performing companies were those who focused on pleasing customers.
We love the words of Creative Bloq!
“Don't necessarily worry about where an income will come from. A good product/service will always find a way to make money."
Maybe Groupon zoomed to fame while others before it failed because Andrew Mason’s service and marketing appealed to Maslow's hierarchy of needs: The health of yoga, the solace of belonging, the primary need of money and comfort and the peak experience of mediation.
Notice it tugged at emotions.
Notice how these factors focus on pleasing the client rather than pleasing wallet.
A nearsighted focus on profit can put you on the fast track to becoming a fast failure instead of a fast success.
It’s hard to push a business uphill, particularly when you’re just getting started. It’s harder still to push it fast.
Tim Ferris of the 4-Hour Workweek fame tells the story of his friend who struggled to design toys for moms.
Toy companies, one after the other, rejected her, until, following Ferris’ advice, she turned to publishing companies and within two months sold more than 4 million decks of cards.
Are you going nowhere?
Taking too long?
Is there a pivot you can make to achieve your monthly recurring revenue in a shorter time?
Seth Godin, promotes his idea of the “First Ten”.
Meaning: tell 10 people, show 10 people, share it with 10 people;
Ten people who already trust you.
If they don’t tell anybody else, it’s not that good and you should start over.
If they do tell others, you’re on your way.
Pivot to something that excites people the moment they hear your product/service offer.
Yes! I’m glad you asked...
The 2014 MckInsey research on almost 3,000 SaaS companies that analysed rapid growth can be applied to any industry.
The Report concluded that fast growth is important.
It yields greater returns. It predicts long-term success. It matters more than cost-control or operating excellence.
However, it’s difficult to get that kind of growth though.
In fact, just 28 percent of the companies surveyed by McKinsey reached $100 million in revenue.
It’s harder still to sustain it.
Approximately 85 percent of “super growers” lose momentum very quickly.
McKinsey found that growth happens in phases.
In act one, companies adopt methods that help them grow.
In act two, they use methods to void challenges.
In other words, they hustle fast to explode. Then clean up the often messy trail that comes with such hard and fast startup growth.