So you've made it out of the gate, your idea is officially a startup, and your startup is officially gaining traction. You have customers and are earning some decent revenue but now you need to take this to another level. You need to scale and turn this into a viable business but how exactly do you achieve that? Which strategies can you implement to reach your major goals?
This is the topic our speakers, Gary Corcoran and Anna Kingsley, took on at our 10th Tel Aviv HUG (Hubspot User Group) event this month.
What does it actually take to grow a startup and which tools and strategies are available to help you do it in a systematic and efficient way?
Gary Corcoran, Business Development Manager at Hubspot EMEA, shared his tips on how to grow and scale your startup through customer acquisition. He first took us through which systems and technologies are available, then how do we actually implement the system and process and why is it important, how can Marketing & Sales leverage those systems, processes and technologies to acquire, grow and retain customers.
Building systems and Processes - The first step into creating a system or process is to document it. Write it down but be sure to keep it simple.
Get everyone on the same page - Another important step is to make sure you go over the process with the team and get everyone to buy-into it. A system is as good as its weakest link so it is important to get everyone onboard.
Use a scaleable technology to implement it - As creators of our ideas and managers of our companies we often know in our heads exactly how the system or process should work. But unless we transfer this knowledge to a system that can be easily scaleable and accessible to everyone we staunt the growth of the company.
As his presentation went on to help us understand how best we can get marketing and sales to leverage the systems built he brought it down to these two main points:
1. Align your teams around growth - Understanding that to reach your customers today you must match the way they first research and then buy makes it mandatory to have a mix of good content, right format and appropriate channel in order to achieve growth. And using the right technology that gives you access to analytics you are able to track everything so your resources and efforts are channelled in the right places.
2. Align your company around an experience customers will love - It is quite easily to get distracted by our revenue and sales goals that we often forget the most important factor in getting there is our customers. So according to Gary, we must invest just as much time in creating an unforgettable customer experience once a customer onboards.
Our next speaker, Anna Kinglsey, renowned international marketing expert who's experience spans all facets of Marketing, took us through the concept of forming strategic partnerships in order to boost your biz dev.
Anna's main takeaways were:
1. Know your target audience inside out, otherwise you won't know how or where to reach them. Top tip to accomplish this is the very useful process of writing pen portraits aka in depth personas for all your key segments you want to target. As Steve Jobs said you need to know your target audience inside out and know what they want before they do!
2. Always enter into these partnerships with a win-win situation for all parties involved.
3. Don't shy away from approaching the "big" brands as they too are often looking for ways to boost their sales and welcome non-traditional methods.
She also stressed the importance of going outside of your comfort zone and not being afraid to take on seemingly controversial issues as some of the biggest wins lie within them. One particularly golden crumb she left us with was to consider creating a campaign around a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) issue that may be important to your target audience.
All good points right?
But how do you find the right partner?
Fortunately she left us these 7 insights to help us not only find the right partner but minimize mistakes and optimize impact:
1. Decide on your key message
2. Know your value proposition, mission and target audience
3. Gain some insights about your partner and the potential of working successfully with them
4. Determine a theme or big idea.
5. Establish clearly what are the benefits to the partner
6. And don't forget yourself. Know unapologetically what you want in return.
These are just some of the many tactics to help you grow and scale your startup. Are there any others you have used and seen success with? Do tell us.