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What you need to know about Growth


Part 1

Scary growth reality check

Most startups spend the majority of their time focusing purely on product and fall into the ‘busy’ trap and neglect the equally, if not more important pastime of growth strategy optimisation. Most of the time it’s due to three main things:

  1. Growth per see: Successfully gaining growth and continually growing week on week is a really hard gig. People are intrinsically scared of failure so they set their growth KPI’s too low.

  2. Systems: making growth systems is hard and most people have no idea where to start to make them.

  3. Product: neglecting your product to focus on traction and launching your product not 100% perfect is emotionally hard.

Basics of growth

Let’s chat about the basics. For the purpose of this blog we will assess the three phases of implementing and testing the variety of growth strategies.

Overview of how to implement & test growth strategies

Phase 1: To become a growth guru you need to test say three streams in parallel as quickly and cheaply as possible. I normally do three as five is too many and you lose focus and one is not enough as you need to move quickly and cheaply in the testing phase. Then test another three streams and so on until you find what are the best marketing channels for you. Do this only by backing it up with data, not just assumptions - this is crucial.

Phase 2: Once you have found the best marketing channel implement it fully. Playing it safe in this phase (once you have data backing up your prediction) is actually playing it risky. You need to be ruthless here and execute the strategy with full force, full funding and flawless confidence. Then once, and only once that marketing channel is exhausted are you allowed to re-explore more traction channels. Growth needs focus and a lot of love and care. Do not neglect it.

Phase 3: Remember growth triumphs everything in your business. It is crucial to your survival and success. Put in systems that allow you to remember to spend many hours on purely marketing oriented tasks not just product tasks. Initiate using tools that provide analytics on how your growth is tracking or not tracking on a routine basis. Continue to track, reiterate and implement marketing strategies throughout the life of your startup that are optimised for the size it is at as it grows.

So now what?

Go about finding ways to iterate and test which marketing channels will set your company and product apart from the million others out there. Make sure you don’t pre-judge and guess which marketing channel will work. It is important to test using the three phase method and only making decisions using data to back up your presumptions. Then execute with focus and confidence.

Happy Growth-ing!

Stay tuned for my next blog on Growth, where I dive into the different channels.

Image Credits

Top: Flixel.com jaredsluyter

Bottom: MahLab.co MahLab