How I Used Growth to Turn $0 into a $1M+ Run Rate

Despite the ever-growing assortment of tools available, statistics consistently show that starting a startup still does not favor founders. In fact, according to Forbes, about 71% of startups successfully exits in their first five years, but this percentage plummets to just 14% after 10 years. Additionally, as reported by Startup Genome?, only 47% of all businesses founded from 2006-2012 survived for more than five years. Clearly there is plenty of work still required if founders hope to have their creations thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

In the past year, I’ve had the privilege of building Sales Kiwi into a successful virtual sales staffing and marketing service company. We’ve seen rapid growth, reaching over $1 million in ARR within just 18 months. Our team is highly experienced and qualified, and we pride ourselves on being an industry-leading provider of sales resources.

There are many factors that contribute to startup success, but one of the most important is having a innovative and interesting product. A good way to determine if your product is interesting is to ask yourself these five questions:

1. What problem are you solving?
2. How does your product differ from other solutions on the market?
3. What motivates users to use your solution?
4. Who is your target audience, and why should they care about your product?
5. What makes you stand out from the competition? If you can answer these questions confidently, then you’ve got a good start on creating a successful startup!

1. Focus on a max of two growth pillars at a time

Once we had found success on a specific channel, I’d follow the same principles with other forms of growth marketing, such as lifecycle, referrals, or affiliates.

When it comes to expanding our reach and building a stronger brand, we can’t ignore the power of marketing on different channels. After finding success with a specific channel, it’s important to continue spreading our message using other forms of growth marketing. Lifecycle marketing is effective when targeting new customers, referrals are great for increasing engagement and conversions, and affiliates can turbocharge the growth of your business by promoting your products or services.

If you’re looking to grow your business, it’s important not to spread yourself too thin early on. Testing two paid channels at a time gives you the ability to optimize and experiment with the channels that are immediately working, rather than taking the approach of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. Once we had found success on a specific channel, I’d follow the same principles with other forms of growth marketing, such as lifecycle marketing or referrals.

In order to be successful in your online ventures, you must have a clear and concise strategy. Spending excessive time focusing on one channel that isn’t showing any viability can lead to frustration and failure. A quick back-of-the-envelope method to assess whether you may find success on a channel, or not, is if your customer acquisition cost (CAC) is 5x where it should be, or you’re only seeing sub-5% of your conversions coming from the growth pillar after a few weeks of testing. There are exceptions to this such as content or SEO which typically have longer timelines before you encounter success. However for the most part, thorough research and solid planning will help ensure that your channels are bringing Results Soon™ for you!

2. Don’t overcomplicate your reporting

Creating meaningful graphs and dashboards can be a challenging task for startups. Trying to keep track of all the new data points can be time-consuming and often results in overcomplicating the overall reporting process. By simplifying things early on, we were able to devote more time to developing valuable content and expanding our customer base.

If you’re looking to grow your startup quickly and keep on top of your key metrics, using free tools like Google Sheets can be a valuable strategy. These tools provide great reporting capabilities, making it easy to see where your business is headed and whether or not you’re meeting all of your goals. Additionally, many templates are available online which make creating specific tracking reports a breeze – no coding required! This gives you the peace of mind that you’re always keeping an eye on important aspects of your business and makes it easy to adapt as needed. So if you want to get the most out of your resources AND avoid expensive software headaches down the road, start using Google Sheets today!

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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