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BizReport : Internet Marketing 101 : March 25, 2016

Top 4 tips to drive startup growth

Starting a business is always hard, but one expert offers 4 tips that will help to drive startup growth.

by Kristina Knight

Tip #1: Listen to your customers

"As your startup scales, there'll be a tendency for the product management team and engineers to develop extensive product roadmaps that could last your startup through the next seven years. My advice is to not immediately reinvest in new products and to focus on what your customers' requests and needs are. You may learn your customers prefer additional technical and onboarding support over a new product. This customer feedback can help shift the focus toward strengthening the services of your offering or product which will allow you to establish yourself as a leader in what you do," said Sameer Dholakia, SendGrid CEO.

Tip #2: Focus on identifying the product buyer fit as an intermediate goal before identifying the product market fit

"The product buyer fit means understanding the buyer persona. Identify what is that specific buyer's painpoint and which solution will help them solve that problem," said Dholakia. "Can you look at your startup's business model and say we've identified our buyer? Ask yourself these three questions before identifying your product market fit. How do you serve or solve a problem for your buyer? Do you have an easy way to onboard your buyer? Are you directly targeting the person who is buying your product or are you relying on someone to tell your buyer about your product?"

Tip #3: Hiring is a privilege

"As your startup scales at a rapid pace, don't lose focus on who gets to decide who comes through the door. With scaling, recruitment will become a priority, so I advise you take a step back and really analyze who gets to decide who joins your team. As you look at your interview process, ask yourself how many people do we have interviewing candidates and divide that by two, if not more. It is crucial to hire employees that raise the bar, not just meet it," said Dholakia.

Tip #4: Don't get burned by your cash burn

"Finally, and probably the most critical factor of growing and scaling your startup is being mindful of your macro economic environments and influencers. These days there's a lot of investment money and the trend has been focused on the growth side of the equation. But if you look at the market trends and start to anticipate the correction that's coming, you'll see that we're heading back in the direction of profitability and fiscal responsibility. So watch your churn," said Dholakia.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: SendGrid, small business tips, SMB tips, startup tips

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