You began with a thought. With difficult work and a little luck, you got your first round of financing and recruited a couple of individuals. Quick forward a couple of years — you have your product, perhaps a few clients — you’ll unavoidably ask yourself, “Is this working? Is currently an opportunity to bet everything and scale up my sales and marketing? Or then again, do I have to turn?”
This is a question that many entrepreneurs face early in the life of their business. As a leader, you must stay focused and understand how the market is reacting to your product to determine whether you can capitalize on the current situation or whether you need to pivot.
There are several options available to scale:
– Hiring a sales team.
– Investing in marketing.
– Selling self-serve and so on.
Questions to ask before scaling or pivoting the business:
1. Do you have a good fit between my product and the market?
The best way to determine product-market fit:
- Someone is paying for your stuff, and it isn’t your cousin.
- People use your product regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever rate you think appropriate for your product).
- You have a system in place that allows you to add consumers regularly.
Have you answered yes to all of the questions above? Scaling up appears to be an option. If not, consider pivoting, then asking, rinsing, and repeating.
2. Ok, if you have product-market fit — how do you scale, and how can your size not be a competitive disadvantage?
This relies upon how enormous your target market is, the cost of your product, and the ease with which you can start. You’ll need to pick up the phone if you have a small market and an expensive product. You have numerous possibilities if you have a broad market and a more flexible price, including self-serve and high-velocity inbound teams.
It’s crucial that you don’t feel compelled to follow your competitors’ path, as this might unnecessarily place you in a head-to-head battle with them. Is it possible to gain traction in a submarket? If so, how can you do it bottom-up or top-down?
It’s just a fact that your competitors got where they are now in a different market or competitive context, so trying to do things the same way may not be the best move and won’t always give you an edge. No one size fits all.
3. Are you doing everything to make your customers successful?
To any successful business model, word of mouth, happy customers, and references are the powerful accelerants at the end of the day.
How much can I depend on my product for customer success? Do my customers need a lot of service and support to succeed? What is the general feeling about my product among my customers? If you’re not sure, ask them!
Building trust and empathy with your customers while meeting them where they are and understanding them will allow you to find more answers than social media ever could.
Is it better to stay, or should I grow?
Regardless of whether you choose to scale or pivot, know this to develop your organization, you should continually improve to serve your clients. As a component of this improvement, you’ll probably have to scale or evolve in some ability to see proceeded with development.
Make sure to peruse the signs — evaluate market fit; however, consistently look inside, and keep on checking in with both your group and your clients at all times.
The process of asking yourself questions doesn’t end with pivot vs. scale. As an effective business, you and your group ought to constantly be inquiring, “what do we should do to get to a higher level?” Remember to celebrate your wins, but don’t let them make you complacent.