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Ready, Set, Grow!
But are you actually ready?
“Should we pour gas on the fire?”
At some point in the life of almost every start-up that is gaining traction this question comes up.
The answer should depend on more than just whether or not you have the money to do it.
Below are the 4 most important questions you need to ask yourself before you can really double down on growth at your start-up:
Do You Really Have Product-Market Fit? Before considering scaling your startup, this is probably the most important thing to know.
There are a lot of different ways people try to assess this but having a product-market fit to me means that first and foremost you have people paying for the product. Then of those people a good portion are super users, meaning they are active in the product, openly share ways to improve it and often are telling others about the product. Any product can be sold, but if you don’t have super users you don’t have product market fit. And If your product isn't desired by the market or users don’t stick, scaling will only compound these issue.
Are There Consistent Signs of Growth in a Channel? Too often start-ups get traction through founder led sales or a one time hit off of a launch then immediately try to scale. What they quickly find out is that growth isn't a random, one-off event.
It's important to identify if there are consistent and reproducible signs of growth in any particular marketing or sales channel. If all you have is sporadic growth or channels that can’t scale (founder led sales) then simply throwing money at the problem will only result in a lot of stress and cash burn.
Is Your Product Team Ready to Scale? Spoiler alert - Scaling is not just about sales or marketing, it also means your product team needs to scale.
The product team needs to be ready to handle the surge in demand, manage more features, and deal with rapidly iterating and shipping new features. To make it even harder they have feedback coming at them from the companies newly growing sales team, product marketers and customer base. Your product team must be able to intake it all, prioritize correctly, and be capable of maintaining the same level of quality and speed as the company grows.
Do You Have a Scalable Business Model? It kind of sounds funny even writing this. But one thing you need to analyze is If your business model is even scalable?
Do you have efficient processes and systems that can handle increased workload? Will your unit economics still be favorable when you're operating at a larger scale? Scaling your business requires significant resources, and it's critical you manage that growth in a sustainable way.
If you can answer yes to all of those questions then let’s get that gasoline!
Thanks for reading!