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Organic start-up growth begins with sales, because sales are the lifeblood of business. In general terms, it's not about having the greatest, biggest idea to revolutionize the world (leave it for the unicorns). What's more important is coming up with one, well-targeted solution to people's professional or personal pains – a solution that they will willingly buy, because they'll clearly understand it's benefits.
This poses many questions already, I know – what could this solution be? How do I define a good target group? How can I get to know their pains? How can I incentivize them to buy? How do I phrase my messaging? And so on.
Keep it simple, don't look for the holy grail of growthhacks. Start selling before you feel comfortable doing so. You'll confirm the viability of your solution, talk to your first customers and start learning what they need. And define the direction in which you should be headed. When you know what your goal is, you'll find ways to achieve them.
More than that, plan aggressively – it can do miracles. There’s a 99% chance you won’t achieve jaw-dropping goals, but they will give you a powerful motivational boost. If you have 10 closed deals mid-month, and your monthly goal is 60 – you start hauling ass and re-focus on your priorities.
It's important to evaluate company performance from the start and through each stage of growth. It’s essential here to precisely pick metrics that give you a complete view of how your business is doing. You need a North Star metric – a conclusive one, like revenue, to inform you if you’re headed in the right direction. That has to be paired with supplementary metrics and legitimate indicators of performance for each in-house team.
Additional metrics change depending on the stage of startup development – growth metrics don’t matter much if you’re doubling down on product development to have an MVP ready in a month instead of 6 months.
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