Growth Strategies at Early Stage
Cheers to a fruitful week
On our 0 to 1 session with Taslim Okunola and Soji Agboola, a lot of sweet, crunchy nuggets were dropped on how to setting up your startup for growth at early stage. Taslim is a product manager at Google Chrome and was previously Strategy and Operations manager while Soji is the Account Development Representative at Okra. They are both passionate about growth and have practical experience developing and implementing growth strategies.
Growing a startup is always challenging, but it is often most challenging in the early stage of development. Startups operate with limited resources, limited knowledge, and limited capital.
There are some things early stage startups do to achieve growth that does not exactly drive growth. For one, corny notifications don’t drive growth most times. However, notifications as a teaser can be a great growth tactic if it is used appropriately. It boils down to understanding that there are so many ways to execute a growth tactic.
As a startup at an early stage, you have to:
- Set goals. The goal needs to be clear but not linear. You have to be able to adapt quickly in a way that you are able to adjust in the light of new info or trends.
- Validate what works for you and commit it: One of the pitfalls of startups is that there are limited resources available and you therefore cannot afford to jump on several things at once Trying out too many things can deplete your resources quickly and even confuse you. Know what works, commit to it and develop it.
- Start with your Minimum Viable Product: Don’t wait till you have every single part of the solution figured out, create the simplest, viable version of the product and put it out there. The willingness of users to pay for an MVP is a sign of growth.
Understanding where to focus is what brings success at an early stage
Planning for growth and working towards growth isn’t enough, you need to actually track the growth to be able to replicate the processes and therefore increase the growth rate.
A lot of Startups don’t understand the kind of metrics they are to measure. Number of downloads and the number of visitors isn’t growth.
Growth should eventually lead to revenue
Think of Growth like a race car where the engine is your Growth Engine and is the self sustaining loop that drives most of your growth and then there is a turbo boost which are the one-offs like PR to accelerate your growth and lubricants which is the optimization you do to run more efficiently and then the fuel(money, content and users) that powers the growth engine. Early Stage Startups should focus on growth engine and turbo boost.
However, growth is not free. Even though you are an early stage startup with limited resources, you still have to pay for growth.
Activities that lead to growth can sometimes be misconstrued for Growth. Recognize the constraints of your early-stage growth potential and adapt accordingly, using a combination of strategies and enough adaptability to continue evolving as needed.
Don’t forget to check back every week for new content specially curated to help, educate and teach you on your journey as a founder.
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