My startup was on the verge of bankruptcy because of an abrupt Cofounder exit. 2.5 years later, we did $1M in annual revenue and then got acquired in a multi-million dollar transaction.
Here are 7 ways to grow your startup:
1. Expansion within existing customers. Make a list of your top 10 customers and go and meet them personally. Ask them what other problems they have which they are looking for a solution to. See if there is a pattern and if you can find other problems to solve.
2. Expansion to other Sectors/Industries. Talk to the prospects in the other sectors and see if a small 10 - 15% change in your product can help you open up a new industry. Then you can gradually start setting up a team that is dedicated to that industry.
3. Expansion to other Geographies. Can your product be sold to a nearby country? Travel to the nearby countries and talk to the prospects and see if they also have a use-case for your product.
4. Go up-market. Are you selling to SMEs? Try selling to 1 large enterprise. Then 1 more. Then hire a dedicated Enterprise Sales Head and then ask them to build a team. Large customers are definitely more demanding, but they also pay well.
5. If you're Sales-led, explore some Marketing channels. Try running LinkedIn/Instagram ads. Explore Google ads, Facebook, YouTube, Tiktok, etc. Hire 1 person to just experiment across marketing channels and see if they can find a channel from where you can start acquiring customers. Then double down on that channel.
6. If you're marketing-led, explore Sales channels. Try hiring 1 Salesperson and ask them to meet some prospects and pitch them your product. Give them a goal of 3 - 6 months within which they have to sell enough to fund their salary.
7. Explore channel partnerships. Ask yourself - which companies can sell your products to their customers as a bundle or as an upsell. Become their Product partner and let them be your Sales partner. Refer point #1 above for more details on this.
A lot of you might be tempted to try out everything I mentioned above. Don't do that. Figure out 1 of the 7 points above which is relevant to your business. Execute it. Then delegate it to someone. Then pick another point. Repeat. Don't try everything at once. It's a recipe for disaster.
What other methods can be used to grow your startup? Share your thoughts below.