You started with a great idea, managed to put the funds and founding team together, went through weeks and months of burning midnight oil, endless iterations, deep frustrations and necessary pivots. You have reached a point where you are now part of the lucky few (less than 10%) startups that hit that elusive product market fit and potentially graduate from seed to series A stage. You are looking to move up the gear now and push the growth pedal. Perfect! Nothing seems to be in your way and you are nearing that definitive $1Mn ARR mark, that seemed “impossible” at some point in time, and can’t wait to scale your business to a 10X from there.
You see the demand for your product, you see the opportunity ahead. Boosted by the success you have had so far in building the product and your team, you want to accelerate the rocket ship, but a lot can go wrong as one pushes this growth pedal. There is a treacherous path that awaits you, what you do now can easily turn the intended blitz scale into a blitz fail.
What not to do?
Lose focus & spread yourself thin!
#1 biggest mistake founders make at this stage is chasing new shiny things that they see or get introduced to, be it new market segments, new categories, new areas where you have zero or almost no traction.
It’s easy to get swayed in trying a lot of things to grow faster and lose the focus which got you to your product-market fit.
We all want to grow faster. Almost none of the founders and their investors are happy with the monthly growth rate once they hit the $1Mn ARR mark. And that’s when mistakes happen aplenty.
Skip stages & put fire on fuel!
A lot of founders skip stages to hit the $1Mn mark faster. The number is not as important as the learning and experience in identifying the problem that resonates with the customers and users and solves them in a way that’s differentiated from other options out there.
The point to push the growth pedal will come soon but before that one needs to be able to create a scalable sales playbook and processes which are backed by a solid understanding of your customer’s needs, where and how to find your customers, how to approach them, how to engage them in a conversation, gain a deep understanding of the value offered, and the ability to help solve a customer’s problem. Scaling too soon will result in putting the fuel on the fire.
The proven route to scale from $1Mn to $10Mn efficiently!
The journey from $1Mn to $10Mn is often called as the SaaS valley of death. But if you can navigate it, you come out fully baked as a team, product, brand and company that cannot be killed easily. You can then be self-sustaining or aim for the $100Mn mark but definitely, you won’t be bulldozed by anything or anyone. Good luck with your scale-up journey!
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