Growth, growth and more growth - why nothing else matters when building a startup

Brian Mac Mahon, Founder, Expert DOJO

Brian Mac Mahon, Founder, Expert DOJO

Brian Mac Mahon is the founder of Expert DOJO. Brian has consulted and coached in over 35 countries, bringing a global perspective to starting and growing a small business. He has been teaching the power of connecting in a community and the process of turning a pay it forward mindset into a revenue generator for years.

Expert DOJO is one of the most active international early-stage startup accelerators in the United States. Since 2018, Expert DOJO has invested in over 100 startups to accelerate their growth.

Growth has never been more important in the venture ecosystem. If survival of the fittest is acknowledged as a Darwinian principle, then survival of the growth companies should be a unicorn principle today. A common mistake made by many early-stage companies is thinking that growth is just about tactics. And even when they do get to thinking about growth they look at things such as, 'how do I get better Facebook ads?' or, 'how do I build a better landing page?' or even, 'how do I hit the right keywords so that I can be found by my customer on Google?'. These are all huge mistakes. If you haven't sorted out the vision and the strategy before you get to the tactics, then irrespective of what marketing tactics you employ, you will fail. 

Communication - our work with our entrepreneurs, right at the very start of looking at the growth process, focuses on the communication of their vision. The communication of your vision should be all about making sure that you can explain what your multi-billion dollar company will look like, once fully grown. Which is in stark contrast to the way that many companies think about their vision - a gradual day-to-day growth from where they are today. Another great challenge here is that companies generally find it very difficult to communicate. Hardly surprising perhaps when we don't get communication classes in school or college and most of us just follow our own format when communicating. 

Communication should not be about how you see it - it should be all about how the other party views that communication interaction. Entrepreneurs need proper training here so that they may learn how they can control how their messaging is transmitted. 

Strategy - once you get your vision and the communication of your vision in line, the next thing to focus on is strategy. And strategy generally revolves around the messaging that your company displays on all of the various platforms to your customers. Such messaging is generally called branding - your brand is how your customer feels about you. And that feeling is vital. To be clear, if the general mood or feeling is that your customer loves you, then they will buy from you no matter how close your competitors are. On the other hand, if the feeling is that you're merely a commodity then the moment somebody comes into your realm, you will be beaten by price or you'll be beaten by a speedier rival.

"Communication should not be about how you see it - it should be all about how the other party views that communication interaction”.

Branding - when you go through the branding format, you need to focus on your user experience, you need to focus on your user interface and you need to focus on a human-centric design. Make sure that your website, your marketing materials and your spoken word all communicate those specific elements that make your consumer feel truly comfortable. Once you have successfully dealt with your branding, the next step is to focus on personal branding. Your personal branding is hugely important. If you don't convey the right messaging about you, then even though customers may like your company, they could dislike the person that's communicating the message. A great example of both an excellent business brand and also a personal brand is Richard Branson. He could open up a chicken farm tomorrow and it would be the second-biggest chicken farm in the world - he truly understands the power of personal branding. Be sure to keep checking online to see what consumers are saying about you, which is as important as what they're saying about your business. Now you can start to get into the tactics of how you grow your unicorn. 

Growth - the acceptable measure for unicorn growth rate in Silicon Valley, is anywhere between 12 percent  and 25 percent  growth every single month. As you can imagine when considering growth rates this high, if you do not have the foundation components such as communication, vision and strategy in place, then it is highly unlikely that you will ever achieve such rates of growth. If you do have these important foundations in place, then you need to focus on turning generally mediocre digital marketing results into exponential digital marketing results. We focus our work with entrepreneurs on building multiple landing pages and automation throughout the entire process. And by using myriad messaging sites, you can see how different consumers have the ability to respond to you in varying ways - there are multiple methods for entrepreneurs to be able to automate and create efficiencies within the entire marketing process.

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