Superheroes are the best. They are faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound all while saving the girl and leaving enough time to take her out to a nice seafood dinner. They are also great teachers for youngsters as well as for businesspeople. In fact, DocStoc CEO, Jason Nazar, has taken an extra step and molded DocStoc’s mission, values, and culture as a whole around superheroes. In this video, he describes the lessons any startup can learn from superheroes and the importance of having super intangibles.
Today, startups are a dime a dozen. New and more innovative products are popping up every week, eliminating last week’s great idea. The key to staying in the race for startup supremacy: growth. Defense wins championships, and the best way to defend a startup is to grow to the point where it cannot be toppled. For this reason, everyone is looking for the quickest, most effective path to growth, alternatively known as “growth hacks”. In a recent Forbes article, Easybib co-founder Neal Taparia lays out 5 tips on growth hacking he gathered while attending a presentation by Sean Ellis – the man who coined the phrase “growth hacking”
Sean Ellis, former lead marketer at Dropbox, Xonbi, and Lookout, offered these 5 tips:
1. Hustle to get traction on your product. “Before you figure out your scalable model, you have to do whatever you can get to get your first users.”
2. Try to optimize your product for marketing. Focus on making the product market itself. Are there any benefits you can include? Can you make the product more engaging and sharable?
3. Survey like crazy and do whatever it takes to learn about your users. “Utilize [customer information] to better demonstrate the product’s value, and survey again to gauge if his changes were improving upon the initial benchmark”. Shameless plug: customer survey creation and response data visualization is one of Vennli’s core features.
4. Think beyond just content in your inbound marketing. “Go beyond pumping out content [similar to your] peers in the space… distinguish your efforts through curation and technology.”
5. Embrace an “Always be testing” philosophy. A core tenant of growth hacking, testing your ideas can make all the difference.
Do you agree with these tips? Do you have any other thoughts on “growth hacks” for businesses? Let us know!
Tim Ferriss stated in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, that “there is one class of product that meets all of our criteria, has a manufacturing lead time of less than a week in small quantities, and often permits not just an 8–10× markup, but a 20–50× markup.”
Information products are generally easy to manufacture, are low cost, and difficult for others to duplicate. In the below articles, How To Profit From Selling Digital Products, Nathan Barry outlines what you should and shouldn’t focus on to be a successful digital product company.
Building an audience
Learn to teach. Sharing information is key. Provide your audience with knowledge and they will flock to you, eager to learn/buy more.
Pricing is flexible and tricky to get right, so experiment with it. One simple method that could triple your revenue is tiered pricing.
Sales & Fulfillment
One of the greatest things about digital products is that you do not have to manufacture/ship anything. But, finding the right payment processor can be key.
The idea of marketing is simple, but executing a plan can be anything but. A good product launch requires a strong launch sequence. Build anticipation and excitement before giving customers the opportunity to buy.
Every company is going to deal with unforeseen circumstances. When companies fail to maintain some level of flexibility, these issues tend to present a larger problem. Using the following tips can allow your company to avoid a pitfall:
- Frequent forecasting – Don’t limit yourself to yearly budgets. Traditional business models are not flexible enough to account for unseen risks.
- Maximize efficiency by automating data collection – Managing data takes away from the actual metrics and analysis.
- Communication within the workplace – Create a self-sufficient network within the company so that there are no surprises. Know what risks lie ahead and adjust accordingly. When a network of information is developed and maintained, opportunity will present itself.
- Streamline processes – Efficiently condense time consuming processes. One of them is creating financial reports. The quicker those reports get out, the quicker you are informed, and the quicker you can neutralize the competition.
Read the entire article and learn more about turning uncertainty into a competitive advantage at entrepreneur.com.
All entrepreneurs are aware of the risks of starting a new business – most will never make it big. Some might say the odds are against you. But not if you’re Steve Jillings, who has either founded or taken over 8 startups and grown them all into large, profitable business.
What’s his secret? He has several and isn’t shy about sharing.
First, tap talented leaders that you’ve worked with before to develop your management team. Always be recruiting top talent. Set the vision and then delegate to these capable people so you can focus on strategy. Additionally, spend time and money wisely. Watch costs – spend money on important things like meeting customer needs. Take great care of your largest customers that make up the bulk of your revenue.
Do you agree? What other advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to make it big?
Check out the full article at inc.com.