Start small to achieve big results
To Create A Seven-Figure Business, Start With A Five-Figure Concept
Daniel Griggs is the Founder & CEO of ATX Web Designs, the industry’s best web design and SEO company.
“Dream small” might seem an unfitting motto for a brand-new business, but I believe this phrase holds the key to success in the competitive startup economy.
Entrepreneurs tend to dream big and envision all the ways their end product could reach the largest audience with maximum profitability. But sometimes shooting for the stars can mean shooting yourself in the foot.
To build a seven-figure business, begin with a five-figure idea — the minimum viable product that will get you up and running — and then scale from there. If you want your startup to be the next Facebook, you have to to start where the social media giant did: with a simple idea and a clear proof of concept that is easily scalable.
When I first began my agency, I had visions of a full team, great office space and a website that was as good as it gets. But I began with the basics. Before I could have the seven-figure agency, I began as a five-figure agency — a one-man team working at a local coffee shop with a website that would get the job done.
While it can be tough to have to start so small, it is what allowed me to build a solid foundation for future growth. Because of that foundation, I’ve gone from a one-man team to a team of 31, from a coffee shop to an office that keeps coffee on deck, and from a website that got the job done to a high-converting site that generates leads daily.
Here are my top tips so you can do the same.
Ease your audience into your idea.
We are creatures of habit. Many of us will choose familiarity over convenience and resist the learning curve of a new product or process — even if they could make our lives easier in the long run. Take this into consideration when marketing and launching your startup.
If your product or service offers a simple solution for a common problem, chances are your target audience members will need time to adjust to the concept. They will also require attentive communication and customer service. Warm up potential customers with the use of visual promotional materials — particularly video content that shows your product’s ease of use — and continue to cater to them after they buy into your concept.
Companies like Zoom and Dropbox do a great job of creating video content for both new and existing customers that demonstrates how to maximize their products’ potential.
Start small and scale up.
It is much easier to add to your product than it is to remove features or scale down. The top priority in the first iteration of your startup should be proof of concept. Make sure your product or service resonates with your target audience and that you are demonstrating its feasibility and practicality.
Many visionaries want to start by marketing the solution to a problem, when it is most effective to start by marketing the problem. You need to clearly demonstrate the need for your services. Begin with the minimum viable product, then once you have some audience engagement, solicit as much feedback as you can and use it to inform your growth. From there, you can develop a long-term plan for expanding segment by segment.
Develop your website with customer service in mind.
When designing a website and mobile app for your startup, make sure you are working with a developer that is taking the entire customer experience into consideration and building your site in a way that is easily scalable.
Your customer base may need a lot of hand-holding as they adjust to your platform. Teach them how to maximize usage of your product through email newsletters, videos and webinars. As much as possible, preempt their questions by building a FAQ section or “how-to” section into your web and mobile designs.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, limiting the initial scope of your business and then scaling up over time will lead to more long-term success. Pitching a clear proof of concept to your target audience, providing high-quality customer service and evolving alongside your client base is the best way to ensure steady growth.