When startup companies are so successful that they secure their first funding round, they often face a number of choices and execution paths.
In tech e.g SAAS, the funding is often tied to a very specific tech development plan, but very seldom to a Go-to-Market plan. Startup founders often lack the international network and experience to accelerate growth, enter new markets, prioritise investments, and make the right choices.
Based on our experience in accelerating international business growth, we have identified the following 6 topics, that any scale-up business should consider:
Marketing goes hand in hand with communication and branding. While getting more sales and revenue through short term marketing activities such as paid search is a necessary objective, it is also important to bear in mind that a lack of investment in your brand will inevitably lead to a lower long-term ROAS, or worse, a drop in your market shares. Les Binet and Peter Field explain this here.
Make sure you get help to access networks and communities in the markets you want to enter. Understanding the culture and buying behaviour is key. If you want to sell shoes in Germany, you should get ready for a higher return rate as customers usually buy the same pair of shoes in 2 to 3 different sizes and will then invariably send the ones that do not fit back to you.
If you are a technical founder of a startup, it is very likely that your round of funding will be linked to your international growth. How do you recruit your first marketer? How do you grow internationally? Do you need Google Ads, facebook or both? Identify early enough a partner that will guide you in your first marketing choices and set the path for growth. This partner will help you decide whether you need to hire on top of partnering up with freelancers, agencies, consultants, integrators and resellers. Hiring remotely in a market you don’t know without advisors, can be very expensive, and mistakes will delay your market penetration
Define the key strengths of your Tech and identify the customer audience you want to sell to. This is the basis of your PR, communication and branding campaign, and it defines your media strategy as well. Reach the right audience at the right time on the right platform with the right message.
Measure, analyse and act fast. Make this data accessible throughout your company. The most successful companies, such as D2C businesses, have the leanest organisation and make sure they react to any customer’s change of behaviour or feedback in near real time. We’ve covered this in a previous blog post here.
Be prepared for any technical and legal change. Data is important, right? Are you ready for a cookieless world? Are you GDPR compliant? Are you up-to-date with the upcoming privacy regulation changes coming our way from Brussels? Startups can’t be dealing with all of this by themselves so identifying a partner that can help you with your data and martech setup in a legally compliant way is of prime importance.
At Zesta, we have been working with scaling brands for over 10 years. We have an extensive network of potential customers, luxury brands, agency networks and partners, that can accelerate growth. We help expand Start-up and Scale-up’s presence in Europe, create a PR, communication and awareness plan, and form a network of communities around it.
We help our scale-up clients establish market shares, acquire high potential clients, build their ecosystem of agencies, specialists, identify and recruit key people.
Please get in touch with us for an initial chat about your venture.
You can also find this post on Tech London Advocates' blog.