As a first-time founder or entrepreneur, knowing where to start when it comes to scaling your business can be extremely overwhelming. With an overabundance of resources telling you the right way to grow your startup, focusing on the wrong thing before having the basics down pat could spell disaster.
With the TNW Conference in Amsterdam fast approaching, we’re lucky enough to have experts behind the growth of some of the world’s most successful companies at our fingertips. To find out what really matters when it comes to growing your startup, we asked the experts scheduled to speak at the Growth Quarters stage at the conference one question:
What is one tactic first-time founders or entrepreneurs should adopt tomorrow to start driving business growth?
Here are their seven best pieces of advice:
1. You are the people you surround yourself with
“It’s all about the people you surround yourself with. At Techstars, we look for “team, team, team, market, traction, idea” when we’re choosing which companies to invest in. A successful startup journey will take 10 years — so, make sure that you’re accompanied by amazing people.”
Max Kelly, Managing Director, Techstars
2. Measure what matters
“Data is meaningless if you don’t have a North Star and ask the right questions to drive impact. Measure what matters even if it means putting customer success over business success. There may be features that delight and build trust that are more important than building traffic. Beware of vanity metrics!”
Clarissa Shen, COO, Udacity
3. Prepare to go international from the start
“Think about international expansion from day one. If launching into several different markets is a necessity for your business to win, start planning for it from the start. Even though it might take you years from inception until you have the product market fit that you need to be comfortable to launch your first international markets, preparing for it from the beginning is key.”
Axel Bard Bringéus, International Expansion Partner, EQT Ventures
4. Put all your energy into one thing
“Focus. There are so many things you could be doing in the early stages of starting a company but time is your most precious resource. Find the one thing that will drive your company forward and focus all your energy on being incredible at that one thing.”
David Goldberg, Co-founder & CEO, Founders Pledge
5. Do something small every single day
“Identify one small thing you can do today and make it happen. It could be reaching out to someone, learning something new or building on your product or service further. One small thing each day leads to progress and growth.”
Nicole Mills, Director Technology Talent Development, Booking.com
6. Make sure your business model is sustainable
“It’s important for a company — from day one — to integrate a sustainable economic model into its product. Many startups manage to be famous and to amass a significant number of users, however, only a few of them manage to be profitable.”
Didier Rappaport, Founder & CEO, Happn
7. Listen to your customers
“Listen. Learn from what you hear. Capture the insights so you can organize and categorize them. What customers say about their experiences is incredibly valuable.”
Adrian McDermott, President of Products, Zendesk
We interviewed experts behind the growth of some of the world’s most successful companies to give you a taste of what to expect at the Growth Quarters track at the TNW Conference this week, hosted by Google for Entrepreneurs and TQ. Time is running out — secure your spot now!
This article was originally published on TQ Stories.