According to HubSpot, starting a business is easier than ever, while scaling one is harder than ever.
This is strong advice from the drivers behind the inbound movement for the 2,299 startups in the Waterloo Region. HubSpot ran its first workshop at one of the regions foremost incubators, Communitech.
HubSpot Grow and Scale workshop
Corinna Lu, Program Manager, Onboarding, Strategic Growth Team at Communitech, introduced the workshop titled Grow and Scale your Customer Acquisition & Retention.
“We are excited to be collaborating with HubSpot to offer our Advanced Programs startups greater access to their software and services. We appreciate the tremendous value available to our over 1,500 startups through HubSpot’s inbound methodology.”
The workshop introduced the Growth Flywheel. Although popularized by Jim Collins, it was Jeff Bezos at Amazon, that made it a core principle of the Amazon business model. It is particularly applicable to startups. It is particularly applicable to startups. The Marketing Team attracts new contacts for the sales team to engage. The account or success team focus on delighting the customer who in turn promote the brand and draw in new leads. It is quoted that half of new business comes from delighted customers.
The workshop was expertly guided by Greg Karelitz, from the HubSpot for Startups team.
“We are pleased to be supporting the incubator scene at Communitech with the benefits of the HubSpot Startup program. This first workshop focussed on the fundamentals, that included defining the sales process journey, buyer personas and mission of the business. These are central to the ability to scale successfully,” explained Karelitz.
One of December’s HubSpot Workshop participants, BrightGuide, explained how this is benefiting their thought process
“It was worthwhile to learn that measuring the magnitude as well as the direction of a vital sign is necessary to manage a business process. Seeing methods to choose such vital signs and charting them was very helpful,” says Sam Khan, Cofounder at BrightGuide.
Karelitz has a growing startup venture of his own called Positive Vibes Only Society (PVOS). It is an exemplary illustration of how to apply the inbound methodology to nurture customers. The site is simple, yet, tells a story and is exquisitely optimised to draw organic searches to educating visitors. He recommends the book The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon.
Key workshop points to apply
- Write down the sales process the customer follows to define the pipelines stages. It is best not to have too many stages and to use words that describe your business.
- Ensure that your mission, vision, and values are clearly written down and accessible? Is your story authentic; human to human (H2H), rather than B2C or B2B?
- Speak with people using their preferred communication channel they use to make contact with you. That could be email, phone, chat or social.
- Create a customer referral mechanism and measure customer satisfaction using net promoter score.
Beyond the workshop, we have just finished reading Jeffrey Bussgang excellent new book, Entering StartUpLand – An Essential Guide to Finding the Right Job. The author uses the analogy; jungle phase, dirt-road phase, and highway phase, to describe the three stages of a startup. Returning to the greater challenge of scaling a business, the authors of the Red Ocean Traps describe that “Value innovation, not technology innovation, is what launches commercially compelling new markets.” A cautionary note to entrepreneurs not to “mistakenly assume that market creation hinges on breakthrough technologies.” They argue that the underlying technology that enables them often essentially disappears from buyers’ minds
Rise of Waterloo Region startup ecosystem
Communitech and the University of Waterloo’s Velocity Garage expanded in 2015 to 80,000 square feet occupying the former Google space at the historic Lang Tannery building in Kitchener. In May, Communitech is powering the True North Tech conference.
The HubSpot Startup program offers exceptional value to entrepreneurs enrolled with the partner incubators. It provides up to 90% off first-year costs of HubSpot.
“We look forward to more workshops with the startups in Kitchener-Waterloo, added Karelitz.
You can read our original post about the Rise of the of Medtech ecosystem in Waterloo Region.
Images courtesy of HubSpot and Communitech