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7 Reasons Scale-Ups Earn Investments, According to HubSpot’s Founder

Business Growth
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7 Reasons Scale-Ups Earn Investments, According to HubSpot's Founder Every successful company starts with a single idea. It's how those ideas are approached, molded, and questioned that dictate whether or not they go on to evolve into a startup. However, reaching startup-dom doesn't complete the lifecycle of these ideas. Instead, becoming a startup is the moment when ideas begin to grow into something actionable, driven by a collection of intentional goals. And as all of us who have lived the startup life know — when you're a startup, more often than not your goal is simple: to survive. I like to think of being a startup as treading water. Succeeding as a startup requires constant motion to ensure you can find product-market-fit, drive early customer growth, and build a baseline product all at the same time. The moment you stop moving is the moment you lose traction. And this is all before you've even begun to scale. Fortunately, there comes a point where you've treaded water long enough to reach your first lifeboat: Investments. That's where it gets exciting. As startups move from idea mode to scaleup mode, there are a number of signs I look for in order to determine if I'm going to invest. Of course, not every scaleup has to get every one of these signs right to be worthy of investment, but the more positive signals a scaleup has to offer, the higher the odds of long-term success for that organization. So, what is the secret sauce...

The Simple 2-Step Process for Calculating Your Market Size

Business Growth
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The Simple 2-Step Process for Calculating Your Market Size When most businesses forecast their revenue goals, they first calculate their total addressable market, which is the total market demand for their industry’s products or services. Put simply, it’s the maximum amount of revenue a business could generate if they captured their entire market. However, unless you're a monopoly, you most likely can’t capture the total addressable market for your products or services. Even if you only have one competitor, it would still be extremely difficult to convince an entire market to only buy your products or services. That’s why it’s crucial to calculate the maximum amount of revenue you can possibly generate by selling your products or services to the customers who would realistically benefit from buying your solutions. This amount of potential revenue is called your market size or serviceable addressable market, and you can use it to accurately measure your business’ potential for growth. Market Size Example Let's walk through an example to explore how you'd determine market size.  A Startup Wine Company Let's say you wanted to start your wine company. Here's how you would calculate market size: First, you'd want to determine how many liquor stores are in the United States — this helps you figure out the total market to which you could theoretically sell your product.  After your research you determine there are 50,000 liquor stores in the United States. Of that total list, you only want to sell to the New...

A Marketer’s Short & Sweet Guide on Diversification

Business Growth
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A Marketer's Short & Sweet Guide on Diversification To consider the potential payoff of product diversification, let's start with an example. Lululemon, an athletic apparel company, was founded in 1998 with one core product: yoga clothing for women. If you've been to a store recently, you've likely seen how far beyond women's yoga-clothing Lululemon has grown. For instance, my brother now buys all his button-down shirts and work pants from Lululemon. Additionally, last week I bought a bathing suit from the shop. On their Our Story page, Lululemon states: "Our first designs were made for women to wear during yoga. Through plenty of feedback from our guests, ambassadors and elite athletes, we now design for yoga, running, cycling, training and most other sweaty pursuits for women and men." This is an example of effective diversification in-action. Here, we'll explore what diversification marketing is, and how it pertains to your marketing strategy. Why diversify your product offerings? There are three reasons a business might choose to diversify its existing product line: You've reached the 'limit' on the amount of people you can convert in a market segment. You've identified a new product or service that complements the needs of your existing customers. You've decided a new level of growth can only be achieved through addressing new market segments. Let's dive into the difference between the three of these reasons, now. First, perhaps you've reached the limit of the amount of people you can reach...

15 Effective Ways to Cut Costs in Business

Business Growth
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15 Effective Ways to Cut Costs in Business When I first moved out of my parent's house, my spending was out of control. I bought take-out regularly, new clothes often, and fun products frequently. However, I quickly realized that I was spending too much money on unnecessary things. After racking up some credit card debt, I realized that I needed to cut costs somewhere. As a business owner, it can be just as easy to overspend as it was for me. When that happens, it's time to review your bottom line and see how you can reduce your spending. In this post, let's go over some of the top ways you can cut costs in your business. 1. Analyze and track the efficiency of your business. Before you can reduce costs in your business, you need to take a step back and analyze what you're currently spending money on. Take a look at your balance sheet and your budget. Look at your production costs, and do an in-depth analysis of your current processes. Asking yourself questions like, "Is what I'm doing efficient?" and "Am I spending needless money somewhere?" Once you have a full picture of what your spending looks like, you'll have a better idea of where you can cut costs. 2. Negotiate with your vendors. A great way to cut costs in business is to negotiate with your vendors. You should price shop and compare vendors in almost every area of your business. For example, if...

How to Find Your Business’s White Space Opportunities

Business Growth
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How to Find Your Business's White Space Opportunities When McDonald's first opened its doors, they had two items on the menu: burgers and fries. After surveying competitors, the founders saw that in order to stand out as a food company, they had to be different. Instead of offering a multitude of menu options, they decided to hyper-focus on the bestsellers, which catapulted their customer satisfaction. What McDonalds' founders did was find white space opportunities in their industry. While other fast food restaurants at the time were offering a diverse menu but lacking in customer service — the McDonald's team decided to focus on two items so customer service would be at the forefront. By surveying what was missing from the market, McDonald's was able to grow into a billion-dollar empire. The founders saw what customers were lacking and turned that industry gap into a success. But what exactly are white space opportunities, and how can they be an asset to your company? Let's find out below. Sometimes, consumers don't know what they need until, well, they need it, so it's up to companies to be proactive. White space opportunities help marketers uncover customer needs that haven't yet been met. It's a useful tactic when identifying how to provide the most value to customers. But, because white space opportunities aren't as obvious as, say, keyword opportunities, it can be hard to know where to start. Sounds pretty taboo, right? How can businesses uncover value customers are looking for when...

How These 7 Companies Thrived During the Recession

Business Growth
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How These 7 Companies Thrived During the Recession In 2008, the Great Recession was all over the news. At 14, I didn't exactly know what that meant. However, I understood that my parents were struggling financially. While it was the first economic crisis I was old enough to remember, it isn't the only economic downturn we've seen, nationally or internationally. In 1997, there was the Asian financial crisis. After 9/11, the New York Stock Exchange closed for four days, the first time that had happened since World War I. The world has faced uncertain times before, and I'm sure it will again. But, how do companies thrive during financially rough times? In this post, we'll review seven companies that grew during the recession and see how they succeeded during economic uncertainty. 1. TeamLogic IT TeamLogic IT provides IT solutions and consulting services for small businesses. Interestingly, IT has been a growing industry during times of uncertainty, including the 2008 recession. Since consumers are becoming more and more dependent on newer technologies, this industry usually does well during economic recessions. Technology impacts almost every area of our life from our security to our entertainment. In fact, sales for technology increased during the 2008 recession. Because of this trend, TeamLogic IT weathered the storm of 2008 well. If you want to start a business, it's important to consider whether that industry has done well during times of economic unrest. Industries such as tech, discount stores, accounting, grocery, healthcare, and DIY/repairs do...

Top 10 HubSpot Academy Courses You Can Take in Under 1 Hour

Business Growth
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Top 10 HubSpot Academy Courses You Can Take in Under 1 Hour Let me ask you a question. If you could learn any skill in one hour, what would it be? When you're looking to learn something new, there are plenty of online courses that can help you improve your skills. HubSpot Academy (HubSpot's training division) is one of those online providers that offers entirely free education. If you're hoping to learn new skills related to professional development, career, or business, then HubSpot Academy is a great place to start. Side note: If you're looking to improve your virtual golf game, you may want to look elsewhere. In the HubSpot Academy courses and certifications tab, you'll find courses covering a range of marketing, sales, and service topics. However, if you don't know exactly what you're looking for, it can be overwhelming. We know your time is important, so we've broken down the top HubSpot Academy Courses (based on total learners who have started the course) that take less than one hour to complete. Happy learning! 1. Graphic Design Essentials: Easy Steps for Creating Your Own Compelling Visuals Have you always been curious about the fundamentals of graphic design? In this course, you'll learn how to start thinking like a graphic designer. In fact, over 20,000 learners have started this course. This course is helpful for anyone in marketing, whether you're creating or brainstorming content ideas for your campaigns. 2. Using HubSpot's Free Marketing Tools Did you...