Synapse FL recently hosted their Innovation Summit in Tampa. The two-day event brought together innovators from all industries and stages of development to connect technology, regionally-based innovation, and entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout Florida. While there were some amazing technologies showcased, there were also practical learnings in growing your business. The most notable coming from the Five Sherpas, a group of highly credentialed business growth strategists with specific areas of expertise to collaborate and serve businesses. Here’s a recap of what they shared:
Scaling a business isn’t easy. You can’t do it all alone, you really are climbing a mountain. Don't be fooled thinking you'll reach the summit without practice, guides, the right tools and reaching intermediary peaks along the way. Whether you don’t think you have the money or resources right now, understanding what your business needs in an entrepreneurial ecosystem is sure to save you money down the road. Below are some of the most crucial aspects of a business to guide your climb to your defined success summit.
Creating a stellar team is one of the most important variables of a successful formula. Assembling a team of experts will not only help you to focus on the part of your business you are most passionate about, but it will bring perspective and opportunity you won’t find on your own. Think of it as having mentors and a risk committee, all of which are hoping that you will be successful.
The top areas of your business to build your team around would be finance, legal, and marketing. Having a go-to investment banker, outsourced CFO and valuation expert can help you see your business as an investment, and set you up for success from the beginning, no matter what your goals may be. A lawyer will help you create and secure important contracts and documentation to protection your business and intellectual property. And a great marketer will help you tell your story to the right audience to generate the most leads.
While you may be thinking you can’t afford such experts, you need to start a conversation with them. You can take advantage of investments bankers who can offer free assistance early on. And start with foundational elements from the others, more on that below.
Now that we’ve identified your panel of experts, it’s time to get to work. First, build your foundation. From a legal standpoint, that starts with the correct contracts and paperwork to protect yourself early on. Once you have your paperwork in order, continue to stay organized with a due diligence checklist. The more organized your contracts and your numbers, the easier and more efficient it will be to get meaningful advice from your team.
From a marketing perspective, start with understanding how to best tell your story to make your brand stand out. Once you understand your audience and message, use your website as your number one lead generation tool. Don’t overthink your website, keep it simple and flexible to achieve the next aspect of business growth.
Always be testing. Testing allows you to gather data, learn and find your sweet spot. Constant iteration will help you reduce risk and amplify what is really working for your business. It’s important to measure and track everything properly from the beginning.
Some important metrics to keep in mind and work backward from when putting your budget together:
- What are my target sales?
- What’s my target conversion rate?
- How many leads do I need to hit that rate?
- What are the monthly searches and traffic numbers I can get those leads from?
Once you have a better understanding of your potential audience and numbers, you can put a marketing and advertising strategy together that is the right fit that allows for constant testing, iterations, and growth.
Timing isn’t all about luck, but it can be everything. When it comes to timing as an entrepreneur growing their business, the most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s never too early to build your team, your tools, and understand your value. The more you can understand your business from the beginning, the more equipped you will be to know when it’s time to give up equity or take a partner, or know when to exit.
As an entrepreneur, you are spending countless hours on the idea you are most passionate about. Don’t be overwhelmed with the business side. Build your team, get your tools, and climb the greatest summit of your life. To learn more about marketing growth, get in touch with us. To learn more about building your team, get in touch with the Five Sherpas.