‘Scale-ups’ face many high-growth challenges. One of the biggest is hiring and retaining top talent. Among the top talent needed for successfully managing a high-growth journey is a strong chief financial officer (CFO). This is why, on the board, we regularly discuss what to look for in a (new) CFO. Usually, these discussions end up with something like we need a 'strategic and commercial' CFO. But what does this actually mean? How should one assess whether a CFO can drive growth successfully.
Irrespective of the business model you pursue, you have two very important high growth levers: efficient customer acquisition and strong customer retention.
Conducting a thorough cohort analysis process can help you achieve both and ignite explosive sustainable growth. In this article, I explain why and how.
Founders often underestimate the complexity that comes with (additionally) targeting the long tail of small business customers.
While there are very often many small business customers, their willingness to pay is likewise often significantly reduced. Their needs may differ too. And most of the times, small business customers can only be acquired through different channels.
In this article, we explain how to sell to the long tail of small business customers.
Product/market fit is necessary. You need to get to product/market fit before you accelerate growth. But it is by no means all that matters!
What good is product/market fit if you do not find a predictable and scalable distribution channel through which you can sell your products and services on attractive economic terms.
Without product/channel fit, no high growth or unnecessary cash burn. Game over!
Before you accelerate growth, make sure you have generated product/channel fit.
Many founders try to sprint through the growth valley of death by focusing solely on top line growth. But until you reach a strategic inflection point where you need to prioritize speed over efficiency, you may better FastScale.
You first create a solid high growth foundation and then scale your business fast, predictably and efficiently.
If you FastScale, it may take you a bit longer to create a massively valuable business. But the probability that you succeed is significantly higher.
With a company-wide focus on customer success you can achieve your growth and exit valuation goals. If you make your customers incredibly successful, they will churn less, buy more and spread the word. Referrals will further reduce customer acquisition costs and CAC payback period. You recoup your investments quicker and can reinvest the money in order to further fuel your growth engine. A virtuous cycle!
Startups were hit by a black swan – COVID-19. Suddenly, founders have been forced to think about how to navigate a times of extreme crisis and may have already had to switch to survival mode.
As a venture capital investor, I am currently in constant touch with our portfolio companies and founders. In this article, I want to share my thoughts on how founders can weather this storm and give them at least some straightforward guidance.
How to boost growth? How to acquire more customers? How to get more traction? If you are a founder looking for answers to these questions, do not directly jump to analysing options to further fill the top of the conversion funnel. Optimise your conversion funnel first. Optimising the conversion funnel will not only lead to more customers, but also to lower customer acquisition costs, shorter payback periods, better CLV/CAC-ratios and ultimately higher growth.
Achieving high growth and predictable revenues is challenging, and founders will encounter many obstacles on their way. A high-functioning board of directors can help founders overcome these obstacles like a low-functioning Board can worsen the situation.
In this article, I provide some guidelines as to how to develop a high-functioning Board.