How To Grow Fast Without VC Funding
My co-founder Richa Prasad wrote a comprehensive article for Underwire back in February on how companies can grow fast without VC funding by shifting their mindset from Growth -> Profitability.
She details 7 steps for implementing this shift. If you come from a Product background like Richa and I with little to no experience in Marketing, this can be a game-changer.
Here’s an excerpt from Richa:
“I come from a deep product background. Electrical engineering. Computer science. Internship at Philips Semiconductors before they shut down. At Motorola before they got bought by Google. A full-time gig at Microsoft working first on Visual Studio and then Cortana.
I read widely about all aspects of tech. I dogeared the entire Lean Startup series and books of similar ilk that you’d find on top of Product Hunt Books. I subscribed to Y Combinator and the whole Silicon Valley advice engine, and at some point I began to believe that I understood what are all the pieces of running a business in breadth, even if not in depth.
I left Microsoft to fill a gap I see in the personal health and fitness market where coaches cost exorbitant amounts of money and yet aren’t available at the very moments when people need them the most – moments of failure like when you’re shame spiraling from eating far too much, moments of indecision when you’re standing in line to order your food and don’t know what’ll keep you perfectly on-track, and moments of exhaustion when the journey feels far too hard and you want to give up.
A year into running my company, Coach Viva, my cofounder Lucy and I ran into what we all grapple with – growth. Our word-of-mouth was solid but it was nowhere close to a viral coefficient of 1, the threshold beyond which you can be assured that your product will grow fast on referrals alone; no other marketing channels needed. We tried ads, partnerships with other businesses in the health niche, a tool to attract leads, a pilot with Amazon Benefits, an in-product feature to promote referrals, and much more, but still we struggled with getting a steady stream of incoming customers.
It was in the midst of Summer 2018 while I read, watched and listened to marketing advice from literally anyone who makes their entire living online when I stumbled upon this whole world of entrepreneurs creating 8+ figure businesses without VC funding. They said things that made me realize there is a whole other way of doing things outside of what Silicon Valley talks about.
This story is my distillation of what I have learned with emphasis on the parts that completely changed how I think about building a business.
I am very early in implementing what I’ve learned so you aren’t going to find a “it works for me, let me show you how it’ll work for you” story. My goal isn’t to give you proof. My intention is simply to expose you to a different way of building a business than what gets airtime in tech circles, and leave it to you to decide if it’s for you.”