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(D) WEEK THREe REFLECTION: FROM IMPOSSIBLE TO INEVITABLE

How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

Authors: Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin

In my last reflection I talked about the focus of my reflection: addressing are Ross and Lemkin’s Seven Ingredients to Hyper-Growth.

The first ingredient is Nail the Niche (Part 1). This whole first section focuses on Nailing the Niche in four (4) chapters:

  1. “Niche” Doesn’t Mean Small;
  2. Signs of Slooging;
  3. How to Nail It;
  4. Your Pitch.

This seems so simple and yet, most companies aren’t doing this “right”! I think most people do not get it right because it is difficult to focus on one thing when you have many interest and/or talents, but who said you cannot have more than one business! Each business should essentially have its own niche – what works best.

Ross and Lemkin indicate that you know you have nailed the niche “when you are able to find and sign up unaffiliated customers. Unaffiliated. Paying. Customers.”

What does that look like? The authors talk about the “Arc of Attention” in respect to nailing the niche. Below is the same image from the book on Aaron Ross’ website.

To put it simply, the authors describe the “High Trust” zone as a business’s early adopters – family, friends, and people you know. The “Gap” is the difference in marketing to people that you may or may not know. The “No Trust” zone is the mainstream buys – mainly people that you do not know.

“The whole point of Nailing the Niche is to help you cross the Trust Gap, moving from depending on buyers on the right side (trust) to being able to better market and sell to buyers on the left side (no trust).”

So HOW do you nail the niche? Chapter 3 speaks directly to this. Here are a few points that Ross and Lemkin make:

  • Specialize in a specific “pain” you save, but don’t get so narrow that you can’t find anyone that has it;
  • Make lists that will produce tangible results to determine your niche (“stop” lists may be most important because it should list the projects that have failed);
  • Stop talking and start proving;
  • Get customer feedback before you build it – surveys are a great way of doing this;
  • If nothing happens, that’s not a failure if you see it as useful information, too.

The last bullet stands out most to me because I believe “failure” produces growth and opportunity to learn. Business is about relationships, even through failure. One of the first things that we learn to do in life is build relationships – whether good or bad. We build relationships with our parents and sibling (family), then friends (and foes) at school, we move on to learn how to build relationships with classmates and coworkers, romantic relationships are sprinkled throughout, and in entrepreneurship we build relationships with clients.

Those entrepreneurial relationships are important beyond building revenue. They are important with learning how to build your business or take it to the next level. In your early stages building relationships will be critical in finding your niche.

(D) Week Two Reflection: From Impossible to Inevitable

How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

Authors: Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin

The opening in the preface says “There’s never even an easier time to grow a business. Ironically, tough, wile everyone else around you seems to be crushing their goals, does it feel like a struggle for you?”

My first thought after reading that was “bingo”. That sentence feels true about most facets of life. Thoughts that have loomed in my head: “I’m not doing enough”, “I’m not going hard enough”, “you can sleep when you’re dead”. All in the name of success. It’s unrealistic, but perception is reality.

It is perceived that in order to be successful, you have to do the right thing, but what is the right thing?

One reason I believe that we have the feeling of struggle while others seem to be yielding success is that it is really easy to overly focus on the things around you instead of focusing on your own goals (and small wins!). Most people also tend to struggle through certain ventures because they are prideful – not interested in asking for help or guidance because it will make them appear that they are not capable of gaining success on their own. 

This book is extremely important to any entrepreneur that desires success or to jump above their current plateau because it is written by two entrepreneurs that used a specific formula to build success. We get to learn from their experience. Experience that would take us years to gain.

As you continue to read my reflection on this book, I am writing with the following in mind – regarding hyper-growth:

  1. “Why aren’t you growing faster?”
  2. “What does it take to get to hyper-growth?”
  3. “How do you sustain it?”

The second set of things that I will be addressing are Ross and Lemkin’s Seven Ingredients to Hyper-Growth.

  1. Nail the Niche
  2. Create Predictable Pipeline
  3. Make Sales Scalable
  4. Double Your Deal Size
  5. Do the Time
  6. Embrace Employee Ownership
  7. Define Your Destiny