Growth for a social/sustainable startup has unique challenges to it. You see, growth can be anything. It simply means that you are taking steps towards your goals. Social startups do have one clear cut differential: breaking even and scaling financially are solely the means to an end. The ultimate goal is to solve one or several issues afflicting our society. So while, say, a tech startup is ready to scale after finding the best product-market fit, and their growth is equal to increasing users and products/services sold, for a social startup that is often just the beginning.
As a social startup, you may want to change whole supply chains, or in particularly challenging cases, change societal interaction such as gender power struggles or immigrant integration. Because of that, your growth is two-sided.
On one side lies the fact that you MUST break-even and become financially secure to expand your business, leaving you free to scale worldwide and address issues that are globally interconnected.
On the other side, you are geared towards impact measurement; figuring out what actions, products and services really address or solve a social problem.
The great news is that growth hacking, at its core, is the scientific method. You identify a problem, form a hypothesis for solving it based on available data, make sure you can measure success and failure, design and execute experiments to test that hypothesis, and feed results back to your databank. Growth hacking, however, is not just about actions, it’s about developing a growth mindset in which you constantly ask the right questions to yourself and your team, steering you in the direction of learning and providing the most value to your clients.
To start developing a growth mindset and work on long-lasting growth strategies that take you to the next level, ask yourself the following questions:
Start at the basics:
- What is the purpose of your business? Which problem do you want to solve?
- How do you plan to achieve it?
- What do you sell?
- To whom?
- What does growth mean for you?
Growth Hacking uses data as a key player that drives all actions. Your Data Ecosystem is a digital structure that helps you track all needed data from all your platforms. Think of valuable data on your customers: who are they, what is their online behaviour, how do they convert.
- What tools do you use and for what purpose? (e.g. Google Analytics)
- How often do you check them?
- What do you do with the data?
- How do you track conversions?
- How are you communicating directly to customers?
- How do you measure where people are coming from and where are they going?
Keep these questions in mind every time you work on your sales, marketing and product development, and start developing a growth mindset.