Hello fellow Founder,
You’ve gotten your bootstrapped business to $10k/month MRR. Congrats!
So few businesses ever see this milestone that you should take a minute to pat yourself on the back. No seriously, give yourself a pat on the back!
But you’ve also entered one of the most challenging parts of running an online business: the growth phase.
At $10k/mo MRR, you have some degree of product market fit, likely a single customer acquisition channel already working for you, but you want to amp it up and start to grow this thing.
I totally get it. I’ve been there before and took my businesses (first PodcastMotor and now Castos) from zero to $100k+/mo MRR in just a few years. And did it mainly without significant funding, keeping a very small team and 100% control of the business direction.
And you can too.
I won’t lie to you, the decisions you’ll make in the next few years of your business may be very different than the ones you made to get to this point.
Questions like how (and who) to hire, how to scale that initial marketing channel, and how to think differently about the levers you can pull in your business need to be answered a little differently than they were in the initial phase of your business.
The great news is you likely realize this, which is why you’re looking to work with a growth coach. You’re one step ahead of the game already.
You might have looked at other coaching programs out there that offer faceless group coaching that regurgitate the same 10 modules to every group, regardless of their skills, experience, or current business situation. And you’ve decided that’s not for you (I don’t blame you), and you’re looking at individuals like myself who are still actively building their businesses, aren’t 10 years disconnected from the market after a 7 or 8-figure exit, and have lost touch with reality.
The tough decision to make is which growth coach is right for you.
Without knowing more about you and your business, I don’t have an answer, but let me share a bit about who I am NOT right for. Then I’ll share a bit about who I may be a good fit for.
Who I May Be Wrong For
I don’t know everything. And I can’t help everybody. As you’re looking for a coach or mentor to help you grow your business, I’d be very wary of anyone who promises they can help any founder, in every business model, in every industry.
Unfortunately, the coaching industry is full of charlatans who are just out to make a buck.
Coaching is a very part-time thing for me. But I’ve benefited so much from great mentors and advisors over the years that I feel it’s my obligation to give back to the founder community by sharing my knowledge and working with a select few founders 1:1 to help you grow your business.
1. Business Models
Here is a list of types of businesses I probably can’t help you grow:
- Info Products
- Personal Brands
I don’t have direct experience with those types of businesses, and I wouldn’t promise to offer a bunch of direct experiences there that you can’t get elsewhere.
2. Funding Models
I’ve raised a large angel round of funding for my current business, and have run several businesses completely bootstrapped. So I can talk about both sides of that coin, but what I cannot talk about is raising proper venture capital and being on the true venture capital path.
If you’ve raised a priced round (or plan on it in the immediate future), there are just better people out there to work with.
3. Customer Acquisition Models
I’ve never run a business that relies primarily on paid acquisition as its primary customer acquisition strategy. While we run a few very select paid acquisition campaigns, and I am a firm believer that this is one arrow in the quiver of great digital marketing, it is not my forte and not something I would be a primary source on.
4. Less Than $5k MRR
This is no slight on you or your business, but at this early stage, there are just so many unknowns out there that I think our time together just wouldn’t be that valuable to you.
Instead, I would reference many of the Product Market Fit content out there and just keep plugging away at it. You’ll get there if you listen to the data and your customers.
Who I May Be A Good Fit For
The above is a pretty long list.
If you’ve gotten this far, we might be a good fit to work together.
Let’s explore more about my strong suits and where I can offer real value to help founders grow their businesses.
1. Business Model
If you run a SaaS or Productized Service business, you’re in luck. I have extensive experience with both. Growing from just a side project to now being a major player in our space, I’ve seen a lot here, and learned a lot of lessons (both the easy and the hard way).
2. Funding Opportunities
As I mentioned, I’ve run my businesses completely bootstrapped and have raised angel rounds for one. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to become a founding member of the inaugural batch of the TinySeed startup accelerator.
If you’re considering raising a small round for your business, I can help you navigate how to think about funding options, weigh the pros and cons of a SAFE note versus Convertible debt, weigh the benefit of an accelerator program versus going it alone, and how to think about using that capital to accelerate growth in your business.
3. Areas Of The Business
Putting my humble shield down for a minute, there are a few things I’m really quite good at.
In my previous work life, I had experience in enterprise-level sales in the medical field. So I know how to navigate a long, complex sales cycle with multiple stakeholders, and negotiating multiple 7-figure, multi-year contracts.
If it’s your first time trying to crack enterprise, B2B sales, the nomenclature alone of what needs to get done, who needs to sign off on it, and even how you’ll get paid is daunting. You don’t have to go it alone.
It’s often surprising (and a bit sad) to see great products and potentially great companies that haven’t mastered how to sell their product to the market effectively.
This is where I get the most enjoyment in my day-to-day running of Castos, and where I think I can give massive value to coaching clients.
Sales is no good if you don’t have any leads. And some businesses are fortunate enough not to require a real sales function. Product Led Growth and self-serve SaaS businesses usually don’t have any active sales process for the majority of their customers.
In these cases, it’s all about effective digital marketing to attract new leads to your solution, and show them that it is the answer to their prayers.
Easier said than done, but this is the stuff that I’m working on every day of my work life as the founder and chief marketing strategist of Castos.
Of all the roles I could ever delegate away, this is probably the one I’ll never give up.
It is the highest value thing I ever do in my business, I love it and it totally energizes me, and would be great to help you with yours.
Ah, the unsexy side of running a business. But this is really where the grownups are separated from the pretenders.
How you hire (and fire) team members, how you communicate the company’s vision with your team, and how you manage the flow of data across the organization is what makes great companies.
If you’re thinking about implementing OKRs or EOS in your company but are scared that you’ll lose that scrapy, small team feel, I can help overcome those fears and get the operations of your business on the right track.
We all think that a great product is the answer to growing a great company. That’s not true.
There are a ton of great products with zero customers and a bankrupt business.
The reality is that it’s all of the seemingly not-so-fun things like operations that really make a sustainable, profitable company that can persist in the ups and downs of the market and consistently return value to shareholders (that’s you!).
4. You Are $10k to $100k MRR
This is my sweetspot and I have grown a couple of businesses through this valley.
You’ve found product-market fit but you may be struggling to find a repeatable, profitable, and scalable customer acquisition strategy.
You may have a bit of extra cash and need help deciding who (and how) to make those first critical hires.
Or you may be mostly on the right path, but just need an objective third party perspective on things that are going on in your business.
If you’ve gotten this far, you’re a founder of a SaaS or Productized Service business with some revenue, a great product, and goals of growing your business to $100k/mo and beyond…but just need a bit of help with sales, marketing, or operations to optimize how you grow effectively.
I’d love to talk.
Let’s find a time to chat where you can learn more about me, and I can learn more about your business to see if we might be a good fit to work together.
Look forward to speaking soon.