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The single most expensive decision a startup founder will ever make

Who is in your target market?

The answer to this question will lay the course for your company’s brand identity, corporate culture, sales approach, growth strategy, marketing plans and all future business development.

 

When you’re starting out you cannot afford to “be all things to all people” you need to pick one target market and be their B2B or B2C soulmate.

Look at the two branches of TMDP as an example:

Winn1 

TARGET: health conscious, physically fit, intelligent people looking to launch their first startup.

PURPOSE: This program is designed to teach ambitious innovators how to launch, run and grow their endeavor.

ACQUISITION STRATEGY: Because our best Winn1 success stories come from those who value health and fitness, we market to people via swag at the gym, bumper stickers on the cars in the gym parking lots, via engaging with people interested in health and fitness on social media, etc. This is a niche group that is easy to identify and when your first target group is easy to identify, they’re easy to market to.

 

90×9

TARGET: well funded or bootstrapped tech startups looking to grow by a minimum of 90x over the course of 9 months (aka startups with less than $100,000 in annual revenue looking to make their first million USD).

PURPOSE: get the company cash flow positive and self-funded asap, so that the founders can retain as much company equity as possible (I honestly don’t know why people brag about raising multiple rounds, they’re basically telling the world that they didn’t have the foresight to get cash flow positive with round 1 and they now are selling off more and more of the company to pay for that mistake).

ACQUISITION STRATEGY: Most clients come in via referral or word of mouth, the rest enter in via Winn1.  As the companies of Winn1 alumni grow, they get to choose which tasks they’d like to outsource first.  Logically you want to start by outsourcing those tasks which take up the most amount of your time, but pay you the least from your clients (example: if you’re a consultant, you don’t get paid to manage your own social media, you get paid to be on the phone or in an office advising people all day, everyday).  So they hire my team to continue growing, marketing and engaging with their clients via social media, while they manage their favorite parts of the business.

 

Your next steps:

  1. Identify a niche group that is easy for you to find online & in the physical world around you
    1. good examples: vegetarians, moms of toddlers, Catholics, transgender f->m or m->f
    2. bad examples: millenials, gen z, tech nerds (do you have any idea how many corners of the web we hide in?!? We are not a cost-effective market to target.)
  2. Engage with these people online & in person.
  3. Share your story & tell them about your company.

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