How Single Founders Can Excel At Marketing With Very Little Involvement.

Blog, Startups / Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Single founders often don’t realize but they are the one who’s primarily bringing in bread & butter for entire team, and I am saying so more from sales perspective.

Founders in their first 3 years of with less than 10-20 cr. of revenue organizations will always find themselves struggling to have a fixed schedule, to be able to keep check on every area of company, and to make most out of themselves. 24×7 they have voices in head, and something undone in hands.

In such a hakuchi bakuchi conditions, you’ll lose the focus on marketing & sales more often. Often you’ll end up saying ‘Ok let me think…’ or, ‘Thodi der me batata hu …’, and ultimately you end up working for your employees, even when you are paying them.

So how can you keep marketing & sales intact?

1.    Set Goals that 80% team mates find realistic.

Not important enough to mention that we all try to set goals, but why we fail usually is because WE (you alone, or me alone) set the goals, and tell our teams to achieve them. No involvement means no commitment, so involve your core team in setting the targets. Explain the costs, profit needs, future plan costs, future need of cash, and everyone altogether set a target.

I know most of you will hesitate doing so, because we don’t want to tell our team what we are really making. But if you chose to do so, everyone in your marketing & sales team will think like you, and less decision will come to you, and more things will get done quicker.

The biggest tactical benefit is that you’ll start seeing more real business problems, instead of face saving & ‘cover-your-ass’ AKA ‘CYA’ kinda arguments from non performers.

2.   Identify most impactful digital marketing KPI’s

It’s still not uncommon founders asking for ad copies, writing the text ad copies for team, and doing keyword research kinda stuffs. You’re wasting your time. You’re not performing well in your role.

Usually we guy do this to feel having control of our marketing efforts, but the true way you can have better control is by checking & questioning the performance of team against the marketing & sales KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators).

In general, for marketing,

Weekly spent comparison v/s the channels (eg.- CPA, Dollar Value, Unit Metrics)
Why’s behind the ups & downs, and
What will team do to meet the target?
In general, for sales,

Lead pipeline health, conversion funnel performance,
Who’s closing most deals, and how? And,
Why other’s aren’t able to perform

3.   Prioritize one check on KPI’s every morning

For the simplest reason on earth that you can exist only if your sales will exist. Dare to ignore.


4.   Don’t offer reward for meeting the goals, but for exceeding.

This one is my favorite. What’s exciting in achieving what we already knew we could achieve? The next level of challenge is to exceed the targets. Your company won’t grow fast if you keep achieving the targets, but only if you keep exceeding them. This habit should be instilled with priority into organizational culture, instead of dancing over tables.

Don’t punish the under performers so often, but highlight aggressively the over performers. Reward them adequately not only financially but respect them, and make others respect them as well. This will do wonders to moral of your performing team. Ignore non-performing ones for a while, sooner or later they will decide for themselves, or you’ll.

5.   Let team decide on things, you decide on financials & brand image.

You know your core team mates will love it when you will step aside and let them take the final call on regular things. It shows you respect their skills, authenticity, and their ability to move things ahead. It’s far better morale booster then $$$

The biggest mistake single founders commit is hiring talent for their expertise, and then telling them what to do, how to do, and how much to do. Whether you are dealing with your in house team or with your digital marketing agency, both will exist if your revenues will. So use them well, to save yourself time, and stay focused on your larger goals.


(Guest written on LinkedIn)

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