Growth-Oriented Entrepreneur Required

Earlier today I was talking to a serial entrepreneur about patterns of success he’s seen in other entrepreneurs. His assertion: every startup needs to have a growth-oriented entrepreneur on the team. Growth, often synonymous with sales, is about moving the business forward in a revenue-focused manner. There are many smart, hard-working entrepreneurs out there that haven’t achieved success, and, in general, they focus too much attention on non-revenue generating parts of the business. Sales and marketing is a critical part of success and most entrepreneurs don’t figure it out.

Here are a few thoughts on the need for a growth-oriented entrepreneur:

  • Growth isn’t purely about selling, but having someone that can sell absolutely helps
  • Revenue can come from direct and indirect sales, partnerships, etc — the key is that someone is passionate about it
  • If something can’t be sold, or the market isn’t ready, a growth-oriented entrepreneur is going to find an opportunity that does exist
  • Some of the best cofounder complements come when one is growth-oriented and the other is product-oriented

As a community, we need to be talking more about customers and less about cool features. Nothing happens until something is sold. Make sure a growth-oriented entrepreneur is on the team.

What else? What are some other thoughts on the idea that a growth-oriented entrepreneur is required?

5 thoughts on “Growth-Oriented Entrepreneur Required

  1. General Paton famously stayed “good plan implemented today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow”. I think the general had your sentiments in mind when he said this.

    Growth oriented individuals know that even if the product isn’t a perfect fit, or the market seems to be slight behind the value proposition of their offering, they will find a way to generate an opportunity.

    They may not win them all, but the point is they don’t wait for perfect, they act, asses, retool, and go at it again.

  2. Very good observation. Too many times products and services are developed in a vacuum without any concept how it will be used by or sold to customers. The number one reason most businesses fail? Is simply because of a “lack of sales.”

  3. David, I mentor small start up businesses in the UK and I absolutely agree with you. A new client I met yesterday is just so committed to growth (as they all are) but she has an aggressive commitment to the vision that is inspirational. Like many successful entrepreneurs she won’t be drawn too far into the detail – she is happy to leave the planning with the experts who can deliver the vision.

  4. I agree that growth-oriented entrepreneurship is a requirement when starting a business. If you don’t have cashflow you are sunk. There needs to be a dual focus – sales + awareness. The level of awareness you have about your product or service directly impacts your bottom line. However, if you can’t close the sale you’ve done all this work for nothing and will not be successful. If you can find that happy balance with awareness + sales you are on the right track. Also, your growth is impacted by your initial investment. Always keep in mind your costs when building a business. You need to have a plan for when/how to break even and start making money. Being in the red is never fun.

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