What I learned growing from $0 to $1+ million in revenue, twice

By Joseph Walla, CEO, HelloSign

31. Business development can do wonders for revenue, if done right

We learned a lot of business development (BD) lessons, some of them were painful. There are a lot of pitfalls when it comes to doing BD when you’re a startup. But, it can (and has) become a huge source of growth. Here are some of the lessons I talked about at a talk at 500startups.

32. Doing paid advertising can improve your entire funnel

There’s nothing like paying money for advertising to make your entire funnel more disciplined. We changed our onboarding, emails and pricing, all to make our campaigns profitable. The paid ads were only a minuscule part of our growth. But, the rest of the product hugely benefited from those optimizations.

33. Product market fit

Product market fit = entire team (product, bd, marketing, engineer) focused on one market and killing it, in a predictable way. That’s the end goal.

34. Do post mortems on every release

It’s humbling when you make a big investment on a feature, only to have no one use it or pay for it. Do this once and it completely changes how you think of every feature you build.

35. Customer development = growth

Do customer development to focus on the right users. But, don’t get stuck in customer development / research cycles.

Customer development is important, but should have a completely different place in your mind as growth. I see lots of companies stuck in customer development cycles, but as a consequence, these companies might never focus on distribution.

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