Some men and women go their entire lives without earning a million dollars, so it seems insane that some businesses might be able to achieve this milestone in their first year. But it is possible. Quite a lot of businesses have attained this goal, and you can too!
Pay attention to the following tips and use them to assist power up your revenue growth:
1. Find a growing market
One of the easiest ways to create a million-dollar company in such a short period of time is to find a thriving trend and ride it to the top. Take the example of Micah Adler, CEO of mobile app developer Fiksu, which grew from less than $1 million to $100 million in just three and a half years– with only $17.6 million in venture capital– following its 2010 launch.
Certainly, Adler’s success comes in part from creating great products, but it also comes from his timing. In 2012, just two years after Fiksu’s launch, mobile-app development represented $19 billion in revenue and was experiencing annual growth of more than 60 percent a year. Finding a flourishing market of your own like this can put you on the fast track to enormous revenue growth.
2. Think monetization from the start
It seems odd to think about objectively, but some startups start without any obvious monetization strategies. Twitter is one example of this phenomenon, but there are countless other companies out there building up their free user bases, hoping that inspiration — and, consequently, financial stability– will strike along the way.
You can’t afford to think that way if you want to grow a million-dollar company in your first year!
Most profitable companies function from one of two models: either they sell a lot of affordable products to a lot of people or they sell a few big-ticket items to a more limited buyer list. Neither model is easier or naturally better than the other. What’s more important than choosing is having a defined plan for monetization. Knowing how you’ll make money from the start will prevent wasted time spent hoping that something profitable will come together for you.
3. Be the best
There are lots of mediocre products out there, but the chances are good that these companies aren’t making a million dollars or more during their first years. You’ve got to bring something to the table that wows customers and creates buzz within your marketplace if you want to hit these big potential profits.
How can you tell if you’ve got a “best in breed” product? Look to your current customers. If you aren’t getting rave reviews online or positive comments sent to your inbox, chances are your clients aren’t as ecstatic about your product as they need to be to hit your target sales. Ask your existing customers what you can do to make your product better and then put their recommendations into place. They’ll appreciate your efforts and will go on to refer further sales to you in the future.
4. Employ all-stars
Hitting $1 million in revenue during your first year is no small feat, and you certainly aren’t going to achieve this goal with a team of underperformers. Yes, hiring these people will be cheaper and easier, but you’ll pay for this convenience when your end-of-the-year sales numbers come up short.
Instead, you need to employ all-stars, and the fastest way to do this is to ask around for referrals. Pay particular attention to the sales employs you make, as these key employees stand to make the biggest difference in your business’s bottom line. Get them on the bus and then encourage them to do whatever is necessary to close deals (pro tip: a good series of incentives won’t hurt!).
5. Consume data
Finally, if you want to shoot for the revenue moon, you need to be absolutely militant about acting and gathering data on it. When I approach a new marketing project, I prefer to work in short sprints of a few weeks or less where we’ll try something new, check the statistics to see how the adjustments impacted revenue and then either commit the changes or try a new test.
Do the same with your growing company. You have a veritable gold mine of information just hanging out in your Google Analytics account, so put it to good use by pinpointing your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and running tests designed to push these metrics even higher. Bring on a rock-star analyst who can help you make sense of your numbers if you aren’t able to carry out these tests on your own. When every penny counts towards reaching your $1-million-a-year goal, you’ll find these employees to be worth their weight in gold.
Growing a company to $1 million in revenue in your first year isn’t easy, but it is possible. Stick to the tips above and be ruthless about profitability– even if you don’t hit this particular goal, you’ll earn the strongest sales results possible for your unique company.