I am the co-founder of a boutique software consulting firm in India. Previously I was the vice president of the technology division at Goldman Sachs, NYC from 2007 to 2014.
We started 3 months back and in the last 2 to 3 months, we were able to validate our idea, grow from 2 co-founders to 25+ people team and secured 50K USD projects from elance & freelancer - we have not explored any other sources yet.
We are looking to achieve 5M USD turn over by December 2016 - in next 18 months or so. I am looking for expert advice on what should be my strategy to achieve the 5M number.
That's indeed a great idea!! Basically all you need is leads.!!
This can be achieve with multiple channels.
1. PPC (a bit costlier for IT agency)
2. Referral Marketing
4. Niche Emailing (Not Bulk)
And for mode I need to see nature of your business in detail
Hope that helps!!
So, you have validated your services, secured some clients and just beginning to build a brand around your team.
This is the focus you need to embrace – team.
The industry you have entered is extremely competitive and is more of a commodity than a business solution most of the times. In running your type of service, is very common to be traveling and introducing yourself to corporate clients. One option can simply be setting a retail structure around your services throughout the country with independent contractors selling for you. We have done this in the past and it has worked great!
You might not get a lot of interest and turnover is high, but when you find a motivated sales person you do what you need to keep them engaged, thus building your team. Dedicate support to these sales/street people and empower them with tools such as business cards, dedicate google emails. Etc. Waiting until the 2nd or 3rd sale to issue such tools to minimize costs.
As far as growth hacking goes, the term has been recently thrown around like is some magic trick to get tons of clients. In reality, GH is a methodical trial and error approach to marketing. We create ads, curate websites content, run A/B tests for websites, landing pages, conversion pages, give out freebies, hyper-target social media profiles through mining of hashtags and trends, running more A/B test from the A version of a prior A/B test thus segmenting even further and hopefully improving conversion of leads or sales much faster.
With that said, you have some options:
1. Have dedicated segmented time either by day or hour for sharing thoughts, ideas, lessons or tips with other developers online through clarity, quora, etc.
2. Assuming you create a clarity ‘expert’ account, for every lead you get in the phone provide them with a clarity call link to add ‘calls’ to your expert profile, thus helping you nurture that expert level and when other come across your profile and see that you’re an expert in web and cloud solutions with a lot of calls their chances of giving you their gig will be higher. Give them a discounted link for free calling. I don’t have that many calls here but from the times that I’ve mentioned web design or growth hacking I get leads and projects often. (Note: as expert stick to what you know, I’m surprised to see just how many people are here as experts diluting the real value of information and insight some have to offer in certain areas). This place is a place for clear advice not opinions.
3. Target social media accounts – each social media has its purpose, unwritten rules and expectations; leverage these 3 and target users who could be leads for work in the future, have dedicate landing/conversion pages for each profile and social media.
4. Conversion pages are not websites, they have one single simple purpose such as getting email leads, getting users to download an ebook, sign up for a trial, watch a video, make a social share, etc. for this the content has to be directly targeted to the audience you are sending there, using their preferred vocabulary and imagery.
5. Use tools such as Sumome.com to find out what your visitors are doing while visiting your site.
6. Use paywithatweet.com to have people literally pay for a low cost feature service you can offer for ‘free’ to a client when bundled with something else or as standalone such as an ebook or newsletter signup.. the cool thing about pay with a tweet is that users can pay with several social actions not just twitter.
7. Have your current 25+ contractors/employees spend part of their day or week sharing tips and making connections on their social profiles and have linkedin profiles.
8. Each time to make a linkedin connection send an intro message customized to their interests & don’t forget to ask if you can be of any assistance in your field and or making introductions to someone in your network.
9. After creating a website or app or assisting a client with other cloud based services, help them promote it. This helps build your reputation for building other brands.
10. Share them on producthunt.com for others to review, you need invitation but is not that hard to find someone involved to give you an invite or post it themselves.
There are many more things you can do knowing what your immediate needs are, your current conversion rate, less barrier market, strength, and obviously resources. But I hope this gives you an idea of things you can do and how to do them.
Good answers so far. I just want to focus on another point. I hope you are leveraging your background. I would play up your VP at Goldman Sachs experience. Along with that, if you're not already doing this - start with a focus on the finance vertical. That's where your connections and background can be leveraged best.
By starting with a focus on finance or in a very particular area of finance your firm should stand out.
Excellent technical advice thus far! I will contribute with some Communication Strategy, which is what I provide my SaaS clients.
Instead of seeking 'growth hacking', propel yourself by 'niche hacking' in a disruptive manner. High potential mobile app niches for you include freemium game downloading, social network integrators and ecommerce.
It is critical that you identify your core competency and declare it to potential clients. In other words, make specific types of technologies : three at most, and I am happy to help you partner with accelerators and strategize in person meet ups to start the referral networks, as a previous expert suggested.
Remember: your audience more than anything seeks to be able to trust you, your credentials, your work ethic and success.
That is what we can together achieve.
Congrats on your new business. Our company also has a software company located in Bangalore, India. This is a very interesting market and offers lots of opportunity for software companies.
I see you have lots of great feedback already but I will toss in my opinion in hopes it helps.
You have two ways to achieve your sales goals, which by they way is extremely aggressive even for a US based company let alone an India firm with a market conversion of 63 to 1INR. The first is by continuing to seek business for short life products via eLance or other lead sources. The other option is to create a product or service within a space that will allow you to gain recurring revenue from your client base.
The later offers more stability as you continue to grow your business. The first and your current model is very risky as any change in lead providers, SEO or search engine ranking can quickly cause your monthly revenue to fall. Because your pushing on such an aggressive growth plan this will typically mean higher fixed cost that could be damaging.
Best of luck, if I could be of further help please let me know.
I've been on both sides of the table when it comes to outsourced software and professional services. I've hired and managed single resources from oDesk/Elance and managed larger teams of outsourced developers. I've also managed teams of outsourced professional services resources on behalf of clients.
100x growth in 18 months seems to be very aggressive. Also a team of 25+ people to produce $50k in revenue seems to be very large, in proportion to return. In my experience, ensuring customer success and satisfaction is key. My concern would be that it's difficult to keep sight of customer satisfaction when trying to grow so quickly over such a short period of time.
That said, have you defined your differentiator(s)? Do you have a well-qualified team of client-focused people to manage your client relationships? Have you tapped-into your existing network? Given your experience at Goldman Sachs, I'd guess you have a pretty strong network that would be happy to hear how you could help them.
My advice would be to make sure your customer knows they are really heard, from your initial response to their very initial inquiry/request, in the proposal process, all the way through to project delivery. It still amazes me how many Elance responses are either form letter and/or don't address at least one of the requirements defined in my request, i.e. include a link to previous work.
Because the work itself is pretty much a commodity, differentiate yourself through the customer relationship - quality, consistency and exceeding the clients expectations.
First of all Congratulation on your new business. Now you want to grow your new business then TOPS Technologies is best for you. We are software development company located in India.
you can try multiple ways to getting profit for your business
which by they way is extremely aggressive even for a US based company let alone an India firm with a market conversion of 63 to 1INR.
You can try to SEO for growing your business for long term.