In my specific case, my software is a templating system that helps doctors save time when doing their notes. It can potentially save 1-2 hours/day.
Currently, the business is growing at 40%-50% annual rate, without investing anything in marketing. Traffic has been steady and growth is driven mainly by recommendations of happy customers (+ a bit of google traffic).
My goal would be to build a more predictable customer acquisition plan.
You have limit time and resources so you need to think what I call "FIRST DOLLAR" approach. If you look across different modes to sell and target there has to be a few that would be the optimal. Focus only on those first don't look elsewhere - put each next dollar of effort into these (or this one) until it's optimal then target the next bucket to attack until you get momentum to broaden.
There has to be a few or one area that would harvest better or best results w you time. The idea here is to get the sales/revenue flywheel turning w focus or richest buckets of opportunity to create revenue momentum to allow you to scale.
1. Partnerships with those who sell into doctors - preferably similar Catagory (tech. IT. Time optimization. Software).
2. Work your customers and fuel the flames of referrals with those Dr using your product. Ask them "is there some one you can suggest that might also benefit from this?" A warm referral is sales gold. "Dr xxx suggested I show this to you".
3. hire college interns.
Congrats on "going after it
Sounds like you need to learn a consistent sales process.
The uninitiated whine, "But...my business is *different*!" No, it's not.
Yes, there's tweaking and individual numbers and so on, but the basic process for customer acquisition is always the same...regardless of industry involved or technology used.
If you want to learn this process, let's talk.
Invest in marketing. This assumes that you're profitable and have good cashflow. If not you may need to adjust your business model.
Don't fall for the idea that every business needs VC. That's like a rocket launch - you'll either go really far really fast or blow up. If you're just trying to get to the next state it's completely unnecessary.
The only time you should be pushed into VC when it's not part of your goals is when you risk being eliminated by a VC-funded company that completely changes the market (think taxis vs Uber).
Aside from that it's perfectly fine to have a profitable business with steady cashflow and easy growth.
The best way to establish growth is to find the 1 - 3 channels that are really effective and then just keep doing those again and again. It might be referrals, or going to medical conferences, or using lookalike audiences on Facebook to target other doctors with ads, or partnerships with other businesses that sell to doctors.
Figure out how to get in front of your target audience as much as possible, show them value and build trust, and close sales. Keep executing on that and you'll do well!
Your 40-50% annual growth is impressive! Plus you are tackling a real world problem. In the healthcare sector, there are huge process and information inefficiencies...roughly 20-30% of all the US healthcare costs. That's roughly $640-960 billion of the $3.2 trillion in 2016. You've already confirmed the 20-30% with your MD time savings example. Do the math: 2 hours/8 hours = 25%. Yep.
What I would do is get the data, analyze the data, then make an informed decision about where to focus your customer acquisition resources.
I would look at your own customer set right now to gather data. Who are they and how did they find you or did you find them? Is there a meaningful pattern emerging from your customer acquisition data?
I have a knack for looking at limited amounts of data to see if there are any patterns and what to do about it.
Intrigued? Set up a call, share some data, and I can tell you what I think I see.