Many founders believe that creating a good product is more than enough to succeed in startup industry. In reality, it’s just a small part of job which needs to be done. Peter Theil, co-founder of one of the most game-changing startups – PayPal, claims that most startups fail because they focus too much on product design, while neglecting customer acquisition. This is why you need a solid traction. What is is and why is it so important?
What is traction for a startup?
Even the best startup ideas will not become groundbreaking without a good traction. To put it simply, traction is a measurable factor proving the demand for your product. In other words, it’s a numerical value which has to grow to measure whether your product is able to generate turnover.
Depending on your industry and specifics of the project, examples of tractions for startups are:
- traffic on your website
- content reach
- active users
- registered users
- hired employees
- number of clients
- established partnerships.
As you can see, all of the above can be easily expressed with a number. Now let’s move on to see why it is important to get your traction and how to use it to achieve business growth.
Why is traction important for a startup?
Many startups do not fail because of the product quality, but due to the lack of traction. Some founders tend to focus on their idea so intensively that they neglect things crucial for all business projects – meaning attracting customers and generating profits.
If you’re still not sure why you need a traction for your startup, follow the list below to learn its role.
- Proof of concept
First of all, traction helps to prove whether your product fits the demand. No matter how much you appreciate your idea, you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on designing a product which will never be sold. Getting a traction will help you to verify your idea and decide whether you should move on with development.
- Measuring growth
Once you have traction for a startup, you can measure its progress – week by week, month by month. It’s surely nice to watch how the bars grow and it can make your startup work even more exciting.
- Attracting investors
Having a solid traction means that you don’t need to prove anything, anymore. Numbers speak for themselves, and if only they’re right, investors will surely knock on the door. Without the worries about the funding, you will only need to scale your business and calculate the growth.
How to get traction for a startup?
When you’re in charge of marketing for your startup, it’s surely difficult to choose the right source of customers, with all the acquisition channels at your disposal. Most of the founders tend to focus on the path which seems the most natural to them, the one they feel comfortable with, or simply the one practiced by their competitors. In fact, none of them may be right.
To provide you with a better idea of how to find customers for startup, you can check out our article: 5 key steps to get noticed as a tech startup company. In case you’re not yet so much familiar with marketing ideas for startups, this may be truly helpful and eye-opening.
Moving on with traction and customer acquisition, we prepared for you 5 ideas of how to find a traction and figure out the best working channels for your startup.
Before you even start, decide on which factors are the most relevant for your analysis. Try to find those measuring your potential the most accurately. Also define objectives and numerical indicators (such as number of subscribers, followers, etc.) which will allow you to constantly check whether your chosen path is still working.
Try to find your acquisition strategy by discussing possible channels with your team. Put yourselves in your customers’ shoes and try to figure out how they search for the information and how can they find you online (or offline!). List all your ideas, no matter how awkward they seem at the first glance.
Analyze all the extracted solutions and consider their pros and cons. Mind factors like cost of acquiring a customer, size of your audience and effort necessary to test your hypothesis. Once you’re done, choose 2-3 channels which seem to be the most promising. Do not go for more – in this case, more does not really mean better.
Now it’s time to put your ideas into practice. Each time you decide to check out a new channel, always track it to verify whether you’re heading the right direction. Carefully observe the results of your work, and once you notice the loss of efficiency, apply changes. The testing stage is usually the longest, but also the most crucial, so keep calm and be patient.
If the testing has been done right, you already know what are the best customer acquisition channels for your startup. Now you can focus on exploring them and optimising your marketing efforts. This will help you to build a solid traction and source of customers.
What if after all of the steps you still don’t have your traction? Well, maybe it’s time to step back to testing phase and trying some other channels. If this is still not the case, maybe you should even get back to scratch and verify your idea or value proposition once again.
Nobody said it will be easy, but it can become much easier with an accurate help. If you’re still not on your path with your startup development, feel free to reach out to us. As an experienced software house with a number of completed projects, we will advise you on how you can build a traction and finally move forward with your business.