Over the past four years, my co-founder and I have built four different products, including both a B2B SaaS product and a B2C market network with tens of thousands of users. We’ve gone through Techstars, launched on ProductHunt and spoken with hundreds of mentors, advisors and startup founders.
Here we are back in 2017, smoking a brisket outside our no-air-conditioning, sticky-note-covered garage office. The little smiley-faced call bell was our mascot. See how happy, relaxed and well-rested we look? Little did we know, we were building a product without validating customer needs, a mistake that would cost us a LOT of time and money. And I mean, a LOT.
Through this journey, we’ve learned that the way most early stage companies pursue growth is broken, and the solutions to help them grow faster are very broken.
Founders struggle to identify and prioritize which growth opportunities their team should focus on—sometimes, it’s hard to state what the opportunities and challenges even are in the first place. And, in the event a team does prioritize correctly, they often lack the specialized expertise required to make progress quickly.
These problems lead to companies constantly reinventing the wheel, taking far longer to achieve growth than they should, burning cash unnecessarily, and generally just taking a really long time to reach an early version of product-market fit (that is, if they aren’t in the majority who crash and burn before reaching it).
In my years as a founder, I have personally made all of these mistakes (enough times that it’s embarrassing) and I’ve faced these challenges over and over. I have the scar tissue to prove it.
So, we decided to go after this problem head-on: how might we solve the problem of early stage tech companies struggling to grow?
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But, before I dive into that, one relevant note:
All along the way, to make ends meet, my co-founder and I have offered consulting services to other tech companies: Zach offers user research and growth marketing services, while I do brand identity design.
We’ve gone deep here, learning what it really takes to grow a consulting business and how the world’s best consultants do it.
Importantly, we’ve learned first-hand what the biggest problems are when building a consulting business, namely: starting conversations with more of your ideal clients, building trust with prospects quickly, and working toward bigger, longer-term client relationships.
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GrowthMatch arose from these two lived experiences: the struggles of trying to grow early stage tech companies, and the challenges of building an independent consulting practice.
GrowthMatch is a talent marketplace where tech companies who want to increase growth can easily find and hire vetted marketing, sales and design specialists for part-time engagements.
GrowthMatch simultaneously solves the biggest problems faced by each side:
- For the team at an early stage tech company, we help them fill the gaps on their team that hold them back from faster revenue and customer-base growth. Faster growth makes everything else they do easier, from fundraising to recruiting, and ultimately enables founders to build the business they were meant to build.
- For specialized marketing, sales and design consultants who love working with tech companies, we connect them with rewarding, meaningful engagements to help grow vision-driven tech companies. Turning on this automated lead gen channel enables consultants to shorten their sales cycle, increase earnings with better clients, and build a truly successful independent career.
Okay, but how is GrowthMatch different from other marketplaces?
How GrowthMatch Works
First, we throughly vet everyone who joins GrowthMatch, on both sides. All of our specialists go through a rigorous vetting process to ensure they have specialized expertise and proven experience helping tech companies solve specific, important problems to unlock growth.
Second, we provide lightning-fast personalized matchmaking across 7 categories to ensure companies hire the best-fit specialists every time. Of course, if they wish, companies can freely browse talent, check out profiles and contact specialists. But our 1:1 matchmaking is hands down the world’s fastest way for a company to get the marketing, sales and design support they need to grow faster.
And third, GrowthMatch is built on a strong point-of-view for how each party can succeed and achieve their desired growth outcomes. I’ve detailed these viewpoints below.
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Our Point-of-View for Early Stage Tech Companies
Tech companies fail because they run out of money and/or energy. Along the way, what does this look like? They waste tons of money on growth efforts that don’t work. They don’t have the right metrics to support fundraising. They can’t attract quality talent or strategic partners.
We believe all of those issues stem from two core problems:
- The team doesn’t know which growth opportunities to pursue, and in what order to pursue them
- The team doesn’t have the expertise to solve the hard early growth challenges, quickly
We decided to build a list of as many of these challenges as we could, and it’s a living, growing resource called The Challenge Roadmap. They’re (more or less) in the order in which a team will face them, and it’s designed to help teams build a solid foundation and avoid the wasted effort of “trying to grow before validating.”
Of course, the rest of GrowthMatch—connecting with specialists, 1:1 Working Sessions, etc.—ensures companies can actually solve these challenges quickly, without having to reinvent the wheel, over and over again.
All of this ladders up to our purpose of helping people apply their excellence so they can change the world.
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Our Point-of-View for Independent Consultants
The top 1% of expert consultants understand that achieving six-figure years consistently—without working themselves into the ground—requires doing these three things:
1 – Specialize – don’t be a generalist
2 – Create a documented process for how you help clients achieve their desired outcomes
3 – Design a compelling offer funnel
GrowthMatch helps consultants do all three of these things at once. On top of that, we give them the simplest possible way of generating new prospects, and we’ve created the format (1:1 Working Sessions, Community Q&A, etc.) that maximizes their ability to quickly build trust with each prospect. No other channel enables consultants to meet their prospects further down the sales funnel.
With GrowthMatch, consultants spend far less time on prospecting and selling; build higher quality client relationships; and increase their earnings per time worked. This is part of our mission: to help every great consultant feel confident, self-assured, financially free and positioned to grow their business as much as they desire.
Where We Go From Here
Launching the GrowthMatch alpha today, we could not possibly be more excited about the future. Early feedback about GrowthMatch has been phenomenal, and we continue seeing top-tier companies and specialists apply to join. So: