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G98f Growth (12)

George Morgan
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Page no: G98f



In this session, Mentors will provide Founders with feedback on their current growth, metrics, and strategy. Mentors will discuss various growth tactics, setting growth goals and milestones, communicating your startup’s growth progress and setbacks with stakeholders and advisors, and more.



Below are just a few of the 10-15 assignments you’ll complete through Working Groups and Office Hours:

  1. Growth Plan Update – Review the performance of your growth goals and adjust your growth plan to improve your performance and accountability.
  2. Sales – Pursue aggressive goals to close new revenue or users, which may be signups, payments, a signed contract, a pre-payment or a signed letter of intent.
  3. Growth Tactics – Work with your working group and advisors to brainstorm 15 new ideas to increase the top of your funnel, and provide a bulleted list of these Growth Tactics.
  4. Pivot – Consider a pivot if you are not meeting your growth goals, sales, product or hiring progress targets. If you decide to Pivot, schedule a call with one of your Local Leaders to discuss your proposed pivot in the business and do the same with your advisors.
  5. Hiring Channels – Review all of the candidates that have come through the various recruiting outreach channels and other activities, and identify the most effective channels.
  6. Post-Program Onboarding – Review FI’s post-program resources, and work with your cohort on a monthly meeting schedule where you will continue to meet, provide updates, and share learnings on your progress.
Questions Answer

#1 (Growth)

Review your Growth Goals. Look back on your original Growth Goals compared to the present Growth Goals, and quantify the degree of accuracy of your original estimate versus actual performance. Write one sentence that describes the percentage over or under that you have performed to date, describing how you calculated this percentage. Write another couple of sentences that examines why your original estimation was either accurate or inaccurate with as much detail as possible. (1 Hour)

#2 (Sales)

Make progress on Sales. Push yourself for a second week to close either a first sale or additional sales, which may be user payments, a signed contract, a pre-payment or a signed letter of intent. If you fail to close your first sale this week, then write a couple of sentences that examine why you are not succeeding and how to fix the setbacks. If you have been able to secure sales, then write a couple of sentences on how you can accelerate the closing of more sales and the faster delivering of solutions. (4 Hours)

#3 (Product)

Make progress on your Next Release. Work closely with your Project Team to make substantial progress on your Next Release. Work to ensure that each Release takes about two weeks to complete. Write a couple of sentences to describe the progress and setbacks that you have been facing with the Releases to date. (4 Hours)

#4 (Hiring)

Follow up on your Hiring initiatives. Review all of the Candidates that have been received through the various Recruiting Outreach channels and other activities, and write a couple of sentences that describe the most effective channels. Write a couple of sentences on how you will expand your Recruiting Outreach to drive more qualified Candidates. Start interviews and, if possible, Test Projects with any qualified Candidates. Collect and review proposals for any Outsourcing. (2 Hours)

#5 (Pivot)

Consider a Pivot if you are not meeting your Growth Goals, Sales, Product or Hiring progress targets. A Pivot is a moderate change in company direction to address the needs of your customers and build a successful business that has ‘product market fit.’ For example, you may want to consider a B2B option if you are a B2C company, or you may want to consider a different vertical or sector based on customer feedback. If you decide that no Pivot is necessary, then write “No Pivot.” If you decide to Pivot, immediately schedule a call with at least one of your Local Leaders to discuss your proposed Pivot in the business and do the same with your Advisors. If both the Local Leaders and the Advisors agree that a Pivot is necessary, then provide a bulleted list of the feedback, and write one paragraph that describes how the business will Pivot. (1+ Hours)

#6 (Success Definition)

Define success for the company. Write a few paragraphs about what your company will look like when it becomes successful in the next two or three years. Start with a paragraph on the team composition and the culture of the company. Then, write a paragraph about how many customers that you have and the overall customer experience with your solution. Next, write a paragraph on how you are growing and how you sustain your growth over time. Lastly, write a paragraph about the challenges that you will be facing as a business and describe how you resolve those challenges organizationally. (2 Hours)

#7 (Growth Plan Update)

Update your Growth Plan. Review the percentage success with your Growth Goals and adjust your Growth Plan to improve your performance and accountability. Re-write your original Growth Plan with any new tools or incentives that you feel are necessary to meet your Growth Goals. Provide a bulleted list of Growth Goals or related tasks that you can assign to existing or new Team Members. Write a couple of sentences to describe one Test Project for hiring applicants to assist with your Growth Goals, and provide any content for the Test Project. (2 Hours)

#8 (Growth Tactics)

Brainstorm alternative Growth Tactics. Work with your Working Group and Advisors to brainstorm 15 new ideas to increase the top of your funnel and to accelerate the closing of sales, and provide a bulleted list of these Growth Tactics. Rank order the Growth Tactics, and select the top three to test during the remaining weeks of the program. For each of the top three, write a couple of sentences on how you will conduct the tests, measure the results and evaluate the effectiveness of each new Growth Tactic. Start working on the tests. (4 Hours)

#9 (Milestones)

Identify newsworthy business Milestones. Write a bulleted list of five Milestones that you plan to sequentially hit with the business over the next year that would be of interest to industry journalists. Write a couple of sentences for each Milestone that describes the importance of the Milestone within the industry. Find at least one journalist that has covered a similar Milestone by a related competitor, and provide a link to the story. Make an intelligent comment on the story or send a Tweet to the journalist relating to the story, and check back later to see if there is a response. (2 Hours)

#10 (Press and Blog)

Set up your Press and Blog pages. Set up a Press page, titled “Press,” “Media” or “News,” and a Blog for your company, titled “Blog.” Your Press page should include the Boilerplate and a transparent PNG logo file, as well as photos and bios of you, your Team and Advisors. Your Blog should be set up at http://blog.(yourdomain).com or http://(yourdomain).com/blog, and the Blog should use commercially available blogging technology, such as WordPress. Provide links to the Press page and Blog. (2 Hours)

#11 (First Post)

Start posting to your Blog. Write your First Post for the Blog that provides constructive or critical feedback on a popular narrative in your industry or sector. Link to multiple web sites and reference influencers and journalists in the First Post. Have the content proofread by a Working Group peer prior to publishing. Here are some additional tips on writing the content (http://fndri.com/15nxJmn). Include a link to the First Post. (2 Hours)

#12 (Business Calendar)

Review your Business Calendar. Carefully review your Business Calendar for the next 12 months to ensure that you have all of your regulatory filing dates, all of your tax dates, all of your payroll dates, all of your outsourcing milestones, all of the relevant local and global events, all of your communication dates, all of your Advisor meetings, all of your content dates and everything else that you need to track for your business. Share a screenshot or link to your Business Calendar. (1 Hour)

#13 (Semester Leadership)

Elect a President and Vice President for the entire graduating cohort. Virtually meet as a group and discuss the individuals that have the best qualifications and the most available time to organize the cohort after graduation. The President and Vice President will organize monthly virtual meetings and send monthly updates on the progress of each graduating company. Write the name of the President and Vice President with one sentence on why you think that they will do a good job in the role. (1 Hour)

#14 (Semester Schedule)

set up a monthly schedule of virtual meetings and updates for the graduating cohort. The cohort leadership team – the President and Vice President – will arrange a calendar of virtual gatherings each month for next eighteen months, such as the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 PM in a local Starbucks. The leadership team will also set up communication channels, such as a mailing list and Slack or Facebook group, to exchange information, and set up a system to track monthly progress among the cohort, such as using this template (http://fndri.com/2ufskSG). The leadership team will email the Local Leaders and [email protected] with a description of the schedule, the tools and progress tracking, as well as any links. (1 Hour)

#15 (Weekly Update)

Provide an update on your weekly business progress. Copy the previous Weekly Update and mark all items that have been completed or Asks that have been fulfilled as “(DONE).” Mark anything that has not been completed or fulfilled as “(UNDERWAY),” and provide a one sentence update on their status. Add a few more bulleted items to be completed across Team, Product, Traction and Program for the coming week. Send information from your Weekly Updates and Asks to key Stakeholders per your Stakeholder Mailings Business Calendar. (1 Hour)

#16 (Hotseat PItch)

Update your one minute without slides and 3 to 5 with slides Hotseat Pitches with any learning and new materials this week, progress from the Weekly Update, and the latest Asks. Video yourself giving your best Hotseat pitch, and upload the video online as unlisted and accessible. Paste the link to the unlisted video in the assignment here and also paste the link in the field on your homepage under Weekly Pitch. (30 Minutes)

(Optional – Founding Round Follow-up Meetings)

Meet and secure commitments from Founding Round Investors. Write a couple of sentences about an Update on the business progress that is interesting to your Funding Target List, which may be your graduation from the Founder Institute. During the Follow-up Meeting, provide the Update and reiterate your passion about and commitment to the business. State that you are looking for people to help support you, and mention the Target Amount that you are looking to raise and that you have been working with a top Law Firm on documents to allow people to participate in a Founding Round. Ask if the individual would be interested in learning more or helping to support the business. If the individual states that they are not interested, seems doubtful or has serious questions, then replace them with another individual on the Funding Target List, maintaining at least 10 people on the list. If the individual seems interested, then state that you will send them the legal agreement and set a time for a Final Call to answer any questions within a few days. Provide an updated Target List that is ordered by how likely an individual is to invest, and write a one-sentence update on the status of each individual. You will close the Funding Target after sending the materials, which are covered in the next assignment. (6 Hours) (Optional – Graduation Gift Follow-up) Coordinate to ensure that the graduation gift is being finalized. Work with the President and Vice President to ensure that any Graduation Gift will be completed by the program Graduation.




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