The beginning of a new year always brings a much-needed opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the previous 12 months, and to lay out some objectives for the year ahead. For GrowthMinds, this is truer today than it has ever been before as I look back on the huge advances we made in 2018, and then ahead to the next stage of the journey that lies before us.
Our objective for 2018 was not a simple one: we wanted to redefine the meaning of Growth Hacking as a Service. Since our launch we have observed how the more systematic and methodical growth hacking becomes, the more it improves. We have seen that to reach the next level of growth success, we needed to marry our smart and passionate SaaS growth hackers with a scientifically calculated methodology which they could follow and which delivered measurable and meaningful results.
Combining human intelligence, process and data science: the GrowthMinds methodology
Humans on their own can achieve really successful growth. We’ve already seen as much. But by giving our humans a pre-qualified set of scalable and measurable tools they could use, they could take faster and more accurate decisions which deliver significantly better results. Human intelligence and emotional understanding + process and data science = NIRVANA!
By giving our humans a pre-qualified set of scalable and measurable tools they could use, they could take faster and more accurate decisions which deliver significantly better results. Click To Tweet
So we built the Growth Mindset. It was not an easy piece of work…! Luckily we had two years experience of successfully growth hacking our clients which we were able to pool. We notated every single one of the hundreds and hundreds of experiments that we use to hack growth, and considered and calculated the impact of each. We graded each of them in merit according to their speed, their accuracy and their budget to create a fast to use check-sheet. And we phased them into an end to end growth hacking ecosystem that can take any company from being at promise stage, to delivering full on performance.
We started implementing our new systems in October and the results are marked. We’re all together a faster and more sophisticated operation and are excited to take our new enhanced offering to market at large in 2019.
Entrepreneurs, investors and accelerators are choosing Growth Hacking as a Service
2018 was also notable in that it was the year we closed our first round of investment. At the end of the summer, Gorilla Capital and a group of appropriately named ‘Angels’, invested the seed funding required to allow us to grow. Whilst GrowthMinds was profitable since launch, we could see how much more we could do were we able to move faster. And this injection of cash is allowing us to do just that, with expansion of our own growth operations and our market footprint.
We’ve also enjoyed working with some exciting new companies this year, and have loved collaborating with some inspiring entrepreneurs who are bravely striding out into the unknown. It’s dangerous to start naming companies as it looks like favouritism but I must make a specific shout out about Thyngs, who are reimagining consumer shopping experience with NFC tags, Hazy, who are helping banks uncover some remarkable and financially beneficial insights from their data, and MyBaker who are providing an amazing platform for independent bakers, and who also share our home at the wonderful co-working space, WeWork South Bank and feed us wonderful cake each week.
But of course we’re fortunate to work with dozens of businesses who are reshaping their industries, and all of whom are offering genuinely innovative services. I get asked about the impact of Brexit a good deal. Both by UK-based entrepreneurs and those from overseas too. I always answer, quite honestly, that I’ve not seen any signs of impact so far. I’ve seen no reduction in investment deal activity in UK start-ups, and passionate founders are still tapping in to real success. Of course we don’t know what’s around the corner but right now I’m delighted to say that the UK start-up scene is still getting stuff done and is an exciting place to be.
I’ve been fortunate to learn from some brilliant start-ups this year as a result of my participation as a mentor on a few different scale-up and accelerator programmes. First up came running an Account Based Marketing seminar for the PwC Commerce Scale-Up programme early in the year. This was followed by being involved in the Startupbootcamp InsurTech accelerator as a mentor which was lots of fun. Later in the year I also did some coaching for the wonderful startups based at Rise London. People talk about mentoring as giving back, but honestly, I think I learnt as much from working with the founders on these programmes as they have from me. Their passion and dedication to creating something from nothing has given me energy and inspiration when I’ve needed it.
People talk about mentoring as giving back, but honestly I think I learnt as much from working with the founders on these programmes as they have from me. Click To Tweet
Expanding the GrowthMinds team and maintaining our growth hacking culture
The team have been wonderful in that respect too. You may well be aware that we’ve added to our team in the past few months. Please step forward our Content Hacker, Tim, and our Head of Growth Marketing, Virginia. Both are smashing new additions to the team and very much of the GrowthMinds mould: smart, honest, hard working and quick to laugh. Gina was also promoted to Head of Client Growth in the past year which no-one will be surprised about as she is a legend.
So with that backdrop, what are our plans for 2019?
Well firstly I must come back to our new growth hacking playbook, the Growth Mindset. We are not currently planning to make this available in isolation – it is our secret sauce after all! However that doesn’t mean we can’t bring its benefits to UK start ups and we’re spreading the word fast and wide. All of our clients have now got access to the extended programme so that they may benefit too. So our primary objective this year is to take the Growth Mindset to market so it can revolutionise how start-ups are growth hacking, and to bring them to top performance.
That’s no small objective on its own but outside that we continue to grow: we are currently hiring a new Growth Hacker and a Business Development Manager (recommendations always appreciated!), and as with all founders I’ve got one eye firmly on ensuring that we bring on board new hires that reflect our culture and values. We’re also launching a new Learning Programme this month so that all team members, me included, take time out each month to broaden their skills, test them and share learnings with the team.
And finally we want to keep helping the UK start-up scene flourish and grow, particularly with regards to getting investment. To date our activity has been quite informal in this respect: in October we organised our first event for FinTech Rising Stars to put themselves in front of some of the UK’s most deal-hungry investors. And we make the connection between start-ups and investors all the time. However, in 2019 we will be formalising this part of our mission a good deal more so keep your eyes peeled for us at events and do let us know if there’s a new connection you think you need.
We wish you all the very best for your 2019, and hope that you’re as excited about what’s in front of you as we are. Please keep in touch with us and share your stories as you progress through your journey. If we can help at all, of course, we’d love to. And please drop me a line directly if I can ever help with connection, advice or just be a listening ear when it gets hard. Go get ‘em!
Kate Fairhurst is CEO and co-founder of GrowthMinds