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Step 1: Identify your growth goal

Think about what you want from your growth strategy. What is your company’s next milestone? To build enough traction to attract investors? To show you can scale? Before you start a marketing campaign, you need to know your destination so you can map your progress. This “destination” is your growth goal. Growth goals will vary depending on your company’s needs at this time.

You need to identify your current growth goal.

In this video, Nathan explains why defining a growth goal is so critical and how to go about it.

After you view the video, download the spreadsheet below and complete the activity.


Video transcript | Step 1: Identify your growth goal

Growth goals will change over time as your customer changes.

In the early days of your venture, your growth goals are to determine product–market fit. As you build your venture, your goal may be to demonstrate enough traction to attract an investor or demonstrate that you can scale. Whichever your goal, you are always trying to achieve a repeatable and scalable business model.

Think about what your current growth needs are and answer these two questions:

  1. What goals do you need to achieve through your growth marketing?
  2. What resources in terms of time, people and money will you need?

For example, say you have six months of runway before you run out of cash. You know you need to generate $150,000 in revenue in six months to demonstrate to investors you can scale. Now, think about your customer cost per acquisition. If your product is a big-ticket item like a large medical device, you may only need a dozen customers to reach your goal. But, if you’re selling SaaS software for a subscription of $20/month, you will need 1,250 customers. Clearly defining your growth goal is the key to success.

Don’t underestimate the importance of articulating a growth goal before designing your marketing tactic. Think of your growth goal as your destination—albeit a temporary one until you change again. You won’t be able to plot your route, measure your progress or know if you’ve even arrived if you don’t know where you’re going.

Once you have identified your current growth goal, you are ready to move on to Step 2.

To recap:
Think about your company’s next milestone & answer these two questions:

  1. What goals do you need to achieve through your growth marketing?
  2. What resources in terms of time, people & money will you need?


  1. Download this spreadsheet
  2. In the spreadsheet, open the tab for Step 1 and complete the activity.
  3. Proceed to Step 2 of this playbook. 

Derek Hopfner is the co-founder of Law Scout, a small online legal-services company looking to scale. Do its growth challenges sound familiar to you?

MaRS article:  Branding for startups: Developing your initial brand strategy Find out why branding matters for startups, and how to fuel and shape a successful brand strategy.
MaRS blog: Startup marketing: Get, keep and grow Nathan delves into customer relationship strategies, also known as the get, keep and grow (GKG) tactics of customer development.
MaRS article: Develop your value proposition and business model using customer validation Customer validation is a critical step that needs to be undertaken before you grow your venture. This article explains why.

Be specific and clearly define success. What you’re trying to achieve should be narrow and focused.
– Sean Ellis