Hiding From the Pain

With so many things to think about when starting a company, entrepreneurs tend to overlook scalability of secondary areas such as marketing.  Every business has different scalability pain points – if you run an internet business then computing resources is the main issue whereas if you run a retail store then floor space is an issue.

The most common response to these secondary areas is “we’ll get to it later.” However, if you don’t pay attention to these issues, they just get bigger and could end up costing you more money. For some companies marketing is not their main expertise so they might throw some money at Google AdWords and passively watch the analytical data. Now, what happens if they decide to increase their marketing budget by 10x? If the current marketing plan is not optimized then you can imagine what will happen when they really want to crank up the ad spend. In this example, it makes sense to analyze the advertising data and slowly scale up the marketing spend.

It’s hard to believe but some companies even neglect their basic pain points. Friendster one of the first social networking sites was launched in 2002 and quickly become very popular. It was so popular that the site would be inaccessible for hours because of the amount of traffic it was receiving.  After many months of sporadic outages many people became frustrated and soon found a new home at MySpace. As a sidenote, all the patents that were issued to Friendster over the years were recently sold to Facebook.

Building a company with scalability in mind at all levels might seem idealistic but that’s what separates million dollar companies from billion dollar companies.

The above article originally appeared on GQindia.com.

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