There are all sorts of guides out there on how to start a business. But let’s be real here. If business building really was as easy as following a step-by-step guide, then just about everyone would be building billion-dollar enterprises right now!
But okay, so… what does it actually take to build a successful business?
Allow me to be mysterious for a moment… There is a trick to it.
A trick that I like to call, The Lost Art of business building.
Sounds a bit pompous, doesn’t it? And to be perfectly honest, it does belie a certain level of intricacy that is actually far from the truth.
The ‘lost art’ as it stands. Is really just a way of stating that, yes. Most have forgotten about it. Perhaps not on purpose. You may even find it mentioned on some of those handy guides out on the internet. But it is a forsaken business strategy that most entrepreneurs discount.
See if you can spot it below as we analyze the success story of Maropost — a marketing automation service provider that is ranked as one of the fastest-growing and most profitable tech companies in North America. How did Maropost’s CEO, Ross Andrew Paquette, build such a successful enterprise? Let’s find out!
The Start of Something New!
Every business starts with an ‘idea.’ Whether it’s a contrived idea that you spend hours researching about while worrying over the current marketing trends, or just something that you just happen to come up with one day.
The start of Maropost falls somewhere in between. As founder and CEO, Ross Andrew Paquette tells it in an exclusive interview, it went a little something like this:
“The idea of Maropost came about as a result of frustration during my early career in the SaaS and email marketing industry… All the SaaS and email marketing tools available at that time had poor deliverability and even worse customer service.
So, seeing that, I decided it was time to make a change by pushing out a product that would continuously improve over the years to keep pace with the growing market — rather than go stagnant like those early email marketing tools and platforms did.”
In reality, Paquette’s natural discovery of this gap in the market was quite ingenious. Especially considering that he did it intuitively. There’s no hidden trick or secret in what he did. He literally just observed how bad things were getting, and then, remarkably, he capitalized on what he saw by building something new — something that he believed the people would love.
The Secret to Building a Business?
Paquette revealed that the first year for Maropost was actually “pretty calm.” And that the goal was not to “raise capital” but to focus on building the business itself.
Most companies, at this stage of the startup cycle, are often quite panicked about whether money was coming in or not — they push themselves out there, shouting out into the figurative void endlessly in hopes of generating enough new business to keep themselves going.
But that wasn’t the case for Maropost! In the beginning, they barely spent any capital on marketing! And yet, somehow, in just a few years Maropost went from a $300K revenue company to start, to a $3.3M revenue company. And not so long after that, four years down the line, to be specific, they somehow made it all the way up to $25M!
Just… how is that possible? Well, according to Paquette:
“We’ve always put our efforts into building a better product—a product that delivers more value to customers. Because we weren’t answering to investor demands, we could listen to customer needs. So, we kept reinvesting into the platform, into innovation, growing based both on the initial value we provided to customers and on our future direction.”
And that there is the answer. It’s a bit hard to grasp at first. But, according to this quote, the secret to Maropost’s explosive growth over the years is… customer-centric innovation.
The Bottom Line | The Loss Art of Business Building
“The customer should always come first!” You’ve probably heard that at least a thousand times at this point. But… have you actually heard it?
Maropost, a company that put in very little effort in generating new business to start with. Is now earning $45M in annual revenue with only 172 employees onboard. In their portfolio of client’s are well-known B2C brands and retailers like Shop.com, Hard Rock, Mercedes-Benz, Rolling Stone’s Wenner Media, NewsCorp, and so much more.
And the hidden ‘trick’ to their success? It’s simple. They put their customers first. They focused on perfecting their business processing, their infrastructure, and their customer service. And that… is how they built a successful business.