Five fatal errors killing your startup's growth


Growth can seem complex but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve spent the last 8 years growth hacking as a digital marketer and consultant for startups. I'm also the founder of digital agency Polaris Growth. One thing I know is that growth is almost never a matter of luck.

Why is growth difficult for some companies? The answer is surprisingly simple: the lack of a growth framework. Or in other words: seeing growth as a result instead of a process.

Without a process, entrepreneurs and companies will commit these 5 strategic errors that can often be fatal to their growth plans.

Do you recognize any of these critical errors below? It may be a warning sign that you are lacking clarity on growth.


1. No structure to your growth strategy

You have no clear growth strategy in place. The initiatives and projects your team carries out are not totally aligned with the goals of the business. You’re moving, yet there is no clear direction. Growth is hit and miss, rarely seeming sustainable or replicable.


2. Lack of clear priorities - the self-fulfilling prophecy of ‘not enough time for growth’

Growth is the ambition of most entrepreneurs. It is also often a requirement to build a sustainable business: better team, better product, happier clients. Yet the time you spend on growth is limited. “Where do I find the time to work on growth?” The problem is a lack of clarity. If you would have a clear overview of which tactics relate to your company’s objective, and which don’t, you would know what to work on.


3. Lack of focus – drowning in an ocean of ideas

All your growth ideas seem equally important, but you don’t know which one to execute first. So you use a ‘let’s just do it’ mentality and start with a random idea. Sometimes tactics work, sometimes they don’t. You waste time on projects that don’t contribute to your business’ growth. Or waste your time on supposed improvements which do not actually add value.


4. A Lack of knowledge and experience within your team to execute

Your team may have a lack of executional knowledge of digital marketing and conversion optimization. There is no overview of tools and techniques and / or there is not enough knowledge regarding how to employ these tools well. In short, your team is lacking experience and knowledge. This means you are losing time and wasting money on marketing budget.


5. Insufficient data to make data-driven decisions

Decisions are made on gut-feeling and based on opinions instead of data. The success of projects is not measured, instead it is agreed upon by stakeholders.

You might have no data at all. Available data is not used or trusted, or perhaps there is no knowledge regarding how to interpret the data and make it actionable. You’re hoping something will work, instead of knowing that it will.



If you recognise 2 or more of these problems, you are not prioritising growth strategy in your business.

The 5 errors in growth strategy above have the same root cause: the lack of a growth system. And it means you’re flying blind.

Growth doesn’t have to be hard. If you have clarity and the tools to execute.

If you’re interested in getting absolute clarity on growth, schedule a call with us.

Ewoud Uphof