If you’re a SaaS founder, you’ll be familiar with Dan Martell. With 2 well-running businesses, multiple failed ones, and a recipe for scaling SaaS companies, Martell is a visionary in designing success. Besides growth, he has invested in companies such as Intercom, Udemy, and Unbounce and has earned the title of a top angel investor in Canada.
When we sat down with Dan, we picked up 8 unique insights that SaaS founders need to know when growing their business 🔎
1. Get others talking 📣
When Dan Martell started Clarity fm, a program that allowed people to get insights from experts, he used a unique marketing strategy to grab more eyeballs. Instead of the regular old marketing, he got the experts to share and promote their profiles on the tool. This brought in audiences who were sure to be interested in signing up for the tool.
As a SaaS business owner, you need to think about how you can outsource distribution. When you’re the only one promoting your tool, you have a limited reach on audiences. Think of the different kinds of stakeholders who can promote your tool. This can be experts who are working with you on the tool, popular clients with authority in the field, or influencers on LinkedIn.
2. Work on your confidence-competence loop 🔄
There is a very obvious link to your competence and your confidence. Being incompetent in your field of expertise can negatively affect your confidence when talking to investors or pitching to new clients.
Invest in building your skills and growing your competence in the fields that matter to make yourself more confident. If you’re looking to dig deeper, Dan himself has a great blog on the 4 ways you can build your confidence.
3. Create a Company OS
The Company Operating System is a term used by Martell to structure how he processes aspects of his business— meetings, rhythms, routines, schedules, performance measurement, etc. Martell swears by having a system set for every single thing in his business, from hiring to project management. He has playbooks for everything he does so that his company runs like a well-oiled machine.
“I’m a big fan of having a big vision for our lives, but then breaking it down into weekly actions, monthly actions, quarterly.”
His blog about the Founders Operating System can give you more insight into this idea.
4. Look for the small wins
As business owners, we sometimes get caught up in achieving our big picture plans. While looking at your goals is crucial, you may want to note the smaller milestones to help you and your employees to appreciate your progress.
Dan Martell believes in the small wins. He insists that by looking at your daily and weekly actions, you can sharpen your skillset and competence, build your team’s confidence and keep them more motivated to work.
5. Rethink how you look at problems 🧠
When building a SaaS tool, most founders often get blocked by problems they find in their version 1 or version 3 of their tool. Dan Martell has a great perspective to deal with problems, one that more SaaS founders need to recognize:
“Don’t wish you didn’t have problems. Wish that you were better. Wish that you were capable of dealing with more, because the truth is, if you want to scale and build 100 million a year company, your problems go from 10 dollar problems to 100 dollar problems, 1000 dollar problems, to 10,000 dollar problems to 50,000 problems.”
6. Prioritize self-coaching
The most important part of growth for any entrepreneur is self-coaching. Martell stands by the need to invest in yourself. You need to be able to learn how to create value at your job, doing side hustles, and then lean into the business because then you’ll have the skill to be more successful. As an entrepreneur, you need to know what failure looks like and that’s only possible if you have the foundation to deal with that and have a process built for growth and success.
“So, invest in yourself until you learn how to create value, create money. And once you have 100,000 in the bank, then you can start a business. You learn more that way.”
7. It’s never about the idea. It’s the process!
Everyone has ideas. One of the biggest misconceptions we have is that a great idea is the key to success. But, according to Dan Martell, it’s never about the idea. The idea is constantly evolving over time, especially as the needs of the target audience changes. What matters more is the process.
“All I know is there’s a process for success. So, I’m pumped because I’ve never worked with a client and said, “Oh, that’s a bad idea.” Because in any business, you’ll come up with things that are not the best idea, but in that seed, there’s an opportunity, and that’s when I’m really good at saying, “Okay, this works, great. Here’s where we’re going. Let’s try this to get to this level.” So, businesses always morph over time, and it’s really about a process for how to do that strategically that I think is important.
8. Try new platforms ⭐️
The social landscape is constantly evolving. It went from Myspace to Orkut to Facebook to Instagram and now, to Tiktok. As a business owner, you need to be testing out different platforms so that you can leverage new audiences. One of the platforms that Martell uses, surprisingly, is TikTok.
As a new platform that is commonly geared for teens, most SaaS founders haven’t even thought of TikTok as a viable communication platform. But, by testing out and learning about the platform Martell will be well-versed with the needs of audiences on TikTok and tap into opportunities he can gain through it.
We hope this helped you approach your business planning and management with a new perspective so that you can identify untapped areas of growth for your SaaS business and ensure you can maximize your success.
But there’s a lot more in the interview. If you want to listen to everything Dan Martell has to say, watch the complete interview here: