Getting off the ground can be challenging for many startups and new firms. Companies often struggle to find the funding to start and maintain a growing business. In order to start gaining traction, companies must develop a valid business model to establish their credibility in the market, draw in possible investors, keep one step ahead of the competition, and obtain a competitive edge in their field.
Business traction is commonly defined as the development and momentum of a startup company. Despite the effort put into the business, sales stagnate, and the customer base shrinks when traction is inadequate. It applies to almost any type of business, whether service- or product-oriented, and sells to the general public, other companies, or the public sector.
There are various ways to measure traction; there is no singular metric for it. The below can show how business traction can be achieved in different circumstances.
Profit is the best metric for assessing a company's success. Whatever the method used to calculate the profit, you should not anticipate it for at least a few years. Revenue alone is sufficient to propel a business forward; one does not need to turn in profit in order to get business traction. The confidence of current and potential investors will increase as they see money coming in and being reinvested.
Improving the products and services or updating the procedures are ways to indicate continuous sustainable growth. Investors and the general public must be aware of it to translate into startup traction fully. As a result, it is critical to keep them up to date on all new developments. This will demonstrate that progress is being made and that things are heading in the correct way.
Given the importance of the internet in modern life, web page visits, social media followers, and other online activities significantly suggest company traction. Whether the traffic results in interaction with potential clients is also very important. One of the key indicators of business traction is when customers express a definite interest in the company's product or service through comments, emails, and queries.
Receiving favorable media attention or even neutral attention may also indicate company traction. While initially challenging, this can be helped by contacting online media representatives and experts in the particular disciplines connected to the goods and services the firm provides. Thus, it is important to be well-versed in the subject. In-depth research would also make it possible to pinpoint the media outlets primarily shaping public perceptions of this field.
The ability to form partnerships with renowned, well-established businesses demonstrates credibility and growth potential. It is necessary to find possible partners and have trustworthy information about them. Using firmographic data, you may create a comprehensive firmographic profile of the company you are interested in working with. With this information on the companies, you might find possible partners and make them offers that are specifically suited to them.
Profits are a fundamental metric for success, as that is every business's ultimate objective. Profitability increases indicate that you are going on the right track. All of your company decisions are supported by it.
Your business needs revenue to survive. The revenue is what determines all of your company's responsibilities and other costs, like wages. Gaining traction in revenue is a good sign that you are headed toward profitability for a startup that is not yet profitable.
More potential customers are present when there is more traffic. This traffic might not mean much on its own, but it can be profitable with the right strategies. You can use it to determine whether the type of audience your website draws is beneficial to your business and adjust your acquisition plan.
Getting visitors to your website is relatively simple, but engaging them is difficult. How well your product is received can be determined by engagement. Although not every website visitor interacts with it converts, it still benefits your brand because the brand value is the second-best statistic after traffic.
The quantity of registered users demonstrates that users are doing more than merely using your product. It shows a certain degree of support for your goods. Registered users are informed when new items or exclusive advantages become on sale, which might help retain customers.
There's a chance that many registered users would not use your website. Therefore, not every registered user can contribute to your ability to make money. Measuring traction in terms of active users would be more pertinent in this situation.
Business traction can mean many different things and can be significant for various reasons, depending on the viewpoints of various industry specialists.
Reviewing the startup companies' business traction allows investors to be aware of investment potential. Investors examine many forms of data to be able to recognize key factors indicating business traction. This notably applies to social media data, which makes it easier to spot early indications of traction. Companies should also look at alternative data to discover what works and what does not to increase their traction and secure the necessary funds for upcoming investments. Knowing what attracts investors will help you adjust and develop plans for generating traction.
Business clients are experts seeking to collaborate with dependable individuals or businesses. As a result, they will consider traction as an indication of credibility and the capacity to keep commitments running. Understanding the market is essential for locating such clients. Analyzing information on the firms in the industry might help with this. Traction that suggests future growth and credibility is considered when partnering with other businesses. Building a strong name in the industry can be facilitated by collaborating with well-established and reputable partners.
The most crucial indicator of business traction for business-to-customer (B2C) is brand and product awareness before generating profit or revenue. Campaigns that are well-developed and targeted are used to accomplish this. The necessary startup traction can be created in large part through the use of social media. For instance, interacting with clients online and creating demand may result in newsletter subscriptions or webpage sign-ups, enabling the general public to stay updated on the advancements. This, in turn, would translate to more business traction.
In Seattle, Howard Schultz first opened a lone coffee shop. They saw that the majority of their customers arrived, selected a coffee, opened a laptop, and worked for hours. They occasionally even had their colleagues join them. Typically, this behavior would be seen negatively, but Starbucks recognized that these customers had a higher lifetime value than those who left with their coffee.
They developed a new motto that resonated with this freelance population: "A third space between your home and office," and they launched a rebranding campaign. They started promoting Starbucks as a co-working space before co-working spaces became popular. They offered customers free Wi-Fi, cozy seating, and an improved overall appearance for the entire store. They transitioned from being simply another coffee shop to carving out a specific market. This is what made it the multi-billion dollar business that it is today.
It took Airbnb two years to gain any traction. They even sold cereal to keep the business going because they had no investors, no credit, and a tonne of debt. According to Joe Gebbia, it all began when their apartment's rent increased, and they needed to find additional revenue. They started renting out airbeds in their apartment after creating their own website, and they ended up making close to $1,000.
They had many requests to make their website international after just that one hosting. “That was basically our market research. People told us what they wanted, so we set off to create it for them. Ultimately, while solving our own problem, we were also solving someone else’s problem. We were at a point professionally where we were very ready to pursue our own idea. We were anxious, like waiting in line for a roller coaster. We didn’t know what was ahead but knew we were in for a ride.”
Traction is extremely important to your startup, but getting it may be challenging. Business traction is an elusive term that has numerous meanings based on the context and what you wish to achieve. The road to traction will never be straight, but it's critical to recognize what stage you are at and what "traction" means to your business. The fundamental principle is always the need to have something to show for all the labor that goes into creating a business model.