Launching a start-up is one thing, growing a successful business is another. After spending 14 years working in the fintech space and buying 10 cars in 10 years, I slowly learned more about the fast-growing fintech space. I noticed there was a disconnect between customer experience and transparency in car financing. As a car fanatic myself, this led me down the path to found CarClarity in 2020 and reinvent how Aussies approach car financing.
When you first launch your business, your main goal is to establish your brand and start growing. This doesn’t happen overnight. Growth is a process that requires hard work, patience, and dedication. There’s no special step or secret way to surpass other businesses in the industry or achieve immediate success.
Through my experience, I’ve learned there are proven ways to reach growth milestones that can fuel success.
With great rewards, comes sacrifice
When founding a business, leaders must be prepared to work extremely hard, make sacrifices and take risks. This will sometimes mean weeks and months of working long hours. It’s crucial to know that there will be periods following these pushes where they can relax as they recoup and look into the next phases of growth.
I took a giant leap of faith when I founded CarClarity. I sold my house, quit my job, and didn’t pay myself a salary for one year. Everything was on the line, and this only enhanced my determination to make this company a huge success. Since founding, we’ve grown to a team of 27, had 35,000 customers to date as we continue with our mission of helping Aussies save more on their car loans.
Invest in people
Your number one asset when starting a business is your people. You will need talented people to join your journey whether that be staff, partnerships, or investments. You must make sure they share your vision for the company and believe in you. I did this by utilising my network, for example, and recruited people that I worked with previously because I trusted them and knew their skill sets and capabilities that we could capitalise on.
Business leaders also need to shift from the mindset of thinking they need to solve everything themselves. This just stretches yourself too thin, when more productive time could be spent hiring talent fast and people that expand the business and bring new ideas to the table, the quicker you can do that – the easier it will be. For example, we hired our CRM and optimisation teams very early on which helped grow our database and played a key role in enabling growth initially.
Don’t be afraid of failure
There is a misconception that when you launch a product it must be 100 per cent market ready. It takes years to get a product or service market fit, so you must be prepared to launch a product and continue to make tweaks and new additions to it as customers start using them and provide feedback. This enables businesses to trial different methods and see what works to best address customer needs.
Starting a business is scary and you must be prepared to receive rejection, we pitched to 15-20 investors and one believed in us, and all you need is one. Stay positive, passionate, and work hard, if you believe in your product, somebody else will too.
Our platform is still in the start-up phase, and I’m learning new things and tackling challenges daily. Growth is an ongoing process that requires hard work, patience, a lot of dedication, and there’s no universal formula to achieve guaranteed success. By adopting a laser-focused approach to hiring the right talent and not shying away from potential failure with product innovation, leaders will gain a more holistic look over what is needed to grow their business.