TRAFFIT culture

To grow TRAFFIT, we need to keep learning how to say no.

31/05/2022
For your business to grow, you need to pick a side in many struggles. We learnt it the hard way – check our story.
Mick Griffin
Mick Griffin
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    ‘It sounds like Traffit isn’t the right fit for you’

    I wanted to share briefly what has been a vital part of our growth at TRAFFIT, and continues to be something we work on every day. Saying no to our leads, our customers, and even each other inside the company.

    I believe one of the biggest startup killers is the lack of Product Market Fit. However, many times that isn’t down to product, but mindset and positioning. TRAFFIT is no exception to this. When you start out, you want to take every dollar on the table, so you can survive, grow, and feel good. Once you pass a certain threshold though, you need to consider which dollars are on the table and how they affect your business.

    You can end up with clients from the SMB sector and Enterprise without really realising it, and that’s great. It shows your company has potential. However those sectors usually have completely different needs and expectations.

    SMBs need easy to use, simple pricing, great on demand educational materials, etc.

    Enterprise needs advanced features, in person sales and support meetings, bespoke onboarding, etc.

    For your business to grow, you need to pick a side. Rather than be average for both customer bases, which one do you want to be perfect for. Not only from product perspective but your marketing materials, your customer support, and even the way you bill and invoice your users.

    The easy part is who do you want to be perfect for.

    Choosing your target audience is probably something most of you have done. But let me share how it gets tricky.

    ‘Hi Mick,

    i’m from NIKE/SONY {insert here any brand you are a fan of}.
    We really like the look of TRAFFIT and we are interested in buying.
    Please complete this procurement process and we can move forward.

    This is where many companies get stuck. Because we want the brand, we want that logo, and the money is pretty good also. But we just picked the startup/scale up space as our target audience and this massive fortune 500 company isn’t in it.

    We then think, ‘if they want to use TRAFFIT let’s not stop them’. Which in part is totally true. However, then you find yourself spending 4 hours completing their procurement process, realizing there are 5 things in there they want and we can ‘almost do’, and you run down to the product team and ask if it’s possible to make them happen.

    You got sucked in πŸ™‚ and it’s happened to all of us. The product team alters the road map, and you make 5 features that 95% of your target audience wouldn’t find valuable.

    Learn to say no, and teach your entire team to do the same

    Saying no to each other

    We needed to learn to say no, much much more than we were doing. But when the decision making process lies in the hands of 2-3 C Level people it’s so easy to get off track, and forget about that vision and ideal customer persona. That core problem we are trying to solve.

    So at TRAFFIT we enable and encourage all our team to say no. We need to crowdsource that ability to stay on our path from within.

    So even if an idea comes from C-Level, who think that idea is a game changer (because we all know c-level people like that, i’m one of them). They come in all excited, and convince the product lead this is a great idea (because they are very convincing people). If that idea gets to the backend developer team in sprint planning, they get to say ‘Woah, that isn’t something that will be valuable for our target audience’.

    And we stop at that moment.

    To enable your entire team to do that, you need to give as much transparency as possible. They need to know all the plans for the company, the numbers etc. They need to know what the CEO knows, in order to second guess them. This is what we do at TRAFFIT and continue to try and do.

    We learn to say no to each other. To the ideas we have that are off center. Sometimes ideas slip through and get all the way to release before we realize it was off path, but we are still learning.

    Saying no to clients

    We learn to say no to clients. Our clients are super valuable to us, and they have their own needs, goals, and we love taking the feedback. Sometimes their ideas are specific to them, but our majority of users wouldn’t benefit so we need to say no or not now. This is super hard as we know it effects their NPS and overall feeling for the brand. One thing we have done to solve this is to release a public roadmap. So we can say ‘We can’t make that feature now, but let me show you why. We are building these things to make your experience better’. It helps a lot

    Saying no to leads

    Probably one of the hardest overall, and one we still find we make mistakes with from time to time. As a team we have gotten better at identifying potential clients who are not right for us, and giving them this feedback, and even suggesting alternatives. i’m proud of our sales team because saying no to deals that have the potential to grow our entire revenue 10% is hard.

    You don’t need to be attractive to everyone to succeed

    The bottom line here for me is that we know at TRAFFIT there is a pathway to being a unicorn by being number #1 in our niche. The world has space for 5 ATS Unicorns.

    Being number #1 in our space, will allow us to exceed our goals, grow 100% YoY.

    But to be number #1 in our space, we need to accept being number #100 in other spaces.

    Hope this articled helped any founders or people who are struggling to satisfy everyone and feeling a little lost. Pick a road, get everyone on board, and go be awesome!

    Regards

    Mick

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