What happens if you’re selling and providing services to small and mid-market businesses during a financial slowdown? 

You will likely be evaluating your Go-To-Marketing strategy. What are the right businesses to double down on and invest your marketing and sales efforts?  

If you are selling to any businesses with an annual turnover of less than $500M, this article is for you.

We will explore practical examples of various businesses and how you can identify whether they are still growing and therefore more likely to continue consuming different services.

Examples shared:

Identifying a fast-growing eCommerce business

Fast-growing eCommerce businesses showing different signals of growth at different stages of their life cycle.

Here is a list of some data points you can track and how to find them:

  • Hiring – can be found either on the company website, job boards or tracking their Linkedin. For manually finding the date the position was first published, explore the source code of the HTML page and look for the word “date” (will be there ~60% of the time).
  • Supported currencies – can be found on the eCommerce website. Additions of new currencies signals which buyers the company is targeting.
  • Shipping destinations – Much like currencies, this information signals the stage and growth pattern of the company. The info can typically be found on either the delivery and returns page of the website. 
  • Ads spend – The main ad platforms for eCommerce are social media and Google Ads. Facebook (and it’s group companies like Instagram) are very transparent about the ads companies run and you can check where their $$$.

Go to the company page and click on See All button under page transparency:

The following view will reveal to you what the company is promoting:

  • Running out of stock – Follow the product pages of the business. Especially for small companies, If they sell out faster then they can replenish their stock – it is a great indication the product has demand.
  • Reviews – Positive reviews and “talk” about the company’s products is always a good sign. Reviews can be found on social media (either on the company’s page or on pages of distributors of the products), specialty forums (for those niche products), and review websites (like TrustPilot). Identifying the overall sentiment trend is slightly challenging without automation but you can look at the overall rating and velocity of new additional reviews for good signs.

Identifying growing restaurants

Many companies are targeting hospitality and restaurants as a key segment for their products.

But with a 5-year survival rate of just 32%, do you really want to spend your time and effort selling to restaurants that won’t be around next year?

What if you could focus your time and energy on finding the few restaurants that are not only likely to survive but that are actually growing and expanding?

Yes, it is possible!

Here are a few good indicators to look at when assessing if a certain restaurant is growing and therefore a good target:

  • Occupancy > 80% – If you are trying to book a table and most nights the restaurant is fully booked – that is a sign of a stable restaurant.
  • Hiring employees – If the restaurant is actively hiring employees, especially if they are hiring them for a new location – it is a sign the restaurant is either expanding or moving to a new location.
  • Applying for planning permission – A sure sign of expansion – if the restaurant has applied for planning permission on a new premise. Planning permission records are open to the public for review in almost all cities. 
  • Applying for regulatory approval to operate – whether applying for the Food Health and Safety rating or for an alcohol license, check to see if the application is for a new location – this is a great early indicator for expansion.

Identifying growing tech startups

One of the key events in the life of a tech startup is fundraising.

Fundraising means a company is rapidly growing and will be spending money on people, tools and services.

Many companies that target growing startups troll the web for press releases and reach out to the company immediately after.

But by then it is already too late.

Why do you ask?

Two reasons:

  • PR goes out 4-5 months after the actual fundraising has happened
  • On the day the PR goes out, the leadership team gets bombarded with emails from lots of people, tools and services. It is VERY difficult to stand out when you are one of the hundreds emailing

So if you are targeting growing startups, what can you do?

Typically there are enough signals out there to identify a company that has raised money before the PR is out.

Let’s take Optibus as an example:

Optibus started to ramp up hiring of “expansive” employees 7 months before the PR came out. 

They commenced an international expansion 6 months before as well.

Each of the data points on the slide does not mean much on its own. But when several of them are combined across a window of time, a pattern emerges.

A pattern of rapid money spending that could not have been possible without fundraising.

The key data points to look at when looking for patterns in tech companies are:

  • Hiring – rapid growth in hiring from one week to another and hiring of senior executives
  • Increase in marketing spend – examples includes: rebranding of website, increase in digital ads spend (similar to eCommerce)
  • International expansion – incorporation in a new country, hiring employees in a new country, for B2C startups – ramp up in web traffic from a new country
  • New board members or directors – can be found either on the company website or in Linkedin or in the Secretary of state / Companies House database

Summary

Even during these turbulent times, there are still companies that are growing.

We have reviewed 3 examples of very different types of businesses and saw how publicly available data can help you zoom in on these companies. 

If you’re in sales or marketing and don’t have the capacity to do the manual work of tracking these types of data, you can check out our platform.   

Leadgence deploys big data algorithms that track all these data points and hundreds more to extract relevant insights for you dramatically improving sales and marketing performance.

Schedule your personalized demo to learn more here

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