If there’s a company that knows how to scale, it’s HubSpot. The software company grew from an idea in 2004 to a $50M+ run rate in 2012 – and it hasn’t stopped since. Even at this moment, thousands of marketers and salespeople are gathered in Boston for INBOUND, HubSpot’s annual conference dedicated to educating its customers on achieving their own high growth.
HubSpot CEO and Founder Brian Halligan kicked off the conference by sharing HubSpot’s secrets to scaling. Following are a few of the things we learned.
3 “Muscle Groups” for Scaling Company Growth
“There’s really no silver bullet,” Halligan said on scaling. “But there’s 3 muscle groups we built out in stage 2.” “Stage 2,” Halligan said, is the startup stage where HubSpot went from a few people to an actual business. The company got stuck there for awhile, but then really took off. Use these 3 tips to help you do the same:
Scaling Tip #1: Learn to focus.
A lot of the things you learn as a manager in startup mode work against you in scale-up mode. Above all? The “yes” mentality that you take on early in the business. It can drown you later on.
As Halligan learned, saying no is key. Maximizing your company’s growth potential is all about learning to focus – to do less things well.
Scaling Tip #2: Solve for the customer. (Not the department.)
As most leaders do, when HubSpot started to scale, its managers began making decisions based on their teams. The problem? They weren’t as focused on the business.
HubSpot developed what they call a “Hierarchy of Needs” to solve for it. The documented hierarchy basically puts a process in place that requires managers to solve for the company over the department – or even better, to solve for the customer over the company.
Scaling Tip #3: Hire with culture in mind.
Halligan started this one by talking about culture. “It felt like a luxury we just couldn’t afford,” he said of culture in the early days at HubSpot.
But at a peer CEO group, one of Halligan’s mentors shared his growth secret: “Culture is the magic startup ingredient.”
Halligan took the idea back to his Co-Founder, Dharmesh Shah. Immediately, they got to work on HubSpot’s culture – thinking about it, understanding it and looking at its future. The output? HubSpot’s Culture Code – another critical document, which is widely read even outside of HubSpot today.
Halligan says that now, culture acts as a magnet to not only pull in talent, but customers.
Of course, there’s so much more we can all learn from a high-growth company like HubSpot. But for now, we challenge you to look at these three tips and identify which muscle group your team needs to exercise. We’d love to see which you choose in the comments below.
If you haven’t yet, you should also check out our on-demand webinar on growth: