Every new business owner wants to achieve one goal — rapid growth. Successful growth in the early stages of a business can help it avoid these eye-opening SBA stats:
- Half of new businesses do not survive past the five-year mark
- Only a third are still in business by year 10
I first connected with Fabrizio Moreira, founder of VIP Music Records, through the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). Now, we communicate multiple times every week though email and text messages — bouncing questions back and forth. We are both constantly in hustle mode, and it doesn’t matter if it’s 8am or 11pm — there is a good chance a reply is minutes away.
VIP Music, Moreira’s latest venture in Latin America, has experienced a lot of growth in a short period of time, signing a recent 5-year deal with The Orchard, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. Moreira got his feet wet in the music industry back in 2014, as a part of Soulja Boy’s booking team. Today, his recording company is booming and he’s a voting member of the Grammy Awards.
The fast growth of Moreira’s recording company is a result of several factors, which we discussed the last time we spoke and which are highlighted below.
1. Identify what sets you apart from your competition
It’s important to understand your competition inside and out, figure out what specifically sets you apart and then use that as an advantage for growth opportunities. Moreira’s time spent working with recording artist Soulja Boy helped him where he could improve his business.
“I have a background in politics and public relations, and that skill set enabled me to find success early on in the music industry. We are able to provide artists with a complete package and handle all aspects of their career, from recording and distribution to public relations and personal branding. Being that one-stop solution has helped us stand out from the competition,” explains Moreira.
2. Know who your ideal customer is
Moreira had a keen grasp on the type of artists he wanted to attract from the beginning, explaining, “Understanding the artists is what has enabled us to attract great talent early on, and it’s what was responsible for our long-term deal with Sony Music. If you don’t fully understand your ideal customer, there is no way you can provide the kind of value that’s going to attract them to your business and keep them satisfied. You have to understand their needs and wants, and offer a solution that is a perfect fit. Doing this will help you quickly establish your business as a viable solution.”
This applies to every business — if you don’t know who your ideal customer is, you will be casting a wide net and are more than likely not attracting the right consumers. When you find your ideal customer, you can improve your targeting, advertising, marketing and brand message.
3. Understand your key performance indicators.
To grow, you need to know what is working and what isn’t. Every business is going to have key performance indicators, and if you don’t track, measure and optimize these numbers, you have no idea what to scale to achieve that desirable growth.
“From the beginning, we tracked and split-tested everything, from social media marketing to plays across all music streaming services. We were able to quickly identify what contributed the most to album and singles downloads as well as personal brand growth for each artist. This has essentially reduced the ramp-up time for each new artist we sign, helping us to grow exponentially as a company,” said Moreira.
4. Have a firm grasp of your business financials
If you don’t know your numbers, your business growth could be cut short unexpectedly. You have to be able to account for every penny that comes in and goes out. Things like bootstrapping as much as possible and being very frugal when it comes to expenses will help you grow much faster.
“As a former member of the Youth Development and Outreach Program, an initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank and a fellow student of the World Bank Institute, I always understood the financial aspect of entrepreneurship. I feel a lot of new startups look for funding and then spend recklessly, assuming there is more money right around the corner. By not carrying debt, you can put yourself in the position to take on a business loan when that growth opportunity is placed in front of you,” suggests Moreira.
5. Invest in the right talent
A company is only as good as the team behind it, and Moreira’s recording company is no different. “There is no doubt that we wouldn’t have experienced the same early success if we had the wrong team members in place. Your team is directly responsible for your success, and the sooner founders understand this, the sooner they will prioritize creating the best possible organizational team.”
In the early stages of a new business, it’s very rare that you will be able to offer huge salaries, bonuses and perks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t attract the best talent. Create a company culture that has a clear vision and mission — it will help you attract team members who want to be a part of the journey.