Lack of marketing is slowing down our startup

We have a startup catering to mainly local restaurants. We are still working in MVP stage, almost for 6 months now, and adding features mainly what our early users have been asking.
The idea is validated with end users and is very scalable to other regions once MVP is proven.

Some key all-time metrics to give a fair picture of the startup health.

  • Paying 2.5 to earn 1
  • 31.6% signups convert to paid
  • 10.4% visitors signup
  • 3.3% visitors pay
  • 5 months runway available
  • LTV:CAC ratio is 1.6:1

Our business model does not have a recurring model, so we have kept the sales process almost a no-touch (self-service) one.

For marketing we use Google Adwords, Postcards, local online classifieds.

We initially used to do cold-calling, which was very erratic & a drain on energy. Now we focus only the customers who have shown interest in the service. i.e. they need us too. This way we can focus on potential payers & serve better.

Our concern is Marketing. We need more interest in our product, more visits. Spending more on marketing will mean less runway.

SOS? I am open for discussions here.

  • Walk away. You won’t call or visit, you need to walk away. If you’re not knocking on doors, you’re not serious. You haven’t got paid from users using your service, throw a price on it and see if they pay. If they do, good news, you have revenue and can afford a sales person. If they don’t, you’ll understand that you have no USP and can start a new business.

    • Thanks for your reply. I guess you have not gone through the metrics. We have paying customers. 10.4% visitors signup for our service; 31.6% signups convert to paid.

      We are having trouble reaching our customers. i.e. restaurant owners. Actual visits will only increase cost decreasing the LTV:CAC ratio.

      Word-of-mouth marketing is also showing its colors as we are having inquiries from areas we are not targeting as of now.

      • I still stand by what I said. If you don’t call customers or visit them, ask them what they want and need, you can’t wait for it to organically grow. Since you have revenue, Hire a rock star marketer if you’re too lazy to do it. But don’t get upset if it takes longer than you expect to get a return. No one knows why your customers like your product.

        • Hi! No offense but you still haven’t read completely. I have written …adding features mainly what our early users have been asking.

          We are talking to our subscribers.

          Our problem is reaching more audience (zero-cost marketing tactics, as mentioned in the reply below) more visitors to our website.

          • Companies grow virally for a reason. They have something people don’t like to be without. Not that they can’t live without it.The customer doesn’t like to be “without it”. I see alot of these platforms totally useless. The ones that are designed with the blurred photo, and the tabs up top

            “case studies and “pricing”. blah ….___ ………….___

            and their accolades below. Other businesses puke when they keep seeing this s_it. To be blunt. Maybe your platform or service is something like this ?

  • You need to get guerrilla with it:

    Brainstorm with your partner, brainstorm with others, scour everywhere online and offline (meetups, hackathons, pitch ops, etc – anywhere you can get input) and make a list of zero-cost marketing tactics.

    Prioritize list by least time & energy to implement + most suited to your niche + most likely to yield results, then start trying them out for some time.

    Oh, and get your appetite back for pounding doors, etc because majority of sweat on pushing startup into viable existence involves things that don’t scale.

    • Thanks for understanding my point. We have and will continue to work on the zero-cost marketing tactics. Let me know if you know of any.

    • Whats the ideal time in your perspective?

      We need more paying customers to keep adding features rather than guessing what they want, which is our trouble.. marketing. 🙂

      We regularly add features, but tuning needs more customers.

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