How to Prioritize Between Product Improvement and Scaling the Business?

Written by

Lotte Geldermans

Published on

December 8, 2022
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You're the founder of a growing startup. You've been working hard to get your product to market, and now you're starting to see some traction. The next step is scaling your business and reaching more customers. But how do you know when it's time to focus on product improvement and when it's time to focus on scaling?

The Challenge of Prioritizing Product Improvement

You're probably familiar with the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." And while that's all well and good, when it comes to business, you can't just sit back and wait for things to break. You need to constantly be looking for ways to improve your product.

But here's the thing: as your business starts to grow, you're going to have to prioritize between product improvement and scaling the business when you’re with a small team. And it's not always an easy decision to make.

On one hand, if you prioritize scaling the business, you're going to be focused on things like marketing and sales. And while that's important, it means you might not have as much time or resources to devote to improving your product.

On the other hand, if you prioritize product improvement, you might not be able to grow as quickly because you'll be focused on things like R&D and beta testing.

It's a tough balancing act, but it's one you need to be aware of if you want your business to succeed in the long run.

Product Improvement vs Scaling

You might be thinking, "Scaling is the only way to grow my business." But that's not always the case. Sometimes, it's more important to focus on product improvement rather than scaling the business.

Think about it this way—if you're selling a product that's not that great, it doesn't matter how many people you sell it to. You're not going to make many return customers. But if you have a great product, people will be more likely to buy it again and tell their friends about it.

So how do you know when to prioritize product improvement over scaling the business? A good rule of thumb is to think about whether your current product is good enough to sustain long-term growth. If it's not, then you need to focus on product improvement.

Now towards the contrary questions: why scaling the business is so important. After all, if the product is selling, why not just focus on improving it?

Well, there are a few reasons. First of all, scaling the business allows you to reach more customers and sell more products. And secondly, it also allows you to invest more in product development, so you can continue to improve the product over time. Furthermore, you receive more feedback from new customers, and with that you can improve your product more focused on true customer issues than based on subjective assumptions.

So how do you prioritize between the two? The answer is simple - as long as you have a good-enough product to sell and keep the churn low, you gather feedback properly, product improvements will follow. It’s all a continuous cycle.

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