Growth as a Service is a service, especially for companies with high growth goals but lacking resources and competence in e.g. finance, HR, shareholders and business operations, legal, marketing, or sales. These areas are often neglected and have less focus from the entrepreneur than developing the product.
According to DI scale up, the most important reason why growth companies do not succeed in crossing the “valley of death,” which involves crossing over SEK 20 million in turnover, is that the founder and management become a bottleneck. This often happens by allowing founders and management to spend time on tasks in these areas.
Growth as a Service is the sustainable way to scale your business
In troubled times with higher inflation on the way, it is perhaps tougher than ever for small businesses to live up to tough demands from investors and get access to capital at the right price. A credible business plan for growth, which does not just focus on an idea, is perhaps even more important now than ever before. Most entrepreneurs are incredibly knowledgeable about their product and the market the product offers a solution for. It is extremely requested that you simultaneously be good at making business plans and have the time and skills to work with finance, HR, shareholders and business operations, law, marketing, or sales. But that’s what reality often looks like for a small business owner.
If you are dependent on investors’ capital, the pressure increases to be able to pitch with a business plan and then be able to deliver as cost-effectively and flexibly as possible. Small businesses are the ones in many countries that drive the economy and development forward, so it is an area that needs to be promoted.
So what can be done then?
Buying services – a growing trend
To solve the question concerning the unreasonableness of having both time and competence to develop one’s product, make business plans and work with finance, HR, shareholders, and business operations, law, marketing or sales, the trend of service society can be interesting to look at.
In business, companies realize that many activities can be handled more efficiently by a service provider. Outsourcing services allow a company to concentrate on the activities that are critical to its success. In the case of the small business, it is often the product development that is the core business, and everything else could be outsourced.
The digital world has also opened the door to more service-based growth with disruptive technology and the possibility of running a business with location independence. The local economy is no longer a limiting factor, and businesses are taking their services online and offering them to a larger audience.
Buying expert help instead of hiring would provide security as you maintain flexibility. Employees cannot be scaled up and down in the same way as a service, and you cannot just switch it on and off as you like.
How does Growth as a Service work?
Growth as a Service differs from traditional consulting services in such a way that it is a much closer collaboration. The entrepreneur can access a marketing manager, financial manager, HR manager, lawyer, etc, and have them present to support during board meetings. It is of course on a relatively modest part-time basis, but it can be scaled up and down depending on the phase of growth the company is in. The experts are often available on digital platforms, and access to libraries of various templates is often also provided. The services performed in finance, HR, shareholders and business operations, law, marketing, or sales can also be largely automated. A Growth as a Service platform uses modern technology and AI to automate various types of tasks. In some cases, it also offers BOTs that can automatically answer different types of questions that don’t require a human expert. This means that the costs for this type of service go down and you get answers faster, or maybe you can help yourself.
Below is a description of how a collaboration with a GaaS agency can change over time.
The start-up phase
At the beginning of the company’s development, marketing and sales are crucial for you to get out on the market with your idea and test your offer. To quickly find “product-market fit” to be able to take the next step in development. Much is about testing and refining messages and offers. A modern website, effective sales presentations, a clear value proposition, and digital advertising to reach out are crucial. Basic handling of finance, contracts, and HR and support in planning for future capital acquisition and ownership issues is essential.
Ramp-up and scale-up phase
Here, “product-market fit” has been proven, and more and more customers have started to come in. It is now required that marketing and sales are prepared to scale up quickly. There is also an increasingly advanced need for support in finance, HR, company operations, and ownership issues. The pressure is maxed out and the entrepreneur’s time risks becoming a decisive obstacle to growth. He or she may have many strings to their lyre, but no one can be an expert in everything.
When the company has reached its growth target, it is easy to disconnect the service and start hiring staff. Usually, however, the GaaS service continues to be more efficient and automated than staff can compete with.
Are there GaaS agencies in Sweden?
There are several agencies in Sweden that offer services aimed at growth companies. But the concept of Growth as a Service is not as established in Sweden as in e.g. USA.
We at Cooach do precisely what a GaaS agency is characterized by. We help growing companies reach their goals with the help of our services in capital raising, company management, ownership issues, finance, HR, marketing, and sales. The service is scalable and designed as needed and is changeable over time. We work close to our customers without being dependent on the physical space. Whether we are in Sweden is perhaps a question of definition. We are a Swedish-owned company, but we operate in a global market with offices in Sweden, Spain, and Poland. We have already automated many important tasks in these areas today, and development is progressing quickly. There are also ready-made templates in certain areas that can be used by yourself at a low cost.