Startup Blog

Why Quarterly Businesses are Doomed

Posted by Mike Volpe on 4/27/16 11:22 AM

One of the little things we did while building HubSpot that turned out to be a big advantage was to run our business monthly, not quarterly.  Marketing goals were monthly.  Sales goals and commissions were monthly.  We produced financial and other reports monthly.  And most importantly we made changes to marketing, sales and the product roadmap monthly.

Here's why speed matters.  The more frequently you end a sales cycle, the more frequently you can look at the results and make changes and improvements in your business.  If you run your business quarterly, you can make changes 4 times a year.  If you run it monthly you can make changes 12 times a year and evolve 3 times faster.  If you can run your business weekly (perhaps a consumer or ecommerce business) you can evolve even faster - 52 times a year.  Biologists study fruit flies because they have a 30 day lifespan (huh... monthly evolution) so you can study multiple generations in a short period of time.  You want to do the same thing in your startup.

Your company evolves faster if you run it monthly. Click to tweet this (you can edit first).

Usually enterprise and b2b companies run their business quarterly.  If you have a really long sales cycle and are in an industry that buys on a quarterly cycle maybe that still works.  Maybe.  SaaS and the overall rate of innovation is moving the world of software toward a faster and faster pace.  Start by selling a smaller deal (more quickly).  Do a trial before you buy.  Quickly run a pilot in a small team to get going.  Get employees using your free product before you upsell the company.

Photo by André Karwath aka Aka - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5 

Mike Volpe

Written by Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is a startup advisor and angel investor based in Boston.

Topics: B2B, marketing, CEO, Saas, Sales

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