My DTC startup roadmap is for DTC/B2C/B2B2C/consumer brand startups.
This section contains methods that can: (a) lead to more sales, (b) produce faster sales, (c) make a company and its products more appealing to consumers, resellers and investors, (d) at reduced risk.
It is comprised of methodologies, processes, tools, spreadsheets, diagrams, resource lists, research, data, software and other documents and files, organized to take a startup from idea to $50 million in annual sales.
Regardless of whether you want to stay small and private or grow large with investor participation, you can use my content to help you achieve your growth goals.
The best way to learn and learn quickly is to immerse yourself completely for an extended block of time. Do the same with the Framework, but take a section or subsection at a time. I find when I do this, I often “get” a task, process or subject after a few days time rather than spending a little here and there.
Suggested Action Plan
- Review The Growth Stack, as it is the roadmap on which The Lean & Agile Framework is built.
- Begin in Section 1: Strategy. This section is critical for anyone starting and growing a business. How Section 1 works with the next 5 sections – Systems, Product Development and Finance, Marketing and Sales (Resellers), – is that you set an overall growth strategy, which guides your work in your systems, products, product development, marketing and sales (mostly tactics), which all feeds into your budgets and forecasts. If you do not like what your budgets and forecasts are telling you, then you will at least have to go back to adjust tactics, and may have to go further back to change or refine your high level strategy, which trickles back down again into your systems, products, product development, marketing and sales.
- Selling direct-to-consumer (covered in Section 6) is almost always the less risky and cheaper way to grow. Never go to retail out the gate. Start selling direct-to-consumer. You will learn why this is the case as you progress through the Framework. That is why I structured the Framework in its sequence.
- If you are in pre-startup or startup mode, you can go through each section in sequence. If you already operational, you can jump to sections as needed.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything laid out in the Framework. Use what you need when you need it, and slowly add capabilities as your business grows.
I designed the framework so you can start slowly. If you have other work and cannot devote full time to your startup, you will learn through the framework the things you have to do and when so you are not wasting time and resources.
Questions and Feedback
Please use any form embedded throughout this website.
I publish my tools in Google Docs and embed in my website pages. I use Google docs because it is far more efficient to maintain and track content rather than using the website content manager. See document structure here.
Framework users need at a minimum a free Google account to access the Docs, Sheets and Slides. A Microsoft Excel license is also useful, but not required. Most of the core models in Section 4 are built in Excel, as I prefer to work in Excel for larger, more complex spreadsheets. But, you can easily open these models in Google Sheets.
Additions and changes to my startup roadmap and resource set are logged here.
The Growth Stack
- The Growth Stack: The best growth approach for DTC/B2C/B2B2C/consumer brand startups and product launches. This is the roadmap to developing, launching and growing a DTC/B2C/B2B2C/consumer brand company.
The Lean & Agile Framework
This is the operating manual designed to support executing on the Growth Stack.
- Strategy: before starting your company, achieve alignment and fit between your goals, brand pillars, category/product selection and target market;
- Systems: implement the right technology and processes so that growth is easier to manage and scale;
- Product Development: develop “WOW” products that capture attention, document risks, determine COGS, pricing, profitability, apply identity and brand marketing and develop the growth strategy;
- Finance: budgeting, forecasting, P&L’s, balance sheets and capitalization tables;
- Production & Logistics: supply chain, production, logistics and warehousing;
- Marketing: organize the marketing of your product;
- Resellers: sell through retailers, distributors, drop shippers, affiliates and others;
- Support: human resources, insurance, regulatory, legal and other miscellaneous items.