The main goal for Pre-PMF startups is to scale to a particular point where sustainable and continuous growth is possible (achieve PMF). It's too early to focus on growth activities until the product has achieved Product-Market Fit.
While growth is a gradual process and timeless goal, scaling is a short period when founders should validate the idea, gain a critical user mass, and grow retention and product adoption rates as well as revenue. If startups take too long to scale, it's a huge risk to miss the time, squander VCs' interest and lose to competitors who managed to scale faster.
Scaling is the most critical moment for pre-PMF startups. And in 35% of cases, it's done wrong, so stable growth is impossible to reach after.
Scaling to PMF is not just about developing a product or marketing it. It's about aligning all functions and building new ones to deliver the product's idea, value, and advantages to all segments within a niche market. It's a compound process that can't focus on marketing, sales, or development separately. It's a fusion of all functions and team operations to receive momentum, stabilise user acquisition and grow product usage.
Palladium is a scaling agency focused exclusively on pre-PMF B2B startups. Our vision is to create a world where pre-PMF B2B startups are not just surviving but thriving, creating jobs, driving innovation, and making a difference in the world. By working together, we can make this vision a reality.
We offer a complex approach that brings you to a proven and stable PMF within 12 months of our close commitment.
Common Challenges Faced by Seed-Invested Startups
As a seed-stage startup founder, you face many challenges when you validate your idea, attract new users, and enter the primary market.
How to allocate funds between development, marketing, sales, and user acquisition? What if you have to pivot? How to predict that and spend the development budget slowly? How to start generating any revenue while scaling fast enough? How to hire first in-house teams? Who should be hired first? How to reduce employees' onboarding time? How do you properly prepare for the Series A round? How to check all boxes of Series A requirements? How to scale the company's operations and form independent processes?
There is much to take on, to be honest. These challenges are crucial and decisive for product companies in the Seed-to-Series A period. Your chances of gaining momentum are lost if you don't achieve market fit within a reasonable time (counted in months, not years). While it's still possible to create a decent product in the future, becoming a unicorn and achieving worldwide recognition is unlikely.
Raising a company is not a fancy deal. It's the most responsible moment, facing many challenges down the road.
The following four points will discuss the most common early startup challenges and why they occur.
🟪 Limited Resources
The Seed stage identifies the first meaningful days of company life. Even if the company existed for years before the Seed round, it has limited resources to gain momentum and scale quickly. It's a time when product development can't take up 100% of the time, budget, and focus anymore. Many other functions and duties arise, such as user acquisition, marketing, sales building, customer support, product onboarding, product idea validation, data analysis, and more.
Pre-PMF companies simply need more people to do all this. Hiring is an option, but is it the best one? It takes risks. Without solid foundation and processes teams can follow, it's tough to adapt. And often, average employees from established and operating companies procrastinate because they “don't understand what to do” under conditions of uncertainty. Hiring gurus can drill a hole in the budget, because they simply can't justify and win back the salary first days. But you have to pay, no matter what.
🟪 Limited Brand Recognition
At the start, no one knows about your company, not even beyond your close circle. And it's essential to build up your brand to reach more people. However, building a brand is different from expensive PR tactics or advertising.
Brand-building is about creating a buzz and generating leads for your business. But many founders struggle to build their brand correctly, stand out in a crowded market, block competition and reach a larger audience. You may not have enough time to build the brand from scratch.
🟪 Limited Market Knowledge
Many pre-PMF startups are content with the theoretical market knowledge they gained during pitch research. But developing even a perfect product can be a dead end if your targeted market doesn't need it. Concentrating on customer interviews, surveys, and audience research is often mitigated, resulting in an 80% need to pivot down the road.
🟪 Budget prioritisation
The lion's share of the Seed funds is often allocated towards development. But idea validation and market fit should be prioritised more. There is no point in keeping up with development if you don't know whether the market likes it.
Unfortunately, many startups fail to properly analyze their immediate needs and end up spending their budget on unnecessary expenses, leading to a need for additional funding rounds. Where should you allocate the budget first: development, hiring, marketing, SEO, Ads, content marketing, and so on? It's not a question to answer. It's a question to prove with analysis.
Let a 30-minute intro call with Palladium be the first solid step towards your company's future! 🦄
How Palladium Agency Addresses Growth Challenges
Palladium Agency is a safe island in the midst of a raging storm and continuous uncertainty. We understand the importance of speed and agility in today's fast-paced business world. We move quickly and decisively, focusing our energy and resources on the most critical tasks, and we are not afraid to pivot or adjust course when needed.
🟣 Scalable Solutions
At Palladium, we don't clutch at straws. We don't aim to show how cool we are the first week. On the contrary, we prove our expertise daily which looms in the whole picture within a year. Our approach is grounded in thoroughly analysing everything, starting from the market and ending with customer interviews.
There are several things a company should be concentrated firmly on: user acquisition, user retention, product adoption and recurrent usage, churn rates, MRR, referrals and word of mouth, product positioning, as well as organic and direct growth.
At Palladium Agency, we encompass and combine it all. We don't believe and never aim to achieve PMF based on product metrics and not aligned with business goals, like revenue generation, growth rates, market readiness, and a solid foundation for future stable growth.
Palladium Agency doesn't spend your budget on Social Media because it's fancy and “your competitors have it.” We cut all the buzz and focus only on what matters and affects your PMF, and help reach it in 12 months. If our research shows that Social Media can have that impact, we will only include it in the plan. The same procedure happens with all the lead generation and brand-building channels.
🟣 Expertise in Seed Startups
Palladium Agency is ultimately and faithfully focused only on pre-PMF Seed invested companies. We don't work with any other businesses or stages of growth. This helps us learn quickly within our chosen niche and make an unique offer for pre-PMF startups, as there is no other agency.
🟣 Customised Approach
As said earlier, our approach is unique, personalised, and tailored to the specific company/industry/stage of development needs.
We spend much time on tet-a-tet meetings with founders, team members, customers, and partners. We believe in the power of continuous learning and growth, and we encourage our team and clients to embrace a growth mindset and be open to new ideas and perspectives.
Scalable Solutions for Early-stage Startups
Palladium takes Seed-invested companies right after fundraising on the one year of a remarkable and fruitful relationship, where we help you:
💎 Achieve Product-market fit.
💎 Find revenue flows. We determine which channels the expected MRR is most likely to come from.
💎 Develop Inbound flywheel. We create a scalable strategy and define the proper inbound distribution channels.
💎 Layer PLG & SLG strategies. We define where is the most significant potential for user acquisition lies and how to squeeze the maximum from the second strategy by layering them.
💎 Form a revenue team. We help hire and form the scalable revenue (aka sales) team, so you can quickly grow it while your product grows.
💎 Lead scoring & qualification. We develop 98% precise scoring cheat sheets based on ICP, personas, and product data gained in the first 6 months.
💎 Nurturing materials & flows. We identify and develop all necessary materials for further audience education on your product and difference, including competition covering and blocking materials.
💎 Website copy & CR optimisation. We make your website the lead converting machine, preparing for further content development, SEO works, and streamlining the user experience.
💎 Retention rates optimisation. Along with acquisition strategies, we work on product retention rates, burning churn, and making retention product-led.
💎 Lead-gen channels set up. After we decided on inbound and outbound lead generation channels, we got them into gear.
💎 In-house team hiring & onboarding. Right before the Series A round, we help you to execute the first hirings into your growth marketing team and onboard them within established processes.
💎 Prepare for the Series A round. One of our primary goals is to prepare you for Series A, ensure you reach all requirements, consult you on the best possible solutions, and prepare you for exponential growth right after fundraising, revealing your best growth options.
🔳 Lead Generation
We aren't a lead generation agency. But all lead generation processes are chaotic, unpurposeful, and unscalable without the work we do to prepare for user acquisition. We build the proper foundation. So when you start lead generation, you will not face huge churn rates, subscription cancellations within the first months, or low product adoption and retention rates.
We also help you hire and build your in-house revenue team (SLG strategy) or product-led sales team (PLG strategy) or connect you with one of the best outbound agencies.
In the first place, Palladium Agency helps to understand what approaches to apply and what channels to utilise to drive the maximum possible number of leads within the highest conversion rates and loyalty levels.
🔳 Conversion Optimization
We can optimise the conversion rate before the lead generation and during the process.
At Palladium, we aim to make it as close as possible to the ideal by utilising customer research, product data, and audience analysis. But we also fine-tune it during further lead-generation campaigns.
We look at how converted leads act after signing up, their product adoption, and what indicators differentiate successful cases from unsuccessful ones. Then we update lead scoring & qualification cheatsheets to eliminate poor lead acquisition in the future and relatively increase conversion rates.
🔳 Early brand-building
Palladium helps you with early brand formation, positioning, messaging, and competition blocking.
Brand affects every aspect of your company: pricing, lead generation, market segment, retention, customer success, marketing, and growth strategies.
Even if your brand isn't known among the masses, it's visible to people searching for a solution. And it's all about how you and your competitors manage to communicate the absolute value of the product, its outcomes, and life improvements.
It's not all about price. A cheaper product will never win, but a better, more attractive, or wisely positioned one.
That's why early brand-building is more a necessity than a privilege. A strongly positioned brand, even if known only in your market segment, allows you to raise pricing, cover new segments, attract competitors' customers, take the lead within the market, and accelerate growth.
🔳 PLG strategies & Customer Retention
If you went with a Product-Led growth strategy, retention should be first genuinely product-led. You can hire sales for part-time acquisition if you lack product-led users. But if your product can't retain users, that problem will destroy the entire approach.
Palladium Agency specialists help you uptick product retention through customer interviews, streamlining the onboarding process, eliminating usage friction, and promoting the right features for the right people (not all users need all your features, even if you target only one segment).
We help to build trust inside the product first and enhance the acquisition with referral channels and word of mouth, which comes nowhere else but from satisfied customers.
Palladium takes only 6 startups each year. 6 startups will be 100% prepared for stable, fast, and continual growth within a year! Are you with us? 🌒
Proven Strategies for Revenue Generation
Revenue generation is the third goal we pursue after PMF and securing the Series A round. Even if it's still not enough for the company to stand firmly on its feet, generating any revenue is a solid start to meeting business goals.
Using the following tactics, Palladium Agency aims to lead you to the maximum possible positive revenue growth within 12 months.
🔲 PLG resources optimisation
As long as your product aims to bring leads and revenue, it should be optimised.
One of the main differences between the product-led and sales approaches is that product-led acquisition aims to create several aha moments before signup.
Product-led businesses face one of the most widespread problems: all acquisition materials are optimised for a sales-led approach and can't force the prospect to complete signup without direct sales involvement.
Palladium works on getting all your resources tailored to nurture and convert customers without the involvement of sales teams.
Also, product-led resources encompass more comprehensive parts of the product and market problem itself and should be more “revenue-focused” than habitual sales lead magnets.
🔲 Help with Revenue team formation
If your product is primarily sales-led or your strategy abling you to enter the upmarket, we build revenue teams in charge of lead generation.
At Palladium, we call it the revenue team for 2 reasons: first, it's not traditional salespeople but a fusion of marketing, reps, and customer success aligned into one powerful flywheel to drive the growth and streamline acquisition and retention processes; second, revenue generation is what drives growth for the business, so people working on that should understand what their primary goal, which is perfectly revealed in the name, is.
Palladium helps you hire all necessary roles, onboard them using already developed process guidelines and build the team applicable for future growth and optimised for minimal hiring time waste when you expand.
🔲 Deep audience investigation
Audience research is what works both for product-led and sales-led approaches.
Palladium Agency focuses on audience analysis, ICP, personas, and lead-to-customer journey building.
Your revenue directly depends on what leads/users you're getting and their quality. If your product-led resources are focused on the wrong user, you're just losing money, as the churn rate of those will be 100% even if they are signed up.
We develop detailed and deep qualification criteria, resources applicable for a particular segment (need/price/market/industry), and channels where each segment is most reachable and, most importantly, ready to convert.
We also tailor all your messaging within chosen channels and platforms to speak loud to your ideal customer, weeding out poor leads and rubbish signups.
Getting Started with Palladium Agency
Ready to start your 12 monthly journeys with Palladium? We're excited and waiting for you!
We take ownership of our work and our results, holding ourselves accountable for delivering on our commitments and achieving our goals. We are not satisfied with mediocrity, and we are constantly striving to improve and exceed expectations.
Here are some words on how to work together and where to start.
🔮 Book a call
Our 30-minute introduction call is free and will help us understand if we match perfectly to work together. We don't take every business falling into our qualification criteria. We need to see that we can bring you more value compared to your current status.
We take only 6 startups each year. So we filter them based on the current company stage and the level of benefit we can deliver.
6 startups will dive into the purple magic of Palladium 💫 Don't you want to be among them? Who said that scaling the product should be boring?
🔮 30/60/90 days growth sprints
At Palladium, we have the 30/60/90 days plan already formed. We tailor it for every business personally, depending on the number of customers, team members, and overall stage. We can add, change or shift some tasks, but here you can see the standard procedure we follow within the first 3 months of collaboration.
🔮 Main goals: PMF and secure Series A
As mentioned, we keep up to 3 main goals: achieve and prove Product-Market Fit, secure Series A round and reach positive revenue flow.
We pursue numerous secondary goals, like early brand building, lead acquisition channels development, retention rate growth, etc. Still, they all bonded to any of those 3 initial goals.
🔮 We partner with the best marketers out there
Although we don't offer in-house marketing services, we have something even better!
We have a strong partnership network of the best narrow-focused specialists with impressive experience in the B2B SaaS field. For example, if your future strategy requires SEO services, you will get one of the best SEO specialists. How can you know? It's easy! We value honesty. So we include all people that will work with your product in our interim proposals. So you can check their LinkedIn, experience, and testimonials!
Palladium's goal is not to save your money. If you need that, we are a bad match. We aim to spend your budget as wisely as possible to get maximum, create a solid foundation for future growth and secure your Series A round.
Why Choose Palladium Agency
Palladium is not an average agency. It's the place where the magic happens for pre-PMF startups. A place of growth, community building, and support for all your future steps. It's a place where you and your company can spend a fruitful and life-changing year.
We don't aim to take your money, show “satisfactory” results and repeat that with someone else. We scale every company as if it's ours. We are happy to take responsibility.
At Palladium, we envision a world where every pre-PMF B2B startup has the opportunity to thrive and grow. By combining our expertise, creativity, and passion, we can help unlock the full potential of these startups, empowering them to create positive change in the world.
Moreover, Palladium is a real magic place where you get magic letters instead of boring prospecting messages. It's where you can dive deeper into the sacristy of purple magic and its subsequences for pre-PMF startups.
🌀 Customised scale approach
Of course, scale patterns repeat within the industry. But in every startup we work with, we aim to find new, unrevealed, personalised ways to scale.
We don't rely on cookie-cutter solutions or past successes. We approach every challenge with a creative mindset, seeking innovative solutions and pushing the boundaries of what's possible.
And if there is another way to improve outcomes for your company and your particular case, we are happy to take that direction.
🌀 Solid Marketing foundation
With Palladium, you also receive a solid marketing foundation for all your future campaigns and activities.
Our marketing is different. We don't create an account on every possible platform. We establish, promote and grow only those channels that can bring value.
With our foundation, you will be able to push off fast and meet the right growth pace while not wasting time, budget, and people resources on methods and channels that are meaningless in your case. Palladium's marketing is about being first in the proper places instead of everywhere.
🌀 We know how they got to Series A
We plunge you into growth by connecting with founders who have already secured Series A. As we said, Palladium is not an agency bound to provide services. It's a place where everything helps your product scale fast and prepare for stable growth.
Each month we interview 2 B2B startups who successfully secured Series A within the last 3 months. We ask them about their way, challenges, and advice they can give to you.
This helps our clients learn about proper scaling and problem-solving from the actual practical stories and allows us to tailor our strategies and make them perfect.
Reach Product-market fit with Palladium 3x faster
🪄 Reduce hiring time
Finding and recruiting a whole marketing team is challenging and enormously time-consuming!
But most importantly, it's challenging to make it right in the first place.
Don't waste your precious time on hiring, firing, and hiring again. First, build the foundation for people to come. Early-days startups uncertainty scares people. That's why staff turnover is inevitable.
It's not sexy work to get the company from the bottom of complete obscurity to stable and predictable growth.
🪄 Variable industries expertise
Palladium has expertise in various industries: healthcare, fintech, data platforms, marketing platforms, AI, insurance, information security, and environmental.
We don't work with B2C companies, Web3, and gaming industries.
🪄 Let's talk
Product-market Fit is a process, not a goal. It's not a destination but rather an ongoing journey. It is essential to measure your progress along the way and ensure you're going in the right direction.
The journey towards PMF is one of the most challenging parts. It requires continuous concentration, inspiration, and willingness to fight.
We aim to fill your year with inspiration. We chose it above motivation. Motivation is temporary and unstable force, while inspiration is continual and inexhaustible.