We caught up with Connor Tagg, the co-founder of GrowthStep, a growth partner helping startups develop and go to the next level. GrowthStep were a finalist in this year’s TechRound100 amongst other fast-growing startups and businesses.
What is GrowthStep?
Connor Tagg: GrowthStep is “the startup for startups”. We aim to be the go-to people for startups and scale-ups to help them grow and build their business. We offer the core services that startup founders need but often lack at the onset, so they can focus on what they do best and leave the rest to us in safe hands. We wanted to modernise the traditional agency model – we saw a gap in the market to offer startups a flexible and cost-effective way to extend their teams with our elastic model that is customised to and directly in line with their needs.
Our goal is to be that strong partner who plays a critical role, but we recognise this may not be forever. In contrast to the traditional agency model, we help our partners grow to the point where they can hire in-house teams when that tipping point makes sense – and with our expert teams, we can even help them with that process!
How did you meet your Co-Founder Jay Singh?
Connor Tagg: It’s actually a really interesting story, I was hired as an intern by Jay not too long ago in a SaaS company where he was the Head of Growth. Jay was really my first introduction into the world of startups, I had always been interested in this scene and eager to be a part of it, but up until that point, I was really just trying to get a break!
We basically hit it off from day one of working together and it became apparent pretty quickly that we were on the same wavelength in terms of the work we’re passionate about, what we enjoyed working on and what we wanted to achieve long-term. Jay was (and still is) very well connected in the space so after he hired me, we naturally ended up hanging out quite a bit as he brought me into his circles. As you can imagine, it wasn’t long before we were batting ideas back and forth over what we could work on and how we could combine our skill sets into a shared venture. The discussions we had then ended up forming what is now GrowthStep.
What type of startups do you work with?
Connor Tagg: We work with startups of all sizes and shapes – from people who have an idea and want to turn that into a viable business to established startups who need specialised support in specific areas. Our sweet spot though is a business between formation and series A.
How are you different from a typical agency?
Connor Tagg: Great question! We created GrowthStep because we had worked with many agencies in the past and experienced friction points that we felt we could solve for startups. The first pain point we wanted to solve was, instead of having to use and manage multiple agencies, we felt founders executives should be able to rely on one partner, and that one should be very closely connected with their team and their day to day activities.
The second thing we aimed to solve was the age-old model of ‘one retainer fits all’. At GrowthStep, we don’t lock our partners into long term contracts but instead, we allow them to scale up or down according to business needs, which enables them to then increase or decrease the resources as they grow. We also build each plan from scratch and make sure our partners are working with the right GrowthStep team who is experienced in that sector.
Lastly, the way that we have structured GrowthStep means that we have very experienced members on or team – we have found that this is absolutely crucial in how we support our partners. The nature of startups often means their shot at success is limited and this is why we arm our partners with true sector experts who bear the right skillset but that equally understand the startup world.
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What have you achieved to date?
Connor Tagg: We started our business almost exactly when COVID 19 hit so we had to adapt our go-to-market quite quickly and adopt both a survival and growth strategy! We have seen some really positive success and have managed to secure some great customers. And, what is even better is to see the longevity in these customers who are staying with us and expanding the work across our other services.
What is next for GrowthStep?
Connor Tagg: We are currently raising our seed round to boost our growth. Our traction to date has really helped us get in front of the right investors and we have had fantastic interest despite these challenging times. With our new investment, we will be able to expand the GrowthStep team – the idea is to focus on building out our permanent headcount across key areas that we have identified as crucial in our work to date. This will not only help us be able to give deeper expertise in these areas but will also help us help a lot more startups.