Published by Calendly - February 5, 2015

Startup growth hacking: 1 tool, 3 ways to boost growth

Here’s how three companies use one scheduling platform (us) to solve very different problems.

As an entrepreneur, don’t you feel like your to-do list just keeps growing?

You need to hold interview after interview to find talent worth bringing to the team.

You need to develop your marketing strategy–then create a bunch of content and continually run tests on that content–so the world knows what you offer, why it matters and where to find it.

You need to manage finances, meet with potential partners and investors, come to the rescue of confused customers, dig through your exhaustingly full inbox…

And that’s just today’s to-do list.

The sheer overwhelm can paralyze even the most experienced businessperson. 


As an entrepreneur, you’re fighting for focus in a distracted, fast-moving world.

You need to know which tasks are worth the energy and time it takes to accomplish them, and which should be outsourced to team members and tools so that you can focus on real growth.

Sometimes, that seems impossible. Does the balance of outsourcing tasks and knowing they’ve been accomplished correctly actually exist?

Yes. Yes, it does.

You just have to get a little creative…

Growth hacking first means tool hacking

Just like using a bobby pin to reach that last bit of toothpaste or a post-it note to clean your keyboard, what’ll help you charge through that long to-do list isn’t reinventing the wheel–it’s relying on the tools available now to solve your problems.

You do this in your personal life all the time, using that shoe on the floor as a doorstop or those dish towels on the counter as makeshift oven mitts, but what about at work? How do you squeeze every drop of usefulness out of the systems and tools at hand?

Here’s how three companies use one scheduling platform (us) to solve very different problems. Do they sound like to-do’s you’ve been meaning to cross off your list, too?

1. Hire rockstar talent

Indianapolis-based digital agency SmallBox was founded with a hyper-sharp focus on serving local businesses and giving back to the community. And to meet the needs of their dynamic, close-knit market, the company’s founders know they need more from their employees than rigid resumes; they need people dedicated to growing the local business scene while maintaining clients’ creative integrity.

In other words, they need exceptional culture fit.

So rather than passively skimming resumes when a position opens, SmallBox’s Chief Culture Officer uses Calendly to meet with eager applicants each Wednesday afternoon, every week of the year.

By building the search for culture fit into her weekly routine, Sara ensures that all new hires are happy in their roles, excited to uphold the SmallBox’s values and, ultimately, committed to helping the agency grow year after year.

Trying to build your own team of top-tier talent? Click here to get SmallBox’s step-by-step process.

2. Accelerate Sales

When a sales rep trades emails with Prospect A to set up a demo call, she has to make Prospect B wait for her availability until Prospect A’s session is scheduled. Prospect B then feels uncared for and unimportant, and as the email game drags on, Prospect B abandons. And just like that, another potential customer walks out the door.

If your team operates this way, can you see how many potential sales you’re kissing goodbye?

TrackVia could. So they used Calendly to design a responsive sales cycle that gets more leads on the phone and ensures new customers keep coming back.

“Calendly breaks down the barriers of entry to getting customers actually scheduled for a call,” said James, a Solutions Architect at TrackVia. “[It] creates an easy way for them to engage without feeling pulled into a process they’re not interested in.”

Need to close more deals, more quickly? Learn exactly how TrackVia does it right here.

3. Generate high-quality leads

Until recently, our own team had a problem.

Though our user base was growing by 15% monthly, some customers would drop off after scheduling one or two meetings–even though others were scheduling upwards of 50 (or even hundreds) within their first few weeks.

It was evident that some of our people needed more information on how Calendly was a good fit for them. So we decided to tap into the knowledge our power users held to make our product easier for everyone to engage with. To do that, we’d need to hear our customers’ stories.

Here’s how we used our own app, a series of spreadsheets and a few email templates (that gave us a solid 82% response rate) to gather our power users’ stories. The result of this process? An influx of engaged, high-quality leads that began almost immediately after hitting “publish”–and still continues today.

Your Turn

It is possible to fight through the overwhelm and ensure the work is done well–but from you, it requires strategy and serious creativity.

What to-do’s could you accomplish with a bit of tool hacking?
How would that accelerate the growth of your startup?

Comments are closed.