Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Madhav Bhandari, SEO Head of Early Stage Marketing, located in Delhi, India.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

ESM (Early Stage Marketing) is my blog where we help startup founders grow their revenue from $0 to $5M ARR. Our customers are primarily SaaS businesses.

Tell us about yourself

I've been a SaaS marketer for over a decade, working as Head of Marketing for several companies and adding tens of millions in ARR. It's been a fulfilling journey, but early-stage marketing requires constant hard work and hustle. Eventually, I hit a point of burnout. Then, I had an epiphany. Why not take a step back from being a Head of Marketing and focus on blogging - something I'd always loved and used to build my professional network? I've helped many blogs grow to tens of millions in traffic and revenue, so why not create something of my own? That's how ESM (Early Stage Marketing) came to be. Now, my motivation comes from helping startups and SaaS businesses achieve their growth objectives through my blog. It's fulfilling to share my expertise and see the impact it has on their businesses. I'm grateful to do what I love and make a difference in others' lives.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been achieving predictability with my marketing efforts. In the past, growth was erratic and unpredictable - one month might be great, but the next three could be flat. It was frustrating not knowing what was driving growth or how to replicate it.

But after a lot of hard work and experimentation, I finally figured it out. Now, every month sees consistent growth from the previous one, and I know exactly what's driving that growth. This predictability has been invaluable for me, allowing me to double down on what's working and continue to scale my business with confidence. It took a long time to solve this, but when I did solve it, it felt like the greatest business achievement for me.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The hardest thing for me was the uncertainty of financial stability. It's not uncommon to go months, or even years, without a steady paycheck while putting in countless hours to grow the business. This can be incredibly difficult, both financially and emotionally.

You must have the motivation to keep going, even when faced with challenges and setbacks. It's important to constantly remind yourself of why you started the business and the impact you want to make.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. You will survive the days when you feel like giving up if you get your "why" clear why you decided to start the business.
  2. Freedom of time is an awesome luxury for a business owner. But that also means you have a responsibility to manage yourself. Don't slack off. Be aggressive.
  3. Be okay with financial instability or start the business alongside your job until it surpasses your salary or a % of your salary.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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