Scale Smart – Book Review

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The book dives deep into the marketing techniques of many famous Indian startups, including Zoho, BharatMatrimony, Byju’s, RedBus etc. It talks about how as an Indian startup, you can acquire your first 1000 customers quickly and efficiently.

When Anirudh Narayan launched this book at the beginning of 2019, I was in the initial stages of my professional speaking and author career. As one of the launch attendees, he handed over the book to me with this message. Even today, this message brings a smile to my face.

I glanced through the book to get a few quick tips and tricks to market my budding speaking business. But honestly, I didn’t read it in totality then.

Recently while cleaning my bookshelf, Scale Smart screamed out for my attention, mainly because now I am at a fast-growth phase in my speaking business. Instead of just glancing through it, I picked it up and read the whole book this time. And, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

What is this book for? 

The book lives up to its name. It is for people who want to scale their businesses/startups fast and efficiently. It is for entrepreneurs looking for specific actions to get their marketing right in the market crowded with many channels and many solutions. The book helps you understand which marketing vehicle is better for you, how can you leverage that channel and what specific actions can help your business growth.

What I loved about the book, and why should you read it?
  • Anirudh doesn’t beat around the bush with the books narration. He gets to the point straight. 
  • He lays out the entire Indian ecosystem and the marketing channel options that an entrepreneur has in their hands. He also mentions all the channels don’t need to be leveraged. You can choose a few that suits your need. 
  • He validates each of his suggestions with real-life examples from Indian companies, making it highly relatable. Also distils them in a manner that’s easy to understand and implement.

My three biggest takeaways from the book:
  • Anyone running a business must have a website. We have all seen MS Dhoni making a case for this in those quirky GoDaddy ads. But do you know what are MUST have elements in your website? What will make your website sticky for your potential customers? And how can you make sure all the valuable content is there on your website? That’s what he talks about in chapter 23. 
  • Many of us use email marketing for our businesses. Did you know your email marketing needs to have variety? What would make your email marketing exciting, and how to increase the open rates? We get the answers to these questions in chapter 9.
  • As a businesswoman whose business runs on content, I found chapter 6 highly useful. How can you create unique content for your tribe? Chapter 6 discusses how to align your content with the needs of your prospective clients, why you should focus on a niche audience, why you should create more timeless content, etc. 
What didn’t work for me:

While Anirudh did extensive research before writing the book, I was disappointed to see only one startup led by women in the mix. I would love to see a few more examples of women-led startups in the mix. I also found the images in the book illegible. Better print quality would help. Lastly, I found a few typos in the book, which I will let Anirudh know personally. 

Final words:

I loved Scale Smart for the way it is written. It makes an entrepreneur’s job easy in the marketing efforts. It shows you the path that will get you results when followed to the T. It’s written in simple English and allows you to start implementing the learning quickly. Anirudh Narayan proves his mettle once again with this book as a CMO-On-Demand. It’s a highly recommended read. 

You can pick up Scale Smart here.

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Author | Professional Speaker