How do you successfully grow in a crowded industry? Let’s find out from the CEO of one of Canada’s fastest-growing tech companies, Ross Andrew Paquette.
How do you normally introduce yourself?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Nothing fancy, really. I’m Ross Andrew Paquette, I’m the Founder and Chairman of Maropost, a SaaS company that focuses on delivering an easy-to-use and scalable customer engagement marketing platform for other businesses.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word success?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Legacy. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I hear that someone has become successful. The word kind of falls in line with my mission, you could say, as an entrepreneur.
This is just a personal opinion of course, but I’m not the type to find success in building up a bunch of startups or products. The legacy that I strive for is bigger. I want an organization, one that is regarded as an industry juggernaut and one that is spoken about amid other great names.
For me to consider Maropost successful, for example, I would want us to stick to customer-first innovation, which was our core principle from the very beginning. If we fail to honor that legacy, I honestly cannot say that we’ve succeeded.
How do you believe one can attain this type of success?
Ross Andrew Paquette: It really is all about staying true to what you believe in. Why are you doing this? Why did you start? I think losing sight of that is the worst thing you can do.
How have you grown Maropost to how it is today?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Rather than just me, I think it’s the entire Maropost team that’s allowed us to grow this far. We were a really small team to start with — we didn’t really start hiring to scale big until our fourth year. And even then, it was just ten or fifteen new hires. But, to me, the Maropost team being what it is currently is how I believe we’ve managed to grow so far.
That and our amazing clientele, of course. After all, a lot of our clients now come on board after being referred to our platform by our existing clients.
For a long time, we didn’t really have a working marketing strategy. We believed in the level of innovation we brought to the industry and knew that others would too. That’s how we grabbed our first few clients and, after that, how we ultimately grew. It’s not the kind of marketing strategy that I’d necessarily recommend for other startups, but for Maropost, it ended up being one of the things that set us apart from the other platforms in the market.
Do you have any advice to give to young entrepreneurs?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Tempting though it may be, you should focus on growing a strong business, rather than big business. When you focus on the latter too early on, it’s easy to get lost and push for things that you just aren’t ready for. So, before anything, build your business up to be foundationally strong. That way, it’ll be able to withstand a lot of the gambles you’ll be forced to make in the future to become even stronger.
What about advice for those who are tethering on the edge of giving up?
Ross Andrew Paquette: This is a tough one. I honestly do believe that everyone has their limits. A breaking point, if you will. It’s very rare that I see anyone in this line of business who hasn’t dealt with something like that — in one way or another. I don’t believe there’s anything that I can say that will just magically make things better outside from “don’t.” Just don’t.
We’ve all made decisions that have led to regret, and I’m sure everyone has things that they would like to do differently if they had the chance to start from the very beginning. But if you linger on those thoughts too much, they’ll eventually take over. So, think of the good memories or the times when you were truly proud. Focus on that and stand tall knowing that you have accomplished those goals and, that if you keep going, you may accomplish even more.
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