What is Traction: A Beginner’s Guide

Are you a newbie entrepreneur wondering about what traction is? In this article, I will guide you on all you need to know about traction, its significance, and how to gain it. Traction is often discussed in the world of startups and small businesses.

It’s a concept that lets businesses know that they’re moving forward and gaining momentum. If you’re looking to scale a business, identifying and understanding traction is essential.

What is traction?

Traction is a measurable indicator that a business is growing and scaling in the right direction. In other words, it is the initial signs of business growth that depict market validation.

For startups and small businesses, gaining traction is significant in proving that your business model, product, or service is valid and has a demand in the marketplace.

Why is traction significant to businesses?

Traction is significant to businesses because it helps founders to determine whether their business is on the right track to growth or not. Gaining traction allows businesses to establish a proven customer demand, proving that their business has found product-market fit. By having product-market fit, your product or service offers a solution to a market where there is a demand, which could lead to future business growth.

How can businesses get traction?

There is no universal formula for gaining traction for small businesses or startups. However, to get traction, you need to set achievable goals, measure your results, identify significant customer objections, measure growth rates, listen to customer feedback, and identify which channels work best for you.

Furthermore, setting up experiments, running customer feedback, implementing changes based on feedback, iterating, and repeating the process will help you build and maintain traction sustainably. Although it’s not an easy process, it’s necessary for your business to compete in the current market.

How to measure traction?

Identifying the right metrics is crucial in measuring traction. Here are some metrics that businesses can use to measure traction:

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost refers to the price of acquiring each customer. Lowering the CAC will lead to higher customer acquisition and, therefore, higher traction.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Monthly recurring revenue is the monthly revenue from subscribers or clients that businesses receive. By increasing MRR, businesses collect more revenue and, therefore, scale their business to higher levels to gain traction.

Customer Retention rate (CRR)

Customer retention rate is the measure of the number of customers who repeatedly buy from businesses. Monitoring CRR helps businesses understand if customers keep buying, which indicates that the product or service offers value to the customer.

Number of active users

The number of active users indicates how many people engage with your products or services daily, weekly, or monthly. This metric is useful in predicting future growth and defines the conversion rate of your business.

Challenges businesses face in gaining traction

Businesses face several challenges in gaining traction. Here are some common ones:

Lack of product-market fit

A significant challenge that businesses face is a lack of product-market fit. A business might believe that they have a valid and useful product, but customers may not share the same perspective.

Wrong targeting or messaging

In some instances, businesses might have a valid product, but it may not be targeted at the right audience, resulting in slow or no traction.

Difficulty in finding the right channel

A crucial part of gaining traction is identifying the right channel that works for your business. However, it can be challenging when trying to determine which channels best work for your business.


Traction plays a crucial role in the growth and success of businesses. A company without traction is a company that won’t last. Gaining and maintaining traction is no doubt difficult and time-consuming, but once achieved, you’ll significantly improve your chances of success in the marketplace.



Here are some common questions about traction:

  • What does the term traction mean?
    Traction refers to the measurable indicator of a business that is growing and scaling in the right direction.
  • What is product market fit?

    Product-market fit refers to the point where your product or service fulfills a need in the marketplace.
  • Why is traction critical for startups?
    Traction is critical for startups to prove to potential investors that the business is gaining traction and to eventually scale.
  • What are some traction metrics that businesses can measure?
    Businesses can measure metrics such as customer acquisition costs, monthly recurring revenue, customer retention rate, and the number of active users.
  • What challenges do businesses face in gaining traction?
    Some common challenges businesses face in gaining traction include lack of product-market fit, wrong targeting or messaging, and difficulty in finding the right channel.

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