After establishing a business, the question that every entrepreneur has on mind is: What next? People buy the product, you make enough profit to maintain overhead expenses, and so now you set your sights to growing your business. This step is harder than most people think. Most startups don’t make it further than the first few years, much less expand and grow into a larger organization. However, it’s not impossible.The key to learning how to grow a startup lies in the art of turning ideas into reality. Click To Tweet
The key to startup growth lies in the art of turning ideas into reality. This can be easily done by following these 10 simple steps (in any order):
1. Choose the Right Team
Working with people who are loyal and trustworthy is crucial for the development of a business. You need to carefully analyze personality traits and capabilities so that you can decide which position would be most suitable for each of these employees. They also need to share the same vision, but be able to offer ideas from a different perspective.Hiring a high-quality team is a smart investment with good ROI. Click To Tweet
Having a variety of employees is always a great choice for a growing startup. Don’t do all of the work on your own! Start assigning some of the tasks to people who are able to get work done efficiently. Also, don’t try to save money by employing fewer people than you really need, or you risk overloading your employees so much the quality of their work declines. Hiring a high-quality team is a smart investment with good ROI. Don’t be afraid to bring in new employees, as every startup needs fresh ideas in order to grow into a successful business.
2. Review Your Business Plan
While you were composing your business plan, there was likely a section dedicated to key goals and assumptions. Review these and analyze your company’s progress so far, did you reach some of your key goals? Were your assumptions correct? Are your goals realistic? Revise your business plan, test your ideas and add new goals if you notice that your list is becoming outdated.
Furthermore, you need to inform your employees about the goals and expectations. Make sure your team understands the company’s goals and how their roles fit into the bigger picture. Be open to new ideas and don’t be afraid to extend the list. Think about where you would like to be in a year’s time and create a strategy that is likely to get you there. Don’t hesitate to change the strategy if you see that things aren’t working out as you planned, be flexible.
Check out a list of criteria you can use to test your startup idea that took our founder 8 years to create.
3. Understand the Value of Time
If your startup is already up and running, you probably have a general idea of what kind of business you want it to develop into. In order to get there, you have to focus on the things that are most important for your startup and think about the key steps to take in order to make your company successful. Focus the majority of your time on what will help you grow.Focus the majority of your time on what will help you grow. Click To Tweet
Learn what your business is truly good at and focus on that, instead of wasting your time trying to be the best in everything. Moreover, don’t spend too much time on trivial matters, such as choosing the slogan for your business. There are more important things that you have to prioritize, such as attracting customers and making profit.
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4. Improve Your Offers
You can gather information about the needs and wants of your customers by asking them to take a simple survey, monitoring your target audience on social media, holding focus groups or even asking for feedback with an email newsletter campaign. Knowing exactly what your customers want is important for startup growth, because it will help you offer a product or service that even more people will want.
Today, there are many efficient ways of collecting and distributing information that save both money and time, such as an online questionnaire. If you find out that your product is not as attractive as you expect, making changes is a must. Improve the quality of the product, offer something new and reconsider its price.
5. Examine Your Financials
When we talk about understanding your financials, we talk about knowing exactly how you started, where you are now and where you expect to be in the future. Examining your financials, you can easily compare the profit your company has made to the profit you expected to make.
That way, you will see whether you should spend more or less money to improve your overall performance. Think about any potential problems or risks that may occur and find the best way to cope with them, so that no serious harm is done to your business. Read a few invoicing tips and strategies for small business owners.
6. Attract More Customers
The biggest challenge for any startup is building reputation and attracting customers. Promoting the business online is the most efficient way of getting people to learn about your business. Update your website regularly with new content. Don’t underestimate the power of marketing via social media.
Nowadays, nearly everyone is using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, so creating a presence on those channels increases the chances of customers finding you when they search. Don’t be afraid of criticism. Make good use of it as a tool for collecting information about your customers and improving your services or products.
7. Understand Your Competition
Not only should you gather information about your customers, you should also collect as much information as you can about other businesses in the industry. Look for the business that represents the biggest competitor to you and analyze its strengths and weaknesses.
By knowing your competitor’s pros and cons, you will be able to identify the changes you should make for your business to grow and stay one step ahead.
8. Sell Your Product
No matter what measures you decide to take, the most important thing is to sell your product. At first, focus on selling your product to existing customers. They are familiar with the quality you offer and you are well aware of their needs and desires. You have built a solid relationship with them, so you don’t have to spend money on establishing the value of your product or service.
However, there comes a point when you should consider the idea of attracting new customers, especially if you want your startup to grow. Chances are that you will lose some of the old customers, so you shouldn’t rely solely on current customers. Decide which target group you should focus on and how to attract their attention. This way, you will have the opportunity to expand the business and improve its overall performance.
9. Set Deadlines
Make sure that you organize all your activities and achievements into precise and specific timelines. This will create a feeling of urgency, which will drive you to work hard 24/7.
Keep track of the progress and see if everything is going according to the plan. You may feel slight pressure at times, but pressure is often a good thing because it will get things done without delay.
If you want help setting up deadlines, Hubstaff integrates with various project management tools that allow users to set due dates and reminders.
10. Don’t Fear Failure
Facing failure is the most frightening thought for any entrepreneur. However, it is inevitable. So, instead of being afraid to fail, try to embrace the idea of failure and see it as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, improve the business and do better next time.
Read about our big free plan mistake and what we learned from it.
Learning how to grow a startup is easier than ever
Remember not to get too comfortable with your startup. Be ambitious and do everything necessary for it to grow. There are many examples of startups that have succeeded in overcoming early obstacles and are now growing at a faster pace.
Want to see the story of startup growth in real-time? Follow Hubstaff’s growth blog and watch how we experience and try new ideas, then see what impact these actions had on our growth in concrete numbers. As Hubstaff constantly improves its services and offerings, they publish completely transparent posts that even show growth in revenue numbers.