Snapchat is a shining example of a business that has achieved quick success. While the owners knew they had a brilliant idea, the previous version of their app failed to gain enough traction. Their next move was a smart one and rightly-timed. They quickly identified what their users were looking for and enhanced the app by adding new features such as Snapchat Story as well as video functionality. Soon, they became one of the fastest growing social networking apps with a multibillion-dollar valuation.
Snapchat is one of the many startups that have gained rapid growth by following certain time-tested methods. They have successfully made the transition from a startup to a small business and further into thriving big business.
However, there’s no magical recipe or shortcut that can help businesses reach their goals overnight. Moreover, the path towards achieving growth can be arduous. In fact, according to SBA, only half of startups survive more than five years and only one-third make it to 10.
Unless you are satisfied with the current status of your startup, it is likely that you’ll be looking for ways to accelerate its growth and take it to the next level. You can make it work by following a few top-notch techniques.
Here are a few tips that can help you boost your startup’s growth.
1. Develop Your Growth Strategy
Are you making the most of the opportunities available to you?
What can you do to enhance your product/service?
How can you meet the needs of your customers better?
Do you need to allocate more resources to sales?
Do you need to internationalize to stay competitive?
These are a few of the many questions that you should ask yourself. They will let you know as to which of your marketing efforts are successful and those that don’t work. More importantly, they will help you develop a growth strategy that will help you understand your customers’ nuances.
Blindly implementing a cookie-cutter plan will only lead you towards failure. In the absence of a personalized strategy, you may lose your business to your rivals.
Here’s what you should keep in mind in order to develop a brilliant growth strategy:
- Identify your ideal customer.
- Identify indicators that impact your business’ growth.
- Keep track of what your competitors are up to.
- Build your strengths.
2. Have Enough Capital and a Brilliant Team
Imagine running out of cash during your startup’s growth stage!
What a nightmare!
In order to avoid such a scenario, refrain from spending on anything that doesn’t drive growth in terms of revenues or efficiency. Solid finances underpin healthy growth, which is why you need to make sure to utilise your capital on the right things. Remember, if your money is not going to build your product/service and help you gain customers, then it is being wasted.
You should start bringing in revenues early on in your startup journey. This will help you effectively invest in the growth channel that works best for you.
Look for small business loans, grants, and other investors who can contribute capital to help you acquire additional equipment, space, and even skilled staff to increase your productivity.
Without a strong foundation, the entire business structure can fall apart, which is why it is essential for you to build a smart and driven team. Your team should have faith in your vision. They need to be motivated and inspired by your company’s value proposition. Building and fostering the right team will enable you to grow as an organization and make your business more efficient and profitable.
According to a recent study conducted by Rotman School of Management, the success of a new business is dependent on the founder’s ability to create a bigger and an experienced team in most cases. The study further emphasizes the crucial role played by a strong team in the success of a venture.
Here are a few tips that can help you build a strong and supportive team:
- Hone your leadership skills as strong leadership will go a long way in establishing culture, aligning goals, and driving innovation.
- Create an environment that motivates employees to perform at their best.
- Ensure that all your employees understand your vision clearly. Assist the team members that need extra tutelage and guidance.
- Build a relationship of trust with your employees as that will allow them to grow and succeed.
- Be consistent in setting goals for yourself and your team as doing so is integral to your business’s success.
3. Don’t Let Anything Slow You Down
The growth stage of your startup may require you to wear many hats and multitask. This may wear you down and cause you to lose your focus, which is why you need to consider delegating tasks.
Taking all the responsibilities upon your shoulders will only slow you down and steer you away from your real goals. Regardless of how hard you try, the truth is that you can’t do it all by yourself.
Delegating tasks that can be managed by other skilled professionals can help you a great deal. If necessary, outsource when you don’t want to build bulk internally at the growth stage.
The whole point is to identify and rid yourself of all things that slow you down on your path towards growth. Think strategically and eliminate the unproductive components of your business to ensure there are no obstructions in your way.
You may encounter several obstacles in your path. However, how you deal with them matters the most. Don’t let obstacles derail you. More importantly, don’t run away from them as unattended obstacles can sap your mental energy and steal your focus as well as sanity. Here’s how you can go about overcoming obstacles:
- Stay focused and work on your strengths as doing so will help you deal with hindrances in a far better manner.
- Whether it is financing or sales, ensure to stay updated of all the aspects.
- Get rid of obsolete or outdated working methods. Evaluate what doesn’t work and have the courage to walk away from them before they turn into gruelling problems. Embrace new methods and techniques that aid your startup’s growth.
- Have faith in yourself and listen to your instincts when it comes to taking important decisions.
- Learn how to manage your time efficiently.
4. Seek Advice from the Best
According to an analysis by TechCrunch last year, 33% New York city tech firms mentored by top-performing entrepreneurs went on to become top performers.
Top-performing founders such as Chad Dickerson of Etsy and Nat Turner of Flatiron Health have achieved phenomenal success and they have been mentored by other successful entrepreneurs such as Caterina Fake from Flickr and Brian O’Kelley of AppNexus.
Brilliant mentors can help you gain new experiences through their own learnings. They can help you avoid known pitfalls based on their years of experience of running a successful business. Under their guidance, you will be able to accelerate and optimize your startup growth efforts. Make sure to find one who’s right for your startup and utilize his/her time and expertise to the fullest.
If you have the capital for paid business coaches, there are plenty of sites that can provide you the necessary coaching to acquire growth, including ActionCOACH, Vistage, and Red Rocket.
5. Gauge Your Business’ Progress
All your marketing efforts will be futile if you fail to develop metrics to monitor your success.
Metrics play a pivotal role in the growth of your startup as they can aid you in executing the right strategies, thereby eventually growing your bottom line.
Revenue is one of the most important metrics when it comes to tracking your business’s growth. However, that’s not the only metric you should be concerned with. Here are a few pivotal metrics you should consider using for building your business effectively:
- Revenue Run Rate can aid you in measuring how your sales are developing over time.
- Customer Acquisition Cost can help you learn about how much it costs you to attract each customer.
- Burn Rate can enable you to stay on top of your finances.
- Operational Efficiency can help you track the return on your spending.
Launching a startup is a mammoth step. However, growth is the only factor that determines the success of your startup. Taking your startup to the next level can be downright difficult. Moreover, the initial stage of running a startup may be extremely nerve-wracking and may even end up distracting you from your goals. The aforementioned tips can help you stay focused, take steps in the right direction, and give your business the much-needed push. Make sure to identify the right growth channels and exploit them fully before they become saturated. More importantly, remember that growth requires constant reinvention. By bearing these aspects in mind, you will be able to jumpstart your business’s growth to new levels and achieve milestones.