While most people believe coming up with a strong business idea is enough to ensure the success of their startup, in reality, most startups fail not because of the idea but because of their execution.
Creating a successful startup comes down to making good decisions at the right times. It isn’t easy, and there is no magic formula. What works for one startup will not work for another. However, there are several tried and tested growth strategies that will help entrepreneurs take their startup to its next growth milestone and allow them to scale up quickly.
Don’t cut corners on hiring
Unless your startup has the right people steering the ship, it doesn’t matter what direction you want to go in, you will never get there. You want to hire people who are dedicated and share your vision for the organization’s future.
They should be willing to dive in and do anything, but not “yes” men and women. If they are concerned about something, you want them to have the confidence to bring it to your attention.
Invest your time
A lot of entrepreneurs set up a startup, then don’t invest the time themselves. They want someone else to run their company, while they flit in and out.
This is how to annoy your staff and prevent your startup from fulfilling its potential. If you aren’t willing to put in the hours in the first few years, then why would anybody else? It is supposed to be your brainchild, your passion, nobody else’s.
Use metrics to guide growth
Expanding a startup is a numbers game. Getting into the habit of measuring performance and looking at ways to improve the numbers is critical when it comes to scaling up. It allows you to streamline customer acquisition.
Find a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure success in your industry and keep an eye on them every day. If you aren’t making progress each week you can stop and ask why? Then fix any problems before they escalate.
Look after the customers you have
A lot of emphasis is often placed on attracting new customers, but the easiest way to scale up is by securing repeat business. Look after the customers you have through loyalty schemes and channel your marketing efforts to drive repeat business.
Not only does this drive growth it also leads to more funding. When investors are considering funding options they want to see evidence that people like and use the product or service. There is no better evidence than a strong group of core customers that keep coming back.
Focus on building processes
When entrepreneurs are asked questions about what they would have done differently in the early stages of creating their startup, many respond with “document more”.
This is because when you are in the early stages, you need to build a process for everything, from onboarding new hires to basic operational tasks. Documenting these processes early will save time in the long run when it comes to training, retraining, and streamlining operational processes.
Limit the risks
Starting a business is risky enough as it is. If you can limit any of the risks, you should. Take out a good business insurance policy, protect yourselves against data breaches, and constantly revisit your policy as you expand to ensure it still covers everything you need.
These strategies build a strong foundation for your startup. Once the foundations are in place, scaling up is less risky and much less work. On the other hand, if your foundations are shaky, scaling up can be dangerous, much more effort, and require a longer period of adjustment.