Growing a startup in record time is one of the keys to success – but many business owners find it extremely challenging. The good news is that there are strategies that can greatly increase the speed at which a startup grows – outpacing the competition. Adopting these tactics early on can be the key to success.
How to supercharge your startup.
1) Focus is key.
The temptation to start up a second business while the initial startup is still in its fits stage of growth can be a huge temptation – after all, what entrepreneur does not want to have two sources of income? However, two businesses mean twice the expense. Operating costs can double. It is also inevitable that there will be a loss of focus when it comes to managing each of the enterprises. Each business requires our full attention. In most cases, at least at the initial stages of growth, one is better than two.
Failing to carefully manage all aspects of an entrepreneurial venture during the initial stages of growth inevitably slows the evolution of the business – and in certain cases can lead to unsustainable losses. With laser-like focus, the business will meet the targets as set out in the business plan. Challenges can also be overcome quickly and efficiently.
2) Make sure you have the right tools.
A bad carpenter blames his tools. In the case of a startup not having the right tools can be extremely detrimental to the growth of the enterprise. Take for instance manufacturing. Without software and processes that allow for efficient inventory tracking and sales forecasting (and analysis), even the most focused of entrepreneurs will find themselves at a distinct competitive disadvantage. The proper tools are essential in ensuring robust business growth.
Service Centers are another great entrepreneurial opportunity. It is a business sector that has shown robust growth in the last decade. however, without auto-dialer software growth will be sub-par. The right software will maximize productivity by simplifying the challenge of reaching out to multiple leads – and feeding that sales funnel. This software also allows the operators more time to interact with multiple leads – and that inevitably leads to more sales.
3) Make use of online marketing opportunities.
Online marketing (and social media) have revolutionized how small businesses engage with current and potential customers, as well as build brand loyalty, increase knowledge of products or services and again feed that sales funnel. It allows small and medium enterprises to go head-head with larger companies that would, only decades ago have been able to outspend them as far as marketing is concerned.
e-Commerce has been the fastest-growing sales channel in the world for many years. If your business is not online you are going to struggle to compete. Most consumers are buying off the Internet and searching for products and services. Local search is especially important – target local directories and business listings (Google My Business is a prime example) and encourage customers to rate your services on the many review websites out there.
Hand in hand with this marketing activity is the absolute necessity of having a business website. Clients and customers need somewhere to go to buy products and an e-Commerce capability on the site allows you to make those all-important sales. You will also be able to position your business as professional and build a relationship with your existing customer base. It’s all about engagement.
4) The customer IS King.
In a highly competitive environment, great customer service can make the difference between success and failure. In this day and age of social media, dissatisfied customers can poison public opinion (and the opinion of potential customers) much more quickly than has been the case in the past. It is essential that you be highly responsive to customer complaints. However, make sure that those complaints are kept to a minimum by ensuring that the services you provide are professional – and that products are world-class. A happy customer will return again and again – and recommend your company to others. Those review sites – they are incredibly powerful. Trust must be built – and it can disappear in the blink of an eye, so a focus on customer service is essential.
We live in a fast-changing world. Keep an eye on trends. The Internet and trade journals, as well as attendance at trade shows, can help to keep you informed and spot the next big thing – and that can help with inventory management and fine-tuning of strategy. keep the above in mind and you will be on the path to success.