Carolin Petterson, WED | Getting operations off the ground is a daunting task, but new challenges arise when you have to spur growth. Even with a great idea and product-market fit, it can be difficult to gain traction. To navigate the treacherous waters of these beginning stages, you need a compass and map in your hands. Therefore, form a differentiated business model and come up with a game plan. Explore all the avenues before committing to one course of action or the other. Focus on what matters and adds value to the organization. Here are some tried and tested tactics to lay the groundwork for long-term success.
Upselling and cross-selling
Once you create a solid customer base, you have the option to upsell and cross-sell. The beauty of these methods is that there is no need to make additional investments in marketing, advertising, and lead generation. You merely focus on prompting existing customers to spend more— this can help you improve the bottom line via recurring purchases. Likewise, by better catering to their wants and needs, you can introduce new revenue streams and reach new growth heights.
Learn from your competition
Furthermore, do market research. Scope out the competition and see what works for them. For instance, did you know that Airbnb hit the ground running by exploiting a loophole in Craigslist to attract renters and obtain listings? There are many other examples of startups “borrowing” ideas and concepts. The trick is here is to make these your own. Therefore, learn from others, but see their experience through the lens of what your business is and stands for.
Smart marketing strategy
Marketing can really empower a startup to break through and spread brand awareness. It goes without saying that digital marketing provides an incredible opportunity to reach a wide audience with a minimum investment of resources. Therefore, set up your website, blog, and social media profiles. Optimize them for search engines and boost your visibility. At the same time, combine digital with traditional marketing. Give away flyers, coupons, customized promotional caps, business cards, and other merchandise to foster trust.
Tech tools of the trade
Try to align offerings and operations with existing and emerging technologies. Employ cutting-edge software platforms, apps, social media, office equipment, and other modern staples. Check out prominent trends such as cloud storage that streamline daily tasks and conserve resources. Frictionless implementation is the name of the game, so invest in employee training. You might have to depend on third-party sources at first, but over time, you are better off building internal tech resources.
Funding increased capacity
To accelerate growth and expand, a startup must possess ample capacities. This translates into the ability to hire more employees and throw in extra hours of service. Of course, to step up your game, you also need additional capital. It is of the utmost importance to make accurate financial projections and figure out exactly how much money you need to fuel your endeavors. Also, you must select the most suitable source of financing, taking into account both the traditional and alternative options.
To improve, one has to change. This dynamic process is rooted in testing, measuring, and analyzing what you do. So, get into data mining, make the most of sophisticated analytical tools, and explore testing software. Constantly fine-tune operations and eliminate unproductive components of the business. Sometimes, in order to tap into growth opportunities, owners have to reallocate funds, get back to the drawing board, or even pivot.
Leaps and bounds
When strapped for money and pressured by competition, even surviving can seem far-fetched. To give your business a nice jolt and move ahead, you need to overcome growing pains. So, set yourself apart from the rest and produce sound strategies to kill it with marketing, online presence, tech integration, and other core aspects that make or break businesses. Use all the resources at your disposal and outmaneuver the competition. Put these tips into action and you should be able to make strides towards your goals in 2018 and beyond.