By | Sarah Kaminski
It’s one thing to launch a startup and another to grow it to greatness. As a matter of fact, statistics tell us that startups are quite hard to manage and run, so much so that 9 out of 10 startups fail.
The reasons that lead to such a high percentage of failure in the startup world are numerous. The most common ones include marketing problems, lack of business and tech knowledge, issues within the team, and not enough financial backing.
In this article, we’ve listed five ways to help you not only overcome these barriers and keep your company afloat but also build a thriving business. You can use them as a starting point to draft a general idea of which direction you need to go in order to grow and expand your startup.
1. Study the Competition
When searching for ideas on what should come next on your startup’s development path, take a look at what your industry leaders are doing. Anyone can hit a dead end, which is why it’s wise to learn from experienced players.
Successful competitors can be eye-opening when it comes to gathering inspiration for your next projects. Looking at their history, make a note of their shortcomings and weak points to learn what to avoid.
If their lead generation and sales efforts show great promise, examine their funnel structures and marketing strategies. Emulate them as thoroughly as you can, but remember that what works for them might not work for you, so always adapt their approach to your specific conditions.
2. Brand Yourself as a Niche Startup
Trying to reach and appease every customer of any demographic might seem like the optimal trajectory to put your startup on, but, in fact, it’s quite unrealistic. Focusing on a smaller target group can result in more positive benefits.
It can be counterintuitive to narrow down your audiences, but going after a specific type of customer can help you understand their needs much better and build more user-centered products or services. That way, it will also be a lot easier to market to this smaller subset of customers and cut on resources.
Niche startups often enjoy higher brand loyalty since they face less competition. Once initial stability is achieved, growth and expansion to a bigger market can always come into plan.
3. Design a Flawless Website
No matter what industry you’re in, your startup needs a strong online presence. Your website is the starting point and main representative of your business online.
If you offer a multitude of products, you’ll need a well-developed ecommerce website. There are many great practices on how to make your ecommerce website customer-centric, ranging from focusing on SEO and customer service to getting your customers to chime in and promoting their experiences with your products/services.
Additionally, you can also leverage the impact of mega-marketplaces such as Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay. Creating an online store on their platforms is an excellent opportunity to quickly reach a high number of customers from your target demographic.
4. Gather the Perfect Team
You can’t expect to grow if you don’t scale your operations and reject additional work because you don’t have the time to do it. Forming a team of experienced, high-quality professionals is the only way to give expansion a chance.
Today’s business culture allows for a lot of outsourcing opportunities, so leveraging that can allow your budget to take a lighter hit. Learn how to be a decent manager, publish well-detailed job descriptions, and hire people who look genuinely enthusiastic about your startup.
Assembling an efficient team is always a smart investment, no matter how tight your money is. Reaching out to a recruiter that’s experienced in your market segment is also a wise move. They’ll know exactly where to look once you explain to them your end goal.
5. Follow the Latest Business News and Insights
The sea of business development is always shifting and changing. To stay afloat and ready to meet every challenge, you must adapt to any upcoming change.
The best way to do so is to simply stay updated on the latest news in the startup, investing, tech, and entrepreneurship world. This way, you’ll keep up with all the industry insights, boost your confidence, and broaden your vision.
There are many online outlets that you can bookmark and regularly visit to keep developing your ideas and grow a powerful business.
An even better way is to get access to a curated lineup of business-related news, opinions, and advice. Startup newsletters like the one from Smash.vc are a very practical way to get all the latest and most exciting startup stories right in your email.
The benefits of such newsletters are that they are free and contain highly-actionable advice from many industry experts. You can even learn about all the authentic business opportunities that are waiting to be explored.
Equipping yourself with these five tactics is a solid foundation for growing your startup. However, you need to remember that there’s much more to building a multi-million company. Keeping yourself in the loop constantly and following the best business practices will eventually get you there.