Growing a startup takes a lot of work and dedication, but it’s exciting too. When you see the fruit of your labor and that you’re bringing in profit, you know you’re headed in the right direction – but that’s only the beginning. So many details have the potential to go wrong, and that’s why it’s important to have a clear strategy in mind from the very beginning, adjusting it accordingly as you go along and learn new tricks of the trade. To ensure there are no significant hiccups on your path to success, have a look at the major do’s and don’ts of growing your startup.
Analyze your business in relation to industry changes
Before you launch a business, you’ll undoubtedly have done plenty of research. But keep in mind that the research never stops. Not only do you need to constantly asses your business and analyze how it is doing, but you also need to research your industry regularly. The way industries operate changes at a fervent pace nowadays, and if you’re not constantly updated, you may find your startup entirely displaced. Track the changes in your industry and analyze your business, then list your strengths and weaknesses to help you optimize your strategy.
Set goals and update them to maintain focus
When a startup kicks off and the responsibilities pile up, it’s really easy to get lost in the sea of day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the bigger picture. Without precise goals and your eye on the bigger picture, there can be no growth – you’ll just be keeping your head above the water and staying blind to various opportunities. It’s important to set solid goals, both small and large, set to achieve in the near future as well as further down the line. They will keep you focused, give you something to strive for, and make it possible to track improvement. When setting goals for your startup, be guided by the SMART acronym: create goals that are Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
Focus on a consistent brand identity right from the start
Yes, you’ll have millions of things to do when your business is fresh and things are still just in motion. But don’t assume it’s too early for branding and hold it off until you’ve got everything else prepared. Maybe you’ll want to rebrand in the future, but nevertheless, having no clear identity right from the start will hamper growth. Work on a logo that reflects your brand’s values while simultaneously keeping up with the latest logo designs – this will be like your mascot, and you want it to be both authentic as well as relevant to the modern market. Regarding your website, make sure you’re able to convey your brand’s message clearly and concisely – what do you do exactly, what are your startup’s goals, what are your values?
Don’t try to do it all on your own
This is something that happens all too often with startups – owners become protective, fearing that outsiders won’t understand their needs or their style and that collaborating with them will hurt growth. But you can’t do it all on your own, and for many things, your employees won’t suffice either. You’ll need to hire outside professionals to ensure various tasks, particularly in the marketing and website development department, are streamlined and done expertly. Don’t be afraid to seek help, just research each potential collaborator and communicate with them openly so that you can establish trusting relationships.
Don’t bet your money on one horse
This is extremely important, and something that growing businesses often lose sight of. If you have one or two major customers (or distribution channels) that bring in the bulk of revenue, know that this is too risky. Don’t allow yourself to be entirely dependent on such a small amount of revenue streams – things could go awfully wrong too easily. Spread out, invest more time and effort, and work towards having multiple revenue streams that contribute to the overall picture. Keep your customers happy as you grow, but keep your marketing efforts steady to ensure you reach new ones as well.
Don’t lose sight of your target market
Directly relating to the previous point: when you’re spreading out, make sure you’re doing it strategically. You need to identify your target market comprehensively, which will take plenty of research and analysis. When you know who they are, you’ll know where to reach them, how your business can benefit them, and what is the best way to approach them. Don’t try to serve a market that’s too large but rather find your niche and invest your efforts wholly into drawing in the people who are already much more open to your message.
It can be difficult to keep up with all the demands while simultaneously ensuring you don’t make some of the classic mistakes startups make. But that’s why it’s always important to reflect on your work and performance, and adjust the pace as you go. Watch out for the crucial do’s and don’ts, always be open for changes, strategize, and you’ll be moving forwards steadily.