When starting a new company, it takes hard work and effort to drive the business to high levels of success. Thus, entrepreneurs need a strong startup network to grow and be successful. A startup’s network is composed of several components that interact together to form one system which creates and sustains the company. What does it take for a startup to grow? For a startup to thrive, the network must be highly developed in every area of its components.
This system that seeks to be self-sustaining must be founded on 5 pillars. The pillars help your startup to grow in a sustainable way:
Capital is considered as the lifeblood of a startup. Access to funding opportunities is one of the key pillars for your startup to grow. You need sufficient capital to survive and grow. There are various funding sources including self-funded, investor funds, grant, loans, etc. Choosing the wrong funding source can hinder your startup’s growth prospects. You must be very diligent when raising funds for your startup.
Likewise, when it comes to measuring the success of the business, the first thing that comes to mind is the profits generated. Is your business generating enough returns? An important component of running a successful startup is being able to know the numbers.
You must be competent at handling numbers. You must be able to keep a consistent check your performance by driving revenues up and reporting on it to know which direction your business is heading. Creating and running a successful business can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Thus, you as an entrepreneur must consistently read, plan, grow, and understand your financial dashboard.
You would be amazed at the numbers of entrepreneurs who are focused on building their brands and business that they exclude customers from the business model. It is okay to build your website, print your cards, design your logo, etc. However, it is not ideal to focus your resources on building a business with no customers. Customers must be at the heart of your daily objectives.
Successful entrepreneurs know who their customers are and what they want. They then go ahead to create a customer experience around these components.
“Know what your customers want and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet” — Kevin Stirtz.
For your startup to succeed, you need a proficient team.
Steve Jobs once said, “The secret of my success is that we have gone exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.”
No matter how clear your visions are and where you are going, the reality is that the growth of your business depends on what your team does on a daily basis. It is therefore important to note that if you want to build a successful business, you must build a strong and efficient team. Find the right people, with excellent skills, and are better managed.
Also, you can provide your team with access to information and resources needed to understand your business and their responsibilities within it to help fortify the company to endure the changes and strain of innovation. A startup can accomplish many things when its team is hardworking, inspired, competent, and believes in the company’s vision and goals.
The product you develop is another pillar to attain growth for your startup. Does your product fulfill a need in the marketplace? How is your product different from the competitors? Is there a demand for your product? Having a great product offering is essential to facilitate growth in your startup. If your product fulfills customers need, is revolutionary and the customers enjoy it, they will evangelize it for you.
During the early stages of the product development, you should keep the product features simple and the team agile. Do not spend much of your time trying to build product features. Also, talk to your target audience and understand their key point. At this stage, potential customers will be the ones to help you innovate and grow as they offer feedback.
Ensure that you create a system where you can listen to customers and immediately act on their feedback. With today’s increased usage of social media, it provides a great forum for gathering customer feedback. The social media tools allow you to monitor your brand mention, message, and posts. Also, from the feedback, you will learn more about what customers like or don’t like about your products.
“Our digital future is about enabling better productivity and decision-making to enjoy a better quality life.” — Yacine Baroudi.
An effective online support system provides an avenue for customers to air their opinions, views, and ideas for future product tweaks.
Despite the fact that we would love to believe the myth that says, “A good product sells itself,” you should know that without a good marketing strategy, your startup is dead.
Marketing is the great tool for success in 90% of the startups. How do you attract new customers, and retain and grow existing ones? New leads are key to success and your startup growth model should be formulated around it.
The best way to measure the effectiveness of marketing is to monitor the customers’ growth. Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to build a brand and enhance product awareness. Use informative, compelling, and entertaining stories which people will like and share.
Seth Godin says, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories, you tell.”
You can also invest your time in building email lists of your prospects. Use simple and direct language when developing content. An effective marketing and marketing which increases return on investment and profits makes a huge difference in your startup’s ability to grow and survive. This requires time to be educated on best practices and staying abreast of new opportunities.
Overall, growing your startup requires strong foundations. The pillars mentioned above are important for sustainability and growth in your business. These pillars are a complete guide to structure your business to foster growth and best practice.
You must understand that it takes more than good ideas to be successful in business. It takes efficient planning, effective systems, and customer-oriented services to grow your startup today. By working through each category, entrepreneurs can master operations across the key functions and focus their efforts on improving revenues and what they want to achieve for their business.
Originally published at press.farm on May 22, 2018.