Starting a business is the hard part. Once the business is up and running, there is always another problem—how to grow. The process of growth is one that is rooted in strategy, resources and capacity. Execution also defines your growth momentum. Here is a 5-step process of sustainably growing your business. Notice that the whole process of how to expand your business is about strategic decision-making.
Understand the Excitement Phase :
When you come with a new idea, people get excited, and they want to jump onto the fad. If you dwell on this phase of the business, you will soon be grappling with shortfalls from virtually all departments. Back up the excitement with a value proposition that the customers cannot ignore. It may be just a few customers in the midst of a bunch of ecstatic fans; you must create value around those valuable customers. At this stage, measure your growth based on value and not excitement.
Bring in Matching Talent :
Growth needs support. In addition to taking advantage of business financing options, companies need talent they can depend on in order to guarantee optimum growth. Business growth translates to more work and demand for skills. If you don’t have a COO, you may need one so that you operationalize all business functions. More business functions also translate to complicated paperwork and information. Some departments such as customer service and IT crop up. If you don’t support your startup with the right long-term staff, you are likely to remain redundant.
Invest in and Execute a Viable Marketing Strategy :
Business growth is about identifying the customer and investing in the onboarding process. A lot goes into the marketing process. The product(s) you are selling ought to play a part in how you sell, too. Business revenue is the only sure indicator of how well a business is performing. A growth trajectory in revenues tells you that the firm has a potential for profitability. Without sales, a company is as good as dead, unless it is not sales-oriented — all businesses are sales-oriented.
Understand the Customer Feedback Loop :
Validation of a startup idea requires extensive research, which is guided by an effective feedback process. You sell the idea to the potential customer—listen to the feedback—make a product out of it—go back to the customer—improve on the product, and the loop continues. The circle is continuous even after a startup is successful. Companies that are faithful to the customer feedback process continue to improve, and the spreadsheets reflect the customer loyalty that follows.
Invest in Leadership — If You Cannot Be the Leader, Get a Mentor :
It is normal for the business to outgrow your skill-set. At that level, always have strategic people to guide you. A board can improve your decision-making process. A mentor can also play an important role in your business growth. Your startup success is dependent on the leadership networks that nurture over time. At the critical phase, lead your business by example.
While anyone can steer any business to an expansion path, few can do so in a sustainable way. Many companies struggle to keep up with the growth trajectory. Don’t be a victim, evaluate every business metric soberly.
Read Also :
- Tips for Funding Your New Business Startup
- High Tech Startup Lessons Every Business Owner Should Learn
- What Makes Singapore the Best City to Work in a Startup