In the fast-moving world of business, if you’re not moving forward, you’re bound to grind to a halt. With so many competitors to out-brand and so many customers to dazzle into loyalty, every startup needs to focus on growth in order to ensure long-term, rather than temporary success.
Written by Keith Coppersmith
It’s vital to understand that growth doesn’t happen only from within, or by investing solely in external factors such as customer retention, but a combination of both. Startups facing fierce competition need to strike this fine balance in order to be able to stay above the surface, and even more importantly, enable steady, scalable growth.
While every business has its own challenges and opportunities to utilize its growth potential, you also need to understand the essentials of ensuring business growth every startup should implement. Let’s take a look at a few practical ways to start growing your business today.
Focus on numbers
In the simplest possible terms, you cannot control what you cannot see when it comes to your business. Following an instinct or a trend can only get you so far, and passing fads are just that when it comes to continuous, preserved growth – they cannot ensure stability, they only give a momentary surge of interest when used to your advantage. That’s why you need to rely on your marketing teams and their insights to decide on the best growth-oriented steps.
Metrics are by far one of the most reliable assets a business can put to great use. Use a variety of marketing tools to understand the behavior of your customers as well as their preferences. From Google Analytics, all the way to simple surveys, the information you gather can help you decide where you need to invest in order to reap the highest rewards – the cost of acquiring a customer, gross margins, as well as employee productivity are just some of the most relevant ones to consider.
Cut costs where it makes sense
As a prime example, the Australian market has exploded in terms of startups, and new businesses keep popping up around every corner. That, however, makes it both a very profitable, and a highly competitive market for startups to enter. Finding ways to cut costs without cutting down on revenue is the only way to thrive in such a market.
For example, many modern startups choose to conduct business in a fully serviced office in Sydney and build a strong reputation in this iconic metropolis, rather than stick to a less prominent, but permanent rental space. As your business grows, you need an office that is as scalable as your business, and these modern co-working spaces allow just that–better savings with a stronger potential to grow.
Outsource for more talent
Another way in which the modern market has changed the startup game is the ability to hire employees from all over the globe. As a growing brand, you can now choose to both cut costs and diversify your company culture by working with remote freelancers as well as local artisans. Both ends of the spectrum have their perks, and the common ground is the idea of outsourcing your non-vital business needs.
This, in turn, leaves more room for growing your customer service teams or your core business experts, depending on what your niche may be. Allow such flexibility in hiring, and you will inevitably have access to a wider pool of talented individuals that would otherwise remain outside of your reach.
Diversify your marketing tactics
No business can grow without finding creative ways to spread the word of its mission and values. Nowadays, brands exist to entertain its users, inspire a debate, and give their customers something to ponder, hence the need to deliver a variety of content to meet these different needs. As a result of our fast-paced life and access to techy gadgets, audio and video content has become even more appealing than ever.
Today, using podcasts for the purpose of branding and marketing has become a go-to strategy of many businesses that aim to get a better traction with their potential customers. In the sea of generic online content, every business should strive towards greater authenticity to ensure better growth. By reaching wider audiences and building more brand awareness, you also help build trust with your listeners and give them a credible source of information they will be eager to follow.
Much like no man is an island, the same goes for your brand. If you want your business to grow, you need an audience that is genuinely interested in your offer, as well as a team of individuals that build its reputation from within. However, that also refers to the partners you make in your industry, whether it’s your delivery and shipping partners, manufacturers, or your influencers.
Take your time when making connections, but also take time to build them. Attend conferences, organize events of your own, and use the online realm to find like-minded individuals who share your values. Perhaps there’s an investor out there who can help you fund a company-wide initiative, or an influencer who can get you in front of a massive following in a heartbeat. Turn those partnerships into vessels of growth for all parties involved, with clearly defined goals, and you’ll come across ample opportunities to structure your own ability to grow.
Finally, every startup is a unique business entity which entails an equally unique learning curve for its owners. The selected ideas are designed to simplify your chase after greater growth and help you discover those unique variables that will ultimately enable you to outgrow your competitors.
About the author: Keith Coppersmith is an Adelaide-based business consultant with a degree in media management. With experience in numerous small businesses and startups, he enjoys giving advice on all things marketing.