When your startup takes off, it feels great! But how do you ensure business growth, so that your company continues to prosper?
Most entrepreneurs launch their startup on a shoestring budget, with a limited range of products or services. This is known as ‘minimal viable product’ and is one of the best ways to achieve quick success in the market. The idea behind it is to take your business to market while you’re in your final stages of development – and not afterwards – because you’re still in a flexible place and can quickly and easily adjust if you find there are teething problems.
Once your business is up and running, however, you’re going to want to be able to sustain your revenue growth. It’s not easy to do this if you continue to run on the minimum viable product principle, so now’s the time to re-structure your vision and adapt to the future of your business.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure your business continues to grow…
Take Time To SWOT Up For New Opportunities
You may feel that you did all the market research you needed when you first launched your startup. However, the world of business is always changing! If your growth is starting to stagnate, now is a great time to seize the opportunity to complete a SWOT analysis, take a nosey at your competitors (which you should always do anyway!), and find out what’s holding you back.
A SWOT analysis includes taking a look at Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. You’ll have done this already when you first started your business, but a regular review will help you to stay ahead of the competition. As a new startup, you’ll also have the advantage of being far more adaptable to quick changes. This means that, should you identify new opportunities in the market during your analysis, you can quickly and easily develop a new product or service and launch it with ease. More established companies have far more bureaucracy that gets in the way of a quick product launch – so you can get there faster.
Growth doesn’t always have to come from the outside, either: you may find that you have some inefficient business processes that could be tidied up to improve efficiency and cut your bottom line. This often happens when startups grow, take on new staff, and develop business processes organically. Take a step back and consider how internal changes could help give you more profit, more time, or new ways to solve problems.
Solve New Problems For Existing (And New) Customers
Talk to your customers! You might be solving one problem for them at the moment, but is there something else that’s related, which they’re still having trouble with? For example, if you’re a marketing agency that specialises in website creation, are your clients stumped when it comes to the content they need to supply? In that case, you could expand your business by taking on a copywriter, who can specialise in delivering content for the websites you build.
Identifying new opportunities with existing customers is a great way to build stable growth, as it costs a lot less to provide more to the same clients than it does to acquire new customers. Of course, it’s important to still always attract new customers, but developing good relationships – and providing more services – for existing clients will establish strong working partnerships, increase their lifetime value, and help to develop a positive reputation in your sector.
However, once you’ve established these new services to your existing customers, you know they’re already tried-and-tested to roll out as a new offering to potential clients, too. At this point, you know that your new service or product works, and you can confidently add it to your marketing efforts when acquiring new customers.
Expand Your Premises
Many startups originate in a kitchen, a living room corner, or a desk in a bedroom. This is great – until you start needing to meet clients! It’s also not ideal if your business involves physical products and/or manufacturing – even the smallest of ‘cottage industry’ companies will need to expand at some stage, to accommodate all materials and stock.
Whether you already hire an office or a factory space, or have yet to leave your parents’ study, it could be time to upgrade. If you’re a solopreneur working digitally, it’s tempting to keep things as small as possible to save on overheads – but there are options which could provide future opportunities to consider. For example, think about hiring a desk in a co-working space: these are so flexible you often won’t need to hire one full-time, but instead pay on a daily rate.
Co-working spaces are a great way to bounce ideas off other freelancers and new businesses, as well as meet potential new clients or partners. It’s a good time to work on your networking skills!
If your business involves manufacturing of some kind, you may have some kind of production facility already. Even if you’re working at capacity now, consider expanding to a larger facility before you need it. This’ll give you the opportunity – and space – to accelerate your growth into your facility, rather than be hindered by a too-small factory.
Enter The Launch Of A Lifetime Competition
Whether you’re a brand-new startup, or a solopreneur looking to expand into Phase Two of your business, you could win £6,500 of prizes to boost your company! Build your business with our FREE entry Launch Of A Lifetime competition – click here for details and entry.