Everyone knows the best entrepreneurs are lazy.
To grow an entrepreneurial venture, you must become aware of what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. The process of learning whether your business is growing (and by how much) is slow and seemingly iterative.
So why do startups that aggressively seek growth seem to be the ones that take over the world?
Growth is rarely linear. But there are several things you can do to better focus your energy to give your startup an edge.
Here are nine ways listed by Free Opinion IST to grow fast.
1. Lateral thinking.
If you focus too intently on one approach, you’ll miss other opportunities. Traditional marketing, PR and sales will all have an important place in your business model. But adding a few small innovations for a big splash, you can create a strategy that drives customers in a completely different direction.
Instead of a solely online version, create a print magazine.
Instead of a completely off-brand product, simply add a little flair to the packaging.
Incorporate a different target audience, or be innovative with a brand extension, type of product or location.
2. Smart marketing.
All the above strategies rely on noticing a hole in the market you can fill. One way to do that is track your competitors, and see how their customers respond to their efforts.
But there are numerous other examples you can find. Hint: Don’t corner your market.
3. Slow and steady.
Startups that grow at a fast rate can lead to complacency. The best companies focus on the long-term, rather than being blinded by short term gains.
A company can have a great run with tens of thousands of sales in a month, but if they don’t have a realistic view of their full-scale potential, they will soon hit a brick wall.
That’s not to say you can’t have a highly productive month once in a while, but stay busy year-round building the next perfect sale.
4. On your knees.
The best chance for a startup to grow fast is to get the word out. But there are so many ways to get the word out, you can easily lose your focus.
The old-fashioned way of “shaking the trees” (sending out direct mail requests to potentially interested parties) or paying to get mentioned in preferred publications or seeking out tastemaker bloggers has its place.
But better, more modern ways using the latest attraction marketing strategy could help you become the startup that no one can ignore.
5. Turn up the heat.
Your business model may be perfect, but there could be time for some fine-tuning. Experimentation with simple tweaks to your business model can produce huge payoffs.
Your employees may be the ones throwing out the ideas during brainstorming sessions, or you might need to apply scientific trial and error strategies. Your employees will be more enthusiastic about the experimentation process if the CEO is willing to do the same.
6. Avoid the lunch trap.
One of the most critical aspects of any startup is staffing. Aiming for fast growth won’t mean much if your employees and contractors can’t keep up.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen startups make is maintain their current hiring practices, and then raise their expectations when they hit a wall.
But adding a few competent contractors makes a big difference, and is a lot easier than hiring a bunch of new employees.
7. Business is war.
Many entrepreneurs start out fighting to gain a foothold in their market. You’ve probably seen many startups that didn’t happen. Some were just poorly run. Some may have been ahead of their time, and some may not have had enough capital and expertise.
But a startup that survives must shift to a new mode of dealing with their competitors. If a startup has fast growth early on, you can bet that there will be formidable forces that try to stand in your way.
Now, it’s time to start picking off the big fish.
8. Keep your eye on the prize.
Below is a picture of what you might see if you’re trying to make fast gains in a competitive environment like the tech world.
But pay no attention. The goal is to grow your startup. It doesn’t matter if your competitor is growing faster.
If you want to grow fast, try to think like a smart software company. In their case, the goal is to get the cash in their hands, to write code, to ship applications, to have a team. Any way you look at it, it needs to get done quickly.
9. Keep a cool head.
They say that a team without a bad apple is a bad team. So, what does that mean for a startup?
It means you can’t have a single person with a negative mindset, a single person with a dictator personality, a single person with a temper. You need a team with a focus on making fast time-to-market, but also a focus on letting the best people carry the day.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you grow your startup.
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