There are many reasons why startups fail, from creating products no one wants to use to running out of cash. However, one of the most common problems many startups face is the lack of a solid strategy that would help them scale. If you still believe that your amazing product will dictate your startup’s growth and success, you are wrong. Growing a startup requires lots of time investments, learning, measuring, and dedication.
Here are 4 key things you should know when launching and growing a business.
1. Establish a Customer-Oriented Company
In today’s hyperconnected era, customer support should not exist in a vacuum. Instead, every team, from developers to sales, needs to understand your customer goals, fears, problems, and personalities.
For starters, collect customer feedback, create surveys, monitor conversations on social networks, and have regular conversations with them. Based on the feedback you collect, you will need to create buyer personas and encourage teams to use them to boost customer satisfaction. Creating a product that pleases everyone is not possible, so focus on keeping your target customers happy.
Additional steps every customer-centered company should take are:
- Delivering value by providing fresh, insightful, and informative content. Be it blog articles, video guides, infographics, or podcasts, provide insights and tips that will make your customers’ lives easier.
- Personalizing customer experiences. Create quizzes, chatbots, interactive content that provide users with customized recommendations and encourage purchases.
- Building and nurturing your following across multiple channels. Be on the channels they use, respond instantly and organically, reward their loyalty, and share behind-the-scenes photos to humanize your brand.
- Sharing user-generated content on your website and social networks is also important, as you will build trust with your prospective customers and encourage them to become “one of you.”
2. Don’t Assume that Having a Great Product Idea Means Success
Say you are a developer that wants to build an inventory management tool for clothes manufacturers, helping them track how many products they produce and sell every day. You would probably do thorough market research to learn how many manufacturing businesses there are in your target niche, identify your competitors, and calculate your total addressable market. Then, you will interview your prospective customers and learn how much they are willing to pay for your products. However, you will also need to consider numerous additional factors that may impact your revenue, such as the cost of customer acquisition and retention, branding, lead generation, online marketing, etc.
One of the major problems you may also face in the earliest stage is digital product development. Tech companies often struggle with a great gap between dev and technology operations teams. Unnecessarily complex product development processes and the lack of collaboration often result in many errors and delays, keeping both teams frustrated. One of the easiest ways to address this problem is to outsource DevOps practices to professionals and streamline your software development workflow.
DevOps mindset will make your startup more scalable by offering continuous deployment, consistent monitoring, increasing productivity, automating many tasks, and boosting customer satisfaction. Studies show that companies that adopt DevOps spend 30% more time on new projects and spend 22% less time on unplanned work.
3. Hire a Team that Embraces Change
Hire innovative and brave people with curious minds that embrace change and don’t conform to the opinions of masses. Focus on building transparent communications, where everyone gets a chance to share their ideas and opinions.
This is important for a simple reason – young companies need to experiment with different approaches. When overthinking every decision you make, you may miss out on many amazing opportunities and get surpassed by your competitors. Worse yet, you would never know what tactics work or don’t work for your target market. Sometimes, it is better to make mistakes and learn from them than not to experiment with your tactics at all.
As you are just starting out, you should build a company culture that is open to transparency and changes. This is the only way to empower your employees to be innovative and experiment with different tactics.
4. Build a Company You would Love Working for
When launching a company, you first need to define a consistent company culture and set your goals, missions, and values. For example, you may want to build an organizational culture that is:
- Diverse and inclusive, where all employees would be treated equally, irrespective of their abilities, gender, nationality, religion, background, etc.
- Transparent: your goal is to encourage honesty and transparency in employee communications.
- Feedback-driven: employers should always ask for employee feedback so you can learn more about their satisfaction levels, boost their morale, and increase retention rates
- Focused on knowledge and innovation: you want to hire candidates that are willing to constantly learn and improve their knowledge and skills. To keep such candidates happy, you will also need to offer multiple training programs.
Company culture directly impacts your hiring practice. Hiring wrong employees often results in low workplace morale and performance and high employee turnover rates. Precisely because of that, you should hire people that share your startup’s values. Apart from asking them about their knowledge, recommendations, and previous experiences, you should also focus on their personal values and mindsets. For example, if you expect your employees to be ambitious and hardworking, would you hire a candidate that is unwilling to learn continuously?
Over to You
Coming up with an awesome product idea is not enough to turn it into a scalable business. There are many steps you will need to take, from hiring the right people and actualizing your product development to marketing your business online. And, these are just some immensely important but often underestimated tactic you should keep in mind.
Hope this helps!