When you’ve worked hard to get your startup off the ground, it’s incredibly gratifying to see you gain your first clients and customers. Keeping things on an even playing field is your first objective as a startup entrepreneur, and it’s something that’ll give you confidence in your project. Nonetheless, you’ll also want your startup to go from strength to strength, gaining more and more of a share of your market and ultimately growing and expanding into a small or medium-sized business. Here’s how you’ll get to that next stage.
You’ll have invested a great deal in your startup to date, but once you’re operational, you’re still going to need to pump money into some choice areas to see it grow beyond a small business. You should pay particular attention to the following areas of investment:
- Sales and marketing, which will keep generating short-term and long-term traffic, leads, and custom
- Staff who will be able to help you drive growth for your firm. Hire the best-possible staff at low rates in order to maximize the impact of this investment
- Expansion, whether that’s to new premises or to new websites, e-commerce stores, or retail websites
These three investment objectives should be your targets, and you should be willing to invest your profits from your first sales back into your business in order to see it grow.
Your startup will continue feeling like a startup if you’re working from home or you’re based in a temporary office. These informal surroundings are great for saving cash, but they’re less effective when it comes to impressing customers and showing that you have a permanent home that you’re always working from.
In light of this insight, it’s well worth looking for an affordable case for your growing company. That could be in a new-build office space, such as the new business centre for Temple Quay in Bristol, or it could be in an industrial park on the outskirts of town. In both cases, getting a permanent home will enable you to take your vision to the next level, developing your brand, your company culture, and friendships with your staff.
Some people interact once and only once with your startup. They might engage with your services or purchase a product but then never return. That is a lost opportunity to broaden your customer base and something that you should address as early as possible in your business development. Customer journeys and relationships are important for startups, and supporting happy customers will help you build up a sustainable base of repeat customers for the long term.
There are several ways to achieve this, but the most important is your customer service. If your staff are serving your customers well, they’ll end up with a positive image of your brand. That trust will manifest in repeat custom as well as word-of-mouth advertising as they recommend your firm to friends.
Starting out as a business means that you’ll be running a slimmed-down operation that requires little investment to keep it going. That means that you won’t have concentrated heavily on your brand or your message, your marketing or your vision, or the target customers that you’re trying to influence in order to bring them to your website and your brand. As you develop, though, and you set your sights on growing into a larger firm, all of these business essentials that you’ve put off become more important to develop.
Many of them might be outside your field of expertise to work on yourself. For instance, entrepreneurs are usually not well schooled in visual design or branding. As such, it’s important that you’re willing to open up your firm to new skills, both when hiring personnel or when you’re looking for consultants and outside agencies to give you a steer.
With all of the above in mind, you should set targets for yourself, your staff, and your business to help you reach new heights. These targets can be simple: they can revolve around web traffic if you’re selling online or on footfall if you’re selling in a store. They can be sales per month, revenue per quarter, or your profits over the course of a year.
Whatever targets you set, make sure they’re ambitious but not impossible, as it’s gratifying for all of your staff to strive towards goals that they then achieve – celebrating your success as they work hard to meet the next set of targets for your firm.
Make your startup into more of an established business with the tips contained in this article.