Startup leaders work hard to ensure their companies realize economies of scale and economies of scope, eventually to be recognized as a market leader. But as few as 20 percent of businesses narrow the gap between present and projected earnings.
It seems inevitable therefore for startups to be stressed financially and their leaders to be emotionally drained. And while leaders can’t eliminate all the stress of attempting to attain startup growth objectives, they can take steps to make the achievement of these objectives more likely.
Network with Other Business Owners
Networking exposes a startup’s leadership team to the success stories of other business owners, which can spark ideas of new strategies to pursue, processes to incorporate or methods to try. Networking also opens the door to partnerships that offer “win-win” opportunities to each business that participates. If nothing else, networking alerts others to your company’s value proposition. Becoming a member of your city’s chamber of commerce or other business groups provides you the social setting needed to introduce your company to others and perhaps benefit from mutual opportunities and more.
Invest in Technology and Support Services
Not every entrepreneur is inclined to sit in a garage, dorm room or computer lab solving problems with technology. But technology and a technical support team can facilitate many business processes, freeing an entrepreneur to address marketing, sales and other issues that more directly affect a company’s cash flow. Software speeds the creation of business plans, hiring employees, selling products and other business processes. Tech support addresses the electronic bumps that occur along the way and which can negatively impact time to delivery, capacity planning and other core processes that affect customer satisfaction.
Devote Your Resources to a Top-Notch Marketing Campaign
A startup can benefit from any type of marketing campaign available, from digital to print and from television to social media. But your company’s message is enhanced by quality materials and content. So when planning your marketing campaign, look for resources that can create the variety of materials you’ll need and whose staff has the skills and experience needed to do so in an exceptional way. When you do so, potential customers will not only see your name, they’ll relate the quality of your marketing materials to the probable quality of your goods and services.
Create a Plan to Reward Your Loyal Customers
You can enhance your startup growth by creating a plan to reward your repeat customers. For example, you might partner with other companies to offer product discounts to your best customers or hold a customer appreciation sale. You might also reward loyal customers by a drawing for a popular product or an entry in a sweepstakes for cash, electronics or another prize.
Make Direct Investments in the Company
Growth plans require capital, which means that to expand a business, owners must consider additional investments in their company. In some cases, the entrepreneurs may have the cash on hand, in others, they might consider any one of a number of different financing structures. For example, startup growth might be funded by a stock issue, securing convertible debt from angel investors or by acquiring venture debt from banks.
Only 20 percent of businesses achieve their growth objectives or become market leaders. But startup leaders can take steps to improve the odds that their company will be included in that 20 percent, such as acquiring the capital needed to support the company’s growth strategy and devoting cash to the development of a quality marketing campaign.