Launching a startup is one thing – as you know, growing a startup is another.
With the rapid rate at which technology is changing and the number of new startups launched every day, startup founders and CEOs looking to ensure long term success need to focus on creating and nurturing rapid growth from the very beginning to ensure continuous strategic advantage.
While external and internal growth is expected, startups seek to attract new investors by showcasing rapid growth, and need to have the infrastructure set in place in order to handle an influx of client and requests because of high velocity campaigning.
While there is no magic “beanstalk solution” for startups, there are a few tips founders and CEO’s can employ in order to stimulate and nurture growth:
1. Always Remember The Customer
Simply put, if your customers are not satisfied – you will never experience rapid growth as customers tend to share their experiences online in real time. The way a customer perceives your brand, the connection they have with your story and the need they have for your product will ultimately decide whether or not more clients will join. Maybe ‘all press is good press’ for celebrities, but for a startup, poor product reviews could signal the beginning of the end. In order to create rapid growth, it is important to build a product that is 360 degree customer-focused. From the features, user interface, ease of use and support, rapid growth starts or ends with the customer.
2. Prepare for Growth
Rapid growth is only manageable if you remember to prepare for that kind of growth. Companies must increase capacity technically, staff-wise and resources in order to prepare for the anticipated growth as those that neglect these basic preparations often decline after the initial burst of growth due to their inability to take on new clients as rapidly as they would like.
Without having the proper infrastructure that is equipped to handle the growth, companies risk maxing out their capacity quickly – a situation that will hinder their ability to continue growing as well as operate the business at a high level.
Many times preparing for growth simply comes down to whether or not you have the financial resources. Using affordable team tools such as Slack to make new employee absorption simpler and improve team communication, is very effective when operating with a small team on a limited budget.
3. Prove Scalability Easily with a Successful PoC
One of the best ways to create growth is to successfully prove your product on a large-scale ecosystem. Completing a PoC with an enterprise is a great way to showcase your products relevance as well as scalability.
Unfortunately, this is also one of the hardest things to do and many startups CEOs find that networking and seeking high level connections occupies most of their time, often without resulting in the PoC they want or need.
Companies that want to easily prove scalability while connecting to internationally recognized enterprises can try leveraging the powerful prooV PoC platform to instantly launch PoC’s.
As opposed to the traditional method of seeking out enterprises to test a product on, prooV simplifies the journey, reducing wasted time, energy and resources, by creating a secure environment where enterprises and startups can virtually connect on a secure network to test the feasibility of solutions in minutes.
4. Encourage Shareability
Growth depends not only on your ability to create an exciting product, but also on the ability of your customers to share the news about your product. Incorporating tools that encourage customers to share the news about your product can go a long way in encouraging rapid growth as well as help improve your overall ROI by powerful word-of-mouth marketing.
There are a variety of ways to encourage sharing like offering incentives to customers such as reduced pricing or additional functionalities (similar to DropBox’s offer to gain storage space per new invites). You can also encourage shareability by partnering up with a complementary company and creating a mutually beneficial collaboration, inviting each other’s customers to test drive your product.
5. Have a Strong Financial Forecast
At the end of the day, rapid growth requires capital. To create rapid growth, you must first ensure that you have the financial capability to support this growth.
Invest in a powerful and adaptable system that monitors spending and ongoing operations and couple this with a realistic monetization plan that can support future growth. It is equally important to understand and factor in the goals of your investors and your future fundraising needs.
And finally, by ensuring you have cash reserves to support your customers, launch a PoC and build new tools, you will improve your chances of creating sustainable rapid growth for the long run.