Your startup company is finally up and running but the business can’t seem to take off. At the end of each day, you feel like Sisyphus rolling a heavy stone up a hill only to start the same process all over again the next day. So, is there something you’re missing to grow your startup?!
Well, no one ever said that launching a startup is an easy thing to do but making it grow is a whole new level of difficulty. However, some things can make your busy professional life more manageable on a daily basis and push your business in the right direction.
Here are the 5 techniques to grow your startup business:
1. Use Adequate Project Management Software
Choosing the right project management tool for a startup is an extremely important decision that can save you a lot of time and money. Anyone who has ever tried to build a company from the ground up will tell you that it is a tiresome process with a lot of ups and downs. Managing a startup can be especially stressful given the fixed amount of resources you have at your disposal.
Thankfully, we live in a highly digitalized age with a wide-ranging set of project management tools that can make your life much easier. There is a variety of project management software out there that can make your workflow run smoothly. By letting you schedule tasks and keep an eye on their progress, create milestones and deadlines, communicate with your team members and clients in real-time and give them access to all important information and documents without actually needing to meet with them in person, PM tools will increase productivity and will leave you with more free time on your hands.
However, not all project management systems are the same and they come with a different set of tools. Depending on the field you’re working in, you will be able to choose the one that fits your needs the best. And the great news is that the majority of these tools are free for small teams.
Some of the most popular project management solutions currently available are: Trello – simple platform for easy management of tasks among team members; Nifty – highly intuitive platform with numerous organizational tools and is time and cost-effective; ClickUp – task management platform with many flexible features and options.
2. Have Effective Social Media Strategy
With all the technological improvements in the last couple of decades, it has become crucial for any business, especially startup companies, to have a strong presence in the online world. However, simply having a site and regularly updating it is not enough anymore. The most effective way to reach your target audience is via social media.
Traditional marketing methods are being overrun by social media marketing. Whether you’re working on a local or a global level, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are giving you access to the hundreds of millions of people worldwide. So, they can help you tremendously in making your startup more visible to those who might be interested in what you’re selling and help you launch your business to the next level.
But simply creating an account and posting a bunch of posts will not do the trick. You need to develop an efficient digital marketing strategy. First, you need to identify which of the existing social media channels are best for the kind of products and services you offer. The most famous (Facebook, YouTube, etc.) are always a good option but there are also some that are industry-specific such as Deviantart (for artists and art enthusiasts), Catster and Dogster (for pet owners), Dribble (for design professionals) and ActiveRain (for people working in the real estate industry).
When you determine where the targeted audience for your startup is the most active, create an account on 4 -5 of them and see where you get the best response. Facebook has probably the best target audience feature which allows you to market your offer based on users’ bio, age, interests, area, etc.
A picture is worth a thousand words so make sure your account is visually attractive. This is especially important for photo-based social media like Instagram and Pinterest. People are visual creatures, so high – quality, creative, interesting and funny photos can really help you catch the eye of a potential customer and make them click on your ad.
Also, keep your account alive by posting several times a week. You don’t want people to see you once and then forget you exist. Live streaming has become a big thing in recent years so try to include them as well. This will give you a chance to build a community around your brand.
Read Also: 5 Video Marketing Tips For Small Businesses
3. Patience is a Virtue
Startups, just like every business endeavor, require time, money and energy. You will without a doubt have to make some sacrifices along the way and you will have to be patient. The majority of success stories you hear and are inspired by didn’t happen overnight. Behind that “Success Story” title are years of hard – work, sleepless nights, financial struggles, missed birthday parties and family gatherings, bad calls, etc.
We are living in a fast-paced world and wanting to see yourself triumph as soon as possible is understandable but buckle up. It’s a long way to the top so you better arm yourself with a lot of patience and perseverance if you really intend to get there. As Confucius said it:
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop!”
If you’re considering launching a startup or you have already done that, be realistic with your expectations. Do thorough market research and understand how fast or slow things may develop. That will make the whole experience a bit easier. Also, setbacks are a pretty much inevitable part of almost every business so it’s good to have your expectations in check and not get disillusioned.
Patience is a skill and as such, it can be perfected. Be productive even in the times when business is slow. Expand your knowledge of the market, get to know the competition, look for potential clients, etc. Focus on your ultimate goal and push forward. These bumps on the road will prove to be valuable lessons and will make you into a better professional.
4. Listen to Your Customers
The business which is just starting has a great opportunity to connect with its clients. In this initial phase, startups can learn a lot from the feedback they get and that will help them improve. This doesn’t mean you adopt every suggestion sent your way. But it’s important to take it into consideration and asses its influence on your company.
Make sure that people who are in charge of customer support have a pleasant personality and are good communicators. Even if a customer has a grievance, you want them reassured that their complaint is noted and it will never happen again. After all, you need them to continue using your services and products.
Again, social media can be a very useful tool in this regard and customers generally like using them. They will also give you a precious insight into customers’ experience of your products. However, do not underestimate the power of the word – of – mouth marketing. Be diligent in answering all customers’ questions. Provide them with high – quality services so they can recommend you to their friends.
5. Hire the Right Kind of People
Usually, in startups, team members are the people who had known each other before the company was founded (e.g. friends or coworkers). Since you’re starting an important chapter and you want to be surrendered by the people you can trust. Still, make sure they have what is needed to get the job done and that they comprehend the risks. However, if things go as planned and the business begins to grow, you will need to bring new people in.
When this happens, there are several things that you need to know.
- How you collaborate and function as a whole will reflect on your business. So, hire someone who will bring value to your team and who will contribute to your vision.
- Look for people who are eager to learn. Your company will hopefully continue to grow and so will the roles of your employees. You need someone who wants to acquire new skills, perfect them and apply them to your business.
- The possibility of remote work will open up your startup to the whole new group of people who are talented and who can be a valuable asset to your company but who don’t live in your area.
- Be honest about your expectations and about what working for a startup entails. Don’t make promises you can’t deliver. Explain all the positives about working for a startup company but also mention all the possible risks. After all, you don’t want to find yourself looking for a new employee again after just a month or two.
People say: “Good things take time”. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to incorporate this sentence into your business philosophy while growing your startup. Repeat it every time you hit a roadblock and learn to be patient but don’t stop. Use technical tools like project management software and social media to be more efficient and visible to your customers. Appreciate the feedback you get and surround yourself with people who share your vision and your goal.