What are the ingredients that make some startups grow into works of art, while others disintegrate at the first sign of growth? Of course, having a winning idea is what will get you up and running, but what differentiates successful startups is their capacity to grow with strength and ingenuity.
We live in destabilized times. Marketing strategies of previous generations have become irrelevant, startups pop up and down, and technology develops and changes faster than we can blink. In this environment, mapping a path forward while trying to avoid redundancy can leave you with night sweats.
But it’s not all bad news. If you are truly passionate about what you are selling and are willing to be adaptable to the constantly changing times, this is one of the most exciting times to be an entrepreneur. The digital world has opened up a plethora of growth avenues that were not available before. Your goal should be to use them effectively.
Sharing your passion for your startup is a two-step process. The first of these steps requires actually being passionate about what you do. From idea to implementation to growth, you have to love what you have created. Don’t simply found a startup based on the idea that it could be a money generator. Of course that is part of it, but it should never trump loving what you do.
The second step is networking. Inviting people into your passion requires finding the right people to invite. Whether it’s digitally or in-person, seek out the conferences, the workshops, the courses and the events that will put you in the same space as people who will be excited by your work.
Implement a good growth strategy
Right from the get-go, it is imperative that you envision the potential for your startup’s growth. Putting a good growth strategy in place early on will allow you to expand sustainably. Understanding the world of digital marketing should be at the heart of your plan. Get to know how you can take advantage of omnichannel approaches to driving potential customers to you, and ultimately to converting those leads.
Assemble your A-Team
Finding the right employees that have a combination of the skills set and passion to fit your startup is easier said than done. But don’t skimp on this. The perfect team is your greatest asset. Particularly as you start to become more invisible in day-to-day operations, your team is your company. Make sure that all of your employees are aligned with your central vision. If they are not, assess whether they have the potential to learn with you, or if you need to make the sometimes uncomfortable decision to replace them.
Make cheap mistakes
There are so many tools at your disposal that allow for the democratization of resources. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to experiment. Think for example how easy it is to make a free website, or start blogging. Rather than employing an expensive developer to see if something works, give it a shot yourself. If it doesn’t work, you walk away relatively unscathed. If it works, great! Now it’s time to hire that developer...
Be willing to shift with the times
It’s become somewhat of a cliche that the only certainty today is change. In the current startup world, this is most certainly the case. This may mean that you have to change your marketing strategy or even the whole business model. If it adds value, be willing to do this. The greatest strength you can have in an ever-changing world is your own malleability.