Starting a business resembles the start of a relationship. At first, everything is exciting and new. Of course, it is a bit terrifying, but it gets better by the day. And then, it stops. You get stuck in neutral. Things aren’t moving forward, but they aren’t becoming worse either.
Something similar happens with startups as well. After they reach a certain profit and make some advancements, they can stay at the same level for months, even years. And we all know growth is the goal of every business looking to stand out of the competition.
While we can’t tell you what to do when your relationship hits that brick wall, we can give you a couple of effective tips which will help you draw your startup out of the dead end.
Don’t be afraid to pivot
One of the reasons why many startups fail is that the founders stubbornly stick to their original idea, so much so, that they are doing everything within their power to prove that it can work. They spend money on PR and marketing stunts only to realize half-way through that their service/product has some huge flaws or isn’t needed/wanted by the target audience.
Don’t be one of those founders. You need to understand that there is always room for improvement and even a complete change of direction if needed. Occasional market research and keeping your ear on what people want are the traits of a clever businessman.
Be willing to learn
Unless you have founded dozens of now successful businesses, you have much to learn. You’d be surprised to know how many startups bankrupted just because their owners thought they were the smartest in the room.
If you have never lead a team before, you should devote some time to learning from more successful entrepreneurs. Attending seminars and conferences can do no harm.
Surround yourself with helpful people
Forging meaningful relationships with experts, influencers, and business owners from your industry and related branches gives you more leverage with investors and opens the door to a vast world of knowledge you can use to improve your operations.
Here are some examples of good networking:
- Visit industry events.
- Join social media groups.
- Use a coworking space (if you don’t have an office of your own).
- Cooperate with online influencers.
- Go to conferences and one-on-one meetings.
- Work with a coach.
Invest more to take your business to the next level
Spend money to make money. That’s one of the basic principles of doing business. Of course, the trick is investing it in the right places, such as marketing campaign, market research, hiring experts, improving the product/service, etc.
However, if you don’t have enough capital to get to the next stage of your startup growth, you should probably consider getting a loan. With the recently increased interest rates, it could be more difficult to raise the loans and it could cost more, so you should opt for fixed interest rates on your loan.
Set new goals, based on your current situation
Assessing where are you know will give you a good clue about where you want to be. Calculate your wins and losses, analyze the success of your campaigns, review the productivity of the employment, and see if something has changed on your market.
Only when you get the whole picture, you will be able to set new short-term and long-term goals. For example, a short-term goal can be acquiring three new customers per month, while the long-term can increase your marketing return on investment by 50 percent.
Take the customer-centric approach
Customer experience is the top priority for all businesses in 2019, as it is assessed as a crucial factor for success. In fact, customer experience is evaluated as the single most exciting opportunity for 2019 in Econsultancy’s survey for Digital marketing trends.
The Temkin Group found that businesses that earn $1 billion per year can expect an additional $700 million in earnings within no more than three years of investing in customer satisfaction.
The reason behind this is that customers grow more aware and knowledgable about the products and the services they are buying, and they are willing to pay more for better treatment.
Make sure you’ve got the right team behind you
A study by CB Insights found that the third reason for most startup failures, right after the lack of marketing need and a shortage of cash, is having an inappropriate team. In fact, more than 23 percent of startups named team issues as the main ingredient in their downfall.
The employees you hire or decide to keep (fire), should have the necessary experience, the enthusiasm for problem-solving, and the ability to execute, but also to improve on the basic idea.
Still, there is no such thing as perfection in the world of business, only growth, progress, and acquiring new knowledge. Make sure to invest in your team skills by sending them to seminars, workshops, training, and conferences.
Fall back in love with your idea
Nearly ten percent of surveyed companies cited that lack of passion was the main reason for their failure. If you don’t have that spark in you, you are probably not ready to do what it takes to make your startup grow.
You have probably been passionate about your business when you first started it, but it is known that this desire can often dwindle as you are dealing with everyday tasks. However, if you were once enthusiastic, you can find that passion inside you once again and let it drive you toward growth.
Avoid the burnout
Entrepreneurial burnout takes up the 19th spot on the list of factors which leads startups closer to their failure.
While the feelings of exhaustion and frustration are natural when you are launching and managing a business from the ground up, it can also cause you to lose passion and lose track of your goals.
Find ways to deal with the daily rigors and pressures of startup ownership by setting realistic expectations, establishing boundaries between your personal and professional life, stepping outside the predictable routine, reminding yourself what got you started in the first place, and taking some time off to renew your energy.
In business, as in love, and life in general, it is easy to get stuck in a rut. What separates the successful entrepreneurs from those who’ve missed the opportunity to grow is what they do to get out of the monotony.
This article should serve as a guide which will help you kickstart the growth and improve your chances on the dense market.
However, do not take each tip for granted. Analyze it and adapt it to your specific circumstances. Maybe you do not have a problem with your employees, while on the other hand, communication with your customers might be flawed. It is imperative to be able to step back and look at the things from another perspective, instead of defending an idea or direction regardless of how wrong they might be. So, good luck, and may the growth be with you.
sitting outdoors using the laptop