As the owner of a startup, you know that achieving your growth goals is essential to your company’s long-term success. That said, it’s not easy for startups to grow quickly without a well-thought-out growth strategy in place.
At NorthStar Venture Partners, we know about startups and we’ve been on both sides of the negotiating table. If you’re looking to grow your business quickly, you need the right strategy.
With that in mind, here are some small business growth strategies to consider for your startup.
Many startups launch with only one product or service -- and it’s common for owners to have additional products in mind for the future. Our first small business growth strategy is to accelerate the diversification of your products or services to increase your sales.
Diversification can benefit you in two ways:
- It can give your existing customers an immediate reason to buy from you again; and
- It can help you attract new customers who might not have bought your first product but will buy your second (or third) product.
Of course, product diversification requires time and a financial investment, but it’s a proven small business growth strategy if you have the resources to do it.
Staffing for Success
Even the most resourceful and creative startup owner can’t do everything. And, if you’re trying to do everything yourself, there’s a good chance that you’re missing the boat when it comes to growth.
It might not seem like a growth strategy to hire more people, but the key is hiring the right people. Perhaps you need to free up your time to focus on new product development or sales. In that case, hiring an office manager or a CFO could take work off your plate. Or, maybe you need a research whiz to help you develop and test new products.
The key is that creative hiring can help you attain your growth goals. With the right employees and skills, you can implement your plans and grow your business.
Measuring Your Results
Analytics may not be sexy, but they can be the key to finding your best small business growth opportunities. To illustrate the point, let’s look at an example.
Dropbox is a cloud storage company that grew from a startup to a tech giant worth $4 billion while spending very little on advertising. One of the methods they used was measuring their ad results and recognizing that they weren’t getting the ROI they wanted. The solution? Incentivizing referrals, a growth strategy that helped them achieve exponential growth without a big budget.
Focus on Small Victories
We understand the temptation to focus on scalable growth techniques. There’s no denying the thrill of seeing your numbers skyrocket when you scale your business by adding new products or merging with another company. But, don’t discount the slow-and-steady growth from your daily efforts.
When you’re just getting started, increasing your customer base by 10% in a month might not seem like much, It’s important to keep in mind that if you can sustain that growth, you’ll have achieved nearly a 300% increase by the end of a year.
Improve Your Efficiency
Growth through efficiency might not sound like a winning strategy, but as the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Think about it this way: the faster and more economically you can run your business, the higher your profits will be.
Investing in things like automation can help your company grow quickly. For example, you might decide that marketing automation can help you promote your company more efficiently than hiring a full marketing team, or that implementing chatbots can help you improve your customer service.
Acquire Other Companies
If you have the capital (or credit) to do it, then merging with another startup or acquiring companies can be an excellent small business growth strategy to try. Startup acquisition offers growing companies the chance to:
- Acquire new technology and research
- Expand into a new market
- Meet shareholder expectations
- Improve their financial standing
Of course, with any acquisition, you must focus on due diligence to ensure you know what you’re buying. There are risks involved. Most importantly, you should be cautious of not overpaying or taking on debt that you can’t manage. However, if you partner with an experienced M & A advisory firm such as NorthStar Venture Partners, you can grow your business quickly by acquiring other companies.
Starting a business is an accomplishment, and taking a startup and making it into a successful company is something many people struggle to do. The small business growth strategies we’ve included here can help you achieve your growth goals in both the short and long-term.
Do you need an experienced M & A advisor to help you negotiate a sale or acquisition? Click here to book an appointment with us now!