Why do startups fail? According to a report by News18, 90 percent Indian startups fail within the first five years due to lack of innovation. The startup ecosystem in India appears to be losing steam because of numerous obstacles, infrastructure being the most significant one.
A startup ecosystem is measured based on the number of startups, performance, and business environment. With a unique and smart growth strategy, startups can have a clear roadmap towards long-term success. From explaining how your startup is uniquely qualified to meet or exceed your customers’ expectations to outlining your startup’s next stage of growth, in order to scale-up, startup founders have to prioritise a growth to-do list.
Positioning your startup on the way to success can happen with simple steps. Here are a few strategies to effectively grow your startup
1. Identify your audience
One of the primary steps towards building a startup is to understand who your service or product is dedicated to. Identifying your audience will help you keep away from miscalculations or iterations on wrong product enhancements.
Narrowing your focus to a core audience will help determine features of your product/service and help you craft strategies that not only appeal directly to your kind of audience but also convert them into customers.
But, how do you understand your audience?
1. Learn from the current trends for similar products to understand their strategies to find their audience and hone in further on your products unique value.
2. Try issuing surveys via email/newsletters or organise your findings by creating a fictional representation of your ideal customer/buyer persona.
3. Use feedback from your personal network to craft assumptions about your target users.
If you asked your customers to rate their experience with your service, the feedback that you get decides the trust your customers have with your brand.
Many successful brands measure their success by how often their customers buy the products again. To build long-term relationships with your customers and to hold on to them, you have to build excellent customer retention strategies.
1. Brand reputation is directly related to customer satisfaction. What you serve in the market decides how long you will make it.
2. Word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective method to reach new customers. Create an outstanding experience with customers by serving more than expected.
3. Resales and referrals fetch new customers and sales ten times faster. It is always good to ask both your customers and non customers to refer someone else to you.
3. Diversify your services/products
Branching out your products or services will not only give you access to new markets but also gives your customers more resources to choose from. Diversifying will also create an effective path to fast growth and achieve higher sales volume. Many startups diversify to provide an enormous boost to the brand image and startup profitability.
The efforts that you invested in your startup is all in vain if you don’t analyse and assess the effectiveness of your work. In order to analyse your startup’s performance and formulate a suitable plan of action, you must identify exactly what variables to be measured to make an assessment as to how successful your startup has been.
5. Monitor your competition
Studying your competition can help you realise that your competitors may have already resolved the challenges you are currently facing. Knowing who your competitors are and what they are offering can also provide insights into developing new strategies to make your products stand out.
Monitoring your competitors can also help you overcome the fear of appreciating or acknowledging a better product. Taking advantage of the top players’ weaknesses helps improve your business performance.
6. Promote your business online
If you want to compete in the modern landscape, your business needs to have an online presence. With an online presence, you can provide visibility to your products/services and increase brand awareness. From educating your customers about your brand to saving your time and effort in making purchasing decisions to offering your customers with greater freedom of choice, having an online presence educates you in all aspects of growing your business.
While these pieces of advice can be an inspiration, you need to apply them regardless of the context of your product or customers. Furthermore, it is important to find people who can push you to the extreme to do things.
Here’s how Steve Jobs described his approach to marketing
“My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to pull things together from different parts and get the resources for the key projects. And to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better, coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be.”
A startup is a race and the only way you can top the race is by husting and inventing.