One that entrepreneurs welcome with open arms.
As your customer base grows and your bottom line goes from strength to strength, it’s easy to feel like the hard work of those early days is behind you.
However, a period of growth is not the time to sit back and cruise. Instead, it’s the perfect opportunity to gather even more speed.
With the right approach, you can ensure continued growth whilst making sure your business is equipped to handle it.
Ready for even more success? Here are some tips for taking your startup to the next level.
1. Revisit Your Business Plan
When things are going well, it’s easy to become complacent – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
While this is partially true for running a business, reviewing your strategy on an ongoing basis is crucial to keeping up the momentum. As your company grows and evolves, so should your business plan. And a phase of prosperity is actually a great time to move the goal posts.
Reflect on what factors have helped you to achieve success so far, and focus on how you can continue to play on these strengths. Equally, weed out the elements that have been
less dynamic and look at improving or replacing them.
A burgeoning startup will quickly outgrow its original blueprint, so frequently updating your vision and setting new objectives is key.
While it’s important to be realistic, there is no growth without ambition. Base your new goals on what you have already been able to achieve so far, and ultimately focus on enhancing your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses.
2. Upgrade Your Technology
The ways in which businesses can benefit from technology are endless, and a fast-growing company needs an IT infrastructure that can keep up.
Shared hosting is a practical option for companies just starting out. However, once your website starts to generate more traffic, it may be necessary to switch to a dedicated server.
Rather than sharing resources with others, a dedicated server focuses solely on your website, ensuring optimal performance and maximum site up-time.
Another major advantage of dedicated hosting is watertight security. This should be a high priority factor for any business.
In addition to hosting, it is also crucial to look at other areas of the business. Are all operations as efficient as they could be? Accounting software or CRM systems, for example, are extremely valuable tools for upgrading company processes in line with rapid growth.
3. Step Up Your Social Media Game
Social media no doubt played a starring role in your launch strategy. As your business progresses from startup to success story, it’s extremely important not to lose sight of just how valuable these online platforms are.
As the business grows and becomes more demanding, it’s not uncommon for social media to fall by the wayside – is it really that crucial to tweet today?
The simple answer is yes. The same channels that helped to build your customer base are key to maintaining and growing it. So a strong – and regular – social media presence is mandatory.
If time is scarce, it may be time to outsource.
Alternatively, a tool like Hootsuite enables you to manage all of your social accounts via one single platform.
To help you schedule multiple posts in advance and to consistently measure the performance of all your social campaigns, ideal for streamlining the process whilst keeping it in-house.
Whichever route you choose, continuing to innovatively engage via social media is crucial for further growing your brand – dropping the ball after initial success is not an option.
4. Strengthen Your Commitment to Customer Service
Customers are the heartbeat of every business, and the most successful entrepreneurs never stop looking for ways to win them over.
As your audience grows, be careful not to spread yourself too thinly. If you cannot continue to provide exceptional customer service, your business will fall as quickly as it rose.
Increase the channels through which customers can reach you, for example by adding live chat to your website or integrating a contact form.
Providing the opportunity to leave feedback is also a great way to show your commitment to improving the customer experience. So make use of polls and rating systems.
Additionally, social media is a highly effective tool for resolving customer issues; foster open communication and be sure to respond promptly and proactively. A solid customer base is reliant on both loyal customers and new acquisitions, so look after both in equal measure.
5. Invest in People
Finally, in addition to evaluating processes, it’s important to pay attention to people. A growing business tends to equate to a heavier workload, so it may well be necessary to increase your workforce.
If your current office space doesn’t lend itself to a bigger onsite team, recruiting on a virtual, freelance basis enables you to acquire extra support whilst maintaining flexibility in the early stages of growth.
Staffing agencies such as Kelly Services can help you find the right individuals for your company.
Equally important is mentor-ship. Navigating a rapidly expanding business is not without its challenges, and those who have done it before can offer invaluable advice and insights.
Building success for the long-term is not a one-man job, so take the time to invest in a strong network of people who will keep your business moving upwards