3 Steps to Scaling Your Startup Successfully
Posted by Erica Bell on July 30, 2013 in Business Management, Startups [ 0 Comments ]
What does it take to make a startup successful? Entrepreneurs and new business owners may vary in their terminology, but many define a profitable start-up as one that is continuously cash-flow positive and self-sustaining. When your business is able to grow without outside investment, you’re probably going to consider the startup profitable. How does a one or two-person team hire, develop and scale their startup? The truth is that there are a number of routes you can take. No matter which road you wander down, there are three turns along the way you can’t miss.
Perfect Product Pricing
Product pricing can make or break your business. It needs to be perfected before you launch. If you plan on investing years of your life into a new business, make sure you’re focused on turning a profit. Some may suggest not charging initially, but this is often only an option for those who have enough financial backing to support a business that loses money initially. In today’s economy, this is a rarity. Asking someone why they didn’t pay for a product, and using their response as feedback for improvements, is better for your business that building blindly without the opinions of those who would actually use and benefit from the product/service.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to pricing are the expenses and value of your product. From time and money saved by the user using your solution to the need, think about the value your business provides and a price point that will communicate it effectively.
Develop Your Distribution Strategy
While “Field of Dreams” may be easily remembered, your business won’t be if build a product and then expect users and consumers to come based off that alone. Your business needs a solid distribution strategy. How will your customers find you and how will you reach them? Place yourself in your customer’s shoes and consider these distribution channels:
- SEO/Blogging: Get a blog going. It will help with your company’s SEO and build brand awareness. To get started, blog about what your customers will be searching for and about your business.
- Social Media: Social media is a must. Are there niche networks where your audience is located or can use the various platforms for direct outreach? A social plan should be a key focus for your distribution strategy.
- Newsletters: From the beginning, your business should have a newsletter that features product and company updates, audience-oriented content, and other pieces that are relevant to users, whether that’s trends or case studies.
- Strategic Partnerships: Where are your customers already? Can you partner with agencies, companies or individuals to reach them? Connect with others to reach potential customers.
Create a Customer Experience
We all know, in most cases, it takes less to keep a current customer than it does to go out and get a new one. Focus on the customer experience and the service your business provides to those with an initial interest. This group of people could become the brand advocates that launch your business’s virality.
Flawless customer service and a great experience can keep customers coming back. Live chat availability, nurture emails, feedback surveys and a helpdesk all contribute to the service and experience you deliver to customers. Bring smiles to the faces of your customers. Show them you care about them so that they begin to care about you.
There are, naturally, many factors that play into a business being profitable and a startup scaling. Your product, your marketing and sales teams, and how you translate customer feedback are all important. Your startup will scale if you stay driven and focused on addressing customer needs. Creating the product your customers are after, distributing information about it, and using feedback to refine the business’s product and direction, all while delivering a superior customer experience, is how your startup will be able to scale successfully.
(Image: ddpavumba via freedigitalphotos.net)