How to grow your startup business
2022.05.27

How to grow your startup business

Entrepreneurship is becoming more attractive and popular. In fact, two million Canadians launched startup businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. But not all one-of-a-kind ideas turn into successful companies; they need to grow to stay alive, remain healthy, and meet customer needs. Determining how to grow your startup business can be a challenge, especially when a one-size-fits-all strategy does not exist. 

Although every business’ journey is different, we have chosen our top 6 pieces of advice for startup entrepreneurs that should be taken into consideration when trying to grow a business.

 

6 Tips to Grow Your Startup Business

 

1. Identify a real market need

New inventions and technologies are fantastic, but even the most innovative idea or product will not succeed if there is no demand from consumers. Discovering what consumer needs are not being met, and then offering a solution to their problem, will put you on track to quickly grow sales.

 

2. Be the tortoise, not the hare

We have all seen headlines about startups that found overnight success. This is not your typical success story. Almost always, slow and steady wins the race. Some startups want to sprint right from the start and begin allocating funds across a variety of channels in hopes of landing big customer acquisitions. However, spreading your resources too thin will not attract quality leads. Slow down and begin strategically focusing on smaller, qualified audience segments by applying low-cost marketing strategies.

 

3. Quality before quantity

Startups need to make money quickly, but the quality of your product or service should not take a hit in order to do so. If you cut corners to save on costs, your customers will notice and your brand will lose credibility. In the beginning stages of your company, the quality of your product is what will attract customers to buy, become repeat customers, and recommend your product to others.

 

4. Remember your purpose

It is normal in the beginning to develop tunnel vision when you are focused on achieving growth. However, creating a successful business involves connecting all decisions you make back to the reason or purpose for launching your startup. Strong brands are able to connect with customers because they have never lost sight of who they are, their mission, or their reason for existing.

 

5. Set your priorities (and follow them)

Let’s face it, as a startup business owner you always have a lot you want to accomplish. This is why defining a clear priority list will keep you on track with what matters most. After launching your business, your top priority is to drive growth and you do not want to get distracted by projects that will not directly aid in this goal. Creating a priority list also prevents you from getting overwhelmed so you can maintain good mental health while being a busy entrepreneur. 

 

6. Build a team that supports your culture

One of the most effective ways to achieve growth is for every member of your team to be an ambassador of your brand and someone who enhances your business culture. Customer perception accounts for a whole lot, and they can easily detect when a brand is not authentic. If your messaging is happy-go-lucky but your company culture is not, this will seep through to consumers. 

 

 

Startup incubators help grow your startup business 

 

One of the most effective ways to grow your business is to join a startup incubator that offers support, knowledge, business expertise, skills training, workshops, networking opportunities, and mentorship. When you are unsure of what steps to take next, startup incubators provide guidance to help you make decisions that will be best for your business.

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas have helped hundreds of startups launch, grow, and scale their businesses successfully. Learn more about its programs and apply at innovationcluster.ca.

 

5 Top Tips for Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
2019.05.14

5 Top Tips for Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth

By Emily Woodman

In today’s business environment, it literally doesn’t pay to stick to tradition and go with the old motto, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Because, unfortunately, many organizations don’t realize that something is indeed “broken” until it’s far too late.
Such was the case with well-known companies, like Blockbuster, the former king of movie rentals, for example. There was a time that they could have implemented changes that would have pushed them ahead of Redbox or maybe even Netflix. Think about it — consumers tend to put their trust (AND money) into household names, rather than taking a chance on their loyalty. So, it stands to reason that customers would have flocked to Blockbuster to rent their favorite flicks without the confines of a brick-and-mortar store. And they did eventually come to this realization, but they had missed their chance at pivoting toward innovation.
Whether your company is a global corporation or a brand-new startup, it’s important to look within your organization to begin to implement change, to create disruptions and, ultimately, to continue to grow. Let’s take a look at a few tips that should put you on the path toward a variety of inspiring new ideas!

1. Identify Your Intrapreneurs

An intrapreneur is an employee who completely understands and embraces the goals and the culture of a business, and will function just like an entrepreneur. Every company has at least one and, if luck is on your side, perhaps more. They are the perfect people to have by your side as you begin to get creative and spread the seeds that will grow your business.
But how do you identify an intrapreneur on your team? They are typically:

  • Extremely self-motivated
  • Energetic team players
  • Always willing to take initiative
  • Not afraid to think outside of the box
  • Eager to step up to a leadership role
  • Phenomenal mentors
  • Ready to spring to action
  • Fully responsible for their work

2. Schedule Brainstorming

Now that you’ve identified the intrapreneurs who can help you take your company to the next level, what’s the next step? Begin brainstorming immediately! Set up a time at the office that will not take your newly found intrapreneurs away from their work, and give them an open floor to discuss ideas and feel inspired.
Be very clear about the fact you’re not after the ordinary, but you’re looking for something to shake things up. If a business strategy hasn’t worked for other organizations, don’t think that it will work for yours just because you have a better team. Instead, pick up suggestions that are a little risky and will require a lot of input. Remember, there is often no reward without risk!

3. Research and Discover

Once you have a gameplan on the table, it’s time to move into what many refer to as the “discovery stage.” This requires extensive, thorough market research so that you can see where your competitors may have failed and which changes you can make to achieve a positive outcome.
Often, large corporations become too eager to begin utilizing new plans and ideas, without first researching and exploring customer-related evidence that may be imperative to success. In short, you’ll need real-world data to ensure that the best methods are being implemented.

4. Test Your Ideas

And of course, testing your ideas after research may be the most important step. If you execute a strategy without the proper planning and testing, chances are good that it will soon fail or, worse yet, begin to unravel when it will affect the bottom line the most.
It’s best to select a number of test samples, so that you may more accurately ascertain which outcomes will serve both you and your customer base. Whether you’re testing a new product line or an innovative business model, knowing in advance how your customers will respond can allow you to pivot and make changes before doing so is no longer cost-effective.

5. Create an Innovative Culture

Finally, once a system has been established and put in place, maintaining it is a large part of the process. Therefore, creating a culture that fosters innovation is imperative, as the ideas will keep coming, and your intrapreneurs will continue to grow and perhaps even inspire other team members.
Innovation can be contagious. Who wouldn’t want a workplace environment that is always brimming with excitement, always on the brink of the next big thing?
Once this culture becomes a way of life, it can spread beyond the organization and bring fulfillment and creativity to your team outside of their nine-to-five. Once this is set in motion, the stale, standard way of doing things will be left in the past — exactly where it belongs.


Interested in joining the Innovation Cluster and its community of startups?

Check out our incubation programming today!

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