Navigating the contemporary business landscape as a startup can leave you feeling worn-out and directionless. Every second there is a fresh trend, a new piece of sage advice or a software must-have that’s just hit the market. Through all this noise, it may feel impossible to know what principles to follow. Particularly if you do not have the benefit of an investor or mentor, it feels like the onus falls entirely on you to constantly educate yourself and your team about the right way forward.
While latest fads call like sirens from all the digital rocks out there, there are a few core tenets for modern-day startups to follow that take into account the ever-changing needs of our digital world. To help you prioritize your vision as you map out the path for your startup, here is a basic list of do’s and don’ts. Do focus on growth hacking
- Do focus on growth hacking
Growth hacking is not a fad term—it is a means of defining your marketing strategy if you want to succeed in the present-day marketplace. The term may feel a bit like an earworm but while you might have heard it often enough, do you really know what it means to focus on growth hacking
? Put simply, growth hacking is an aggressive approach to growing your business that makes use of all channels currently available. The key to adopting a growth hacking strategy successfully is allowing yourself to be experimental. It is an avenue for the brave and the creative over the traditional marketer. Look for ways to increase your revenues through embracing the omnichannel possibilities of the digital world.
- Do think Sales Above All Else
Whether you like it or not, to grow you have to become a salesperson. This is a fundamental difference between companies that expand rapidly and those that remain stagnant. You have to be able to sell in a way that does justice to the product or service you have created. If this makes you uncomfortable, invest in a course and source tactics. You can choose whatever style you like, as long as you clearly focus on the task of converting customers.
- Do what you love (and make sure your team loves it too)
And your greatest asset as a salesperson is to believe in your product. Make sure you love what you do
and what you have created. Feel proud when you talk about it. Let the passion for your work shine through to both your customers and your team.
Finally, only employ people who share your excitement for what your company creates. You will have to expend far less energy on motivating the troops if they already feel invested in growing with you.
- Don’t get used by technology.
Every second something will ping and light up, begging for your attention. While technology has allowed us to get to where we are today, and may indeed be the driving force behind your startup, make sure that you are controlling it rather than the other way round. Learn to differentiate between the shiny toys and tools that can be genuinely useful to you
- Don’t make your customer the enemy
Why would you want to do that, you may ask? You might not antagonize your customers purposefully but, as you grow and develop, you will undoubtedly come across customers that have an opposing view to yours. Don’t try and get the last word in or insist that you are right. Growing a business is a fantastic exercise in humility. Learn when it’s not worth the fight.
- Don’t undervalue your employees
Your employees are the driving force of your startup. Take the time to get to know them. Find out where their specific strengths lie and make sure you maximize their potential in areas they excel at. Don’t give them assignments and tasks that are not fit for their skill set just to get a job done. Retaining good employees is one of the hardest battles of growing a company.
Let this list serve as a checklist for you as your startup grows. Do a daily check-in to see if you are implementing your vision in a way that makes you, your customers and your team feel like they are part of something truly great.