𝗧𝗼𝗽 𝟭𝟬 𝗚𝗿𝗼𝘄𝘁𝗵 𝗢𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀
Updated: Sep 24, 2022
For plants to grow and survive, they need a mix of sunlight, soil, and water. In the same way, startups need multiple resources to flourish.
Similarly, there are ways to exponentially grow a startup business.
This post looks at five ideas within the company to consider and five more externally.
Innovation. Want to beat the competition and rule the world? Encourage, foster, and formalize new ideas in your startup.
Define ways to evaluate, prioritize, and execute new ideas so they can be tested quickly and then reward experimentation.
Measurement. Metrics help you achieve the best outcomes. Just remember that data is only useful when asking the right questions.
Done right, you can predict the market, make smarter decisions, improve infrastructure, and reach the ideal customers.
Delegation. The founder's dilemma = the skills which drove success today may not be the same as the skills needed for tomorrow.
Delegation forces us to be incredibly self-aware. To be effective, we must define outcomes, set clear expectations, and trust others.
Values. Your company culture impacts the business plan, customer acquisition, and financial model.
A fixed culture also informs and simplifies decisions by helping to narrow your options and then to draw support for tough responses.
Team Retention. You spend a ton of time, money, and energy finding and evaluating the right employees for your company.
Their contribution will largely decide your success, so solicit their feedback, develop their careers, and keep them engaged.
"𝑮𝒓𝒐𝒘𝒕𝒉 𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒇𝒖𝒍. 𝑪𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒇𝒖𝒍.
𝑩𝒖𝒕 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒔 𝒂𝒔 𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒂𝒔 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒔𝒕𝒖𝒄𝒌 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒅𝒐 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈."
– N. R. Narayana Murthy
Capital. There are many ways to raise cash, from traditional investments and loans, to getting clients to pay up front.
Many people will offer advice, but you need to find the right tradeoff that reflects your goals of speed, reach, and ownership.
Fractional Resources. One key to exponential growth is applying awesome resources at the right times to facilitate scale and growth.
Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems. Many growing pains can be outsourced.
If your needs are temporary, specific, and beyond the current team’s skill set, then paying for expertise can boost your trajectory.
Client Retention. The time, effort, and expense to acquire new customers vastly exceeds the cost to keep their business.
Strong engagement will keep up revenues and may lead to upsells, referrals, and even advice. Value ongoing client relationships, especially if you're a SaaS business where low churn has an outsized impact.
Vendors as Partners. Directly, there is value to quality services and products provided at a reasonable expense.
You may also rely on vendors for referrals, advice and support for sales, marketing, and operations, and even potential investment or acquisition.
Advisors and Mentors. Identify people who believe in you and will constructively challenge your ideas to make them better.
Anyone can be a cheerleader, you want someone who can tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
Seek diverse experts to get disparate perspectives. If you get an idea that seems wildly off, have them go deeper into how it would work.
While your business will have unique needs and priorities, if any of these major areas are unfertilized, then you may not grow fully.