Good news! Your startup is picking up traction and growing quickly. Such a growth spurt may mean that you are finally over the hump and making your way in the world, but it is important not to get ahead of yourself. While an increase in growth is a great sign, it is vital that you keep the momentum going.
A significant number of startups make the mistake of sitting back and relaxing after a major growth spurt, which is why so many startups fail right after they begin to grow. To avoid the same mistakes as your predecessors, it is essential that you keep up with the growth of your business, and we know exactly what you need to do.
Stay True to Your Brand
As a company, your brand identity should be the root of all behaviors and actions that come out of your organization. As you grow, it can become increasingly challenging to stay true to your brand identity, but it is critical that you do. Particularly as a startup still trying to establish yourself, it is essential that you stay aligned with this brand, as it helps customers get a sense of who you are.
That being said, it can be easy to get side-tracked by a growth spurt and stray from your brand identity. The faster that your startup grows, the faster that you will have to make big decisions. But it’s important to remember that with every decision you make, you must stay aligned with your brand and your initial goals.
Another important consideration when making fast-paced decisions is to focus on more than just the numbers. It can be easy to get swept up in the increase of customers or users your business is gaining, but focusing on that alone could distract you from your overarching goals.
You likely didn’t start your business with the sole intention to make money but rather to provide your customers with a distinct and unique value. That being said, as your business begins to take off, it is vital that you keep your mindset on your brand identity and the value that you deliver to customers. Consumers can spot inauthenticity from a mile away, so you must stay true to your brand to maintain your growth.
Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself
A critical mistake that many startups make when experiencing a growth spurt is to scale up too quickly. A study shows that more than 70% of startups fail because of premature scaling, primarily due to premature hiring. Often when experiencing major growth, startups will overcompensate by hiring a large number of new team members. While this can help to accommodate the growth spurt, such a large workforce may not be sustainable when the growth spurt inevitably slows. As a result, businesses are left with a workforce that they cannot sustain.
Even if your business can handle this new workforce, they may not be the right fit if hired in a hurry. A significant aspect of staying true to your brand identity includes hiring talent that aligns with your business’ brand and values. If you hire too quickly during an upscale, you may end up with team members that don’t fit your brand.
For this reason, it is important not to rush into scaling up. Instead, slow down to find the right talent, ensuring to spread your behaviors and beliefs throughout the company. That being said, while you should not scale up too quickly, you still need to have a scalable infrastructure. With a scalable infrastructure, you can make optimal use of your momentum without getting ahead of yourself.
Track Your Success
An excellent method to manage your upscaling with progressive growth is by tracking your success. With a major growth spurt, it’s easy to get caught up in success without taking the time to analyze it properly. There is a lesson to be learned with each success, so it is important to pay attention and use all information to your advantage.
By keeping track of your progress through metrics and KPIs, you can obtain excellent business insights for future growth. With each new client you obtain, take notice of what converted them from a prospective lead into a customer. This information can tell you what worked, what is still working, and what can be improved to keep the momentum of growth going.
With CRM systems such as HubSpot, you can easily monitor and manage new and pre-existing clients while tracking important metrics such as KPIs and ROI. This information will not only help you continue the growth of your startup but make smarter decisions going forward.
Furthermore, data and metrics will help you make SMART goals going forward, allowing you to align long-term goals with day-to-day operations. As a result, you can manage your growth today while sustaining it tomorrow.
Don’t Neglect Marketing
Even though your startup may be picking up traction and attracting attention, don’t assume that your marketing efforts are over. It is an excellent sign that your marketing efforts are proving successful when experiencing a growth spurt, but you haven’t crossed the finish line yet. Remember, marketing is not the last resort to seek customers but an ongoing business process.
As a business, especially a startup, you should never assume that your customers will find you. Even though you are picking up traction right now, there are still more customers to be found, especially when traction inevitably slows. For this reason, you must continue marketing and seeking out new customers, even as you continue to grow.
Whether practicing traditional, online, or content marketing, it is essential that you continue to reach out to customers and raise brand awareness. In fact, experiencing a growth spurt in your startup is an excellent opportunity to scale up marketing efforts. Using the metrics you have been tracking, you can determine which marketing efforts lead you to your growth spurt and hit the ground running with them.
Additionally, this could be an opportunity to try new marketing efforts that may not have been feasible prior to your growth. Practices such as blogging for business can help you spread awareness of your brand identity while serving as a new method to reach consumers.
Managing and Sustaining Growth
As a startup, fast-paced growth is exciting and a milestone to be proud of - you’re doing something right! Still, while you should embrace the accomplishment that is growth, be careful not to get swept away with it. A surprising amount of startups experience a growth spurt but then fail to take the right steps to keep it up. Such a mistake can dissipate your momentum, or worse, cause your business to fail as a whole.
Carefully made decisions and grounded business insights got you to where you are now, so it is important not to abandon them at first sight of success. For this reason, it is important to continue tracking your success, seeking out new customers, and maintaining growth at a manageable level.
In staying true to your brand and scaling up gradually, you can manage growth and keep it coming. These essential practices will allow you to accommodate a growth spurt in your startup and equip you with the tools to keep it coming.