When a customer base triples in less than a year, businesses have to scale up operations such as customer on-boarding, support, maintenance, and monitoring. Maintaining the same level of customer service and personal touch points with customers is one of the most critical aspects of success during fast growth. It’s important to keep focused on driving value for your customers in order to foster a mutually beneficial relationship.
It goes without saying that growing a small business doesn’t happen without a great deal of effort and lots of late nights. But what are the best ways to fuel growth? Here are ten tips which will help you lay the foundations for hyper growth.
1) Start with developing products that create real value
Remember, if you’re going to have a quality product, make sure it is a product that will be meeting a real need.
2) Identify who the buyer is for the product
What are their demographics” What are they reading, watching, and talking about” This will help you to focus your messaging and growth efforts.
3) Position yourself as a leader in your market
Do this by continuously innovating and creating a community of actively engaged users and developers. Start by considering how engaged your customers are with your company overall. Are you investing in developing a community, for example We have an open source community, which contributes significantly to our ladder of engagement, with many of our current customers having started off as Kaltura community members.
4) Look for high-growth sectors
Are there specific sectors and / or geographic markets within your target market that are growing” This could be the result of a new trend, new technology, a change in legislation and / or changes in the competitive landscape. Consider how you can position your products or services in order to take a slice of this growing market.
5) Target large customers too
How do you not only grow the number of customers, but actually make sure to close larger deals as well” Start by identifying the organizations you want to target, as well as the specific decision makers you?ll need to target in those organizations. Ask yourself: what’s the impact your solution has on its users” What is its value proposition” The better job you do of positioning your technology as ?must-have and involving senior decision makers in the process, the greater likelihood that you?ll land big deals with big organisations.
6) Work across multiple verticals
Your business may be focused on one specific vertical right now, but are there new markets your company can tap into” Targeting multiple verticals simultaneously as a startup may initially seem daunting, but the benefits in terms of faster growth and the cross-fertilisation of ideas between sectors are well worth the effort.
7) Be flexible
Be prepared to offer a number of options to attract different types of customers. For example, we offer both a platform and flexible Application Program Interfaces (APIs) as well as out-of-the-box applications meaning that we pretty much have a solution for every prospect. How accommodating is your business” Is there room for improvement?
8) Hire the right professionals
Be sure to nurture an amazing sales team by focusing on employee recruitment, engagement, and retention. It’s also important to hire a professional PR firm that understands your industry and can communicate your company’s messages effectively in order to gain a positive reputation and wide visibility for your company.
9) Employ a wide range of marketing strategies
Thought leadership efforts and lead generation activities such as webinars, white papers, blogging and speaking opportunities are critical to get exposure for your company and to help you punch above your weight. Customer success stories are also a critical component to your story. Talk to analysts, go to the right conferences. If your business doesn’t currently put time into these efforts, it’s never too late to start.
10) High-touch versus transactional business
If you have a high-touch sales process, consider supplementing it with a transactional business as well, that is strategic and synergic to your core business.
When you experience hyper growth, everyone in the organization must participate in that challenge. Your IT team will help in scaling up operations, your marketing team will help to launch sufficient campaigns, services will help with onboarding new customers, sales will close deals, and legal will ink deals fast. When positioning your company for growth, focus on an overall strategy, and watch your customer base climb.
Dr. Michal Tsur is the president and co-founder of Kaltura, the leading online video platform.