As nine out of ten startups end in failure, it’s vital for young companies to separate themselves from competitors. Putting into place focused sales and marketing strategies that complement each other, hiring the right talent, and cultivating innovation, are key for driving growth and building your startup into a scaleup.
Put your customers first
Without customers, businesses simply wouldn’t exist. To achieve growth, companies need to focus on customers to truly understand what they want and need. Don’t begin with a solution and then search for the problem.
Instead, seek out your customers’ problem, then offer the solution. Listen to what customers are looking for and provide the answer to their needs. Don’t focus on your product; focus on your customers and how you can help them.
The right team can make or break a company. Hire the best talent to ensure you don’t fall into the latter. Instead of recruiting from the best companies in your industry, find intelligent people who are true problem-solvers – those who can build something from nothing.
It doesn’t matter if they have experience in your line of work. If they are a fast learner and motivated, they will be a strong asset to your team.
Get your brand out there
The benefits of marketing are undeniable for building a business. However, your marketing strategy should be devised carefully in order to establish your company’s credibility and attract a loyal customer base. It’s important that you promptly determine who you are marketing to, what you’re telling them, and what you want their response to be.
Utilise PR to your advantage. Bill Gates once remarked: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on PR.” Our success was heavily influenced by this strategy. PR allows us to control the narrative of how our customers and the media talk about us. This is incredibly important when building and maintaining a strong reputation for your company.
It can help you find creative ways to engage your customers and ensure they can relate to your company – and more importantly, relate to the people behind your company.
Customers are looking for insight and innovative solutions and, as experts in the field, you need to be perfectly positioned to provide the answers.
Forget about your competition
Startups are created when competitors are not succeeding. While it’s important to understand what your competition is doing well, avoid comparing yourself. If you focus too much on them, you run the risk of imitation and losing the chance to be unique.
Learn from their strengths and weaknesses, then find ways to separate yourself. Provide a new solution to an existing problem.
Create buy-in at all levels
To remain focused on your company’s growth, be open to giving and receiving feedback. No startup is perfect from its outset. Improvement happens over time and is only possible when constructive feedback is given on a regular basis. Include your team in the process and ensure their voices are heard.
This encourages engagement and motivation, which will contribute to your company’s growth. Your product, processes and company structure will change over time. Being adaptable and receptive to feedback is critical to moving forward.
Your technology can’t always sell itself. To successfully sell your product, your customers must believe in its value. Before this happens, your team needs to believe in it too. Cultivate a company culture where everyone understands and is committed to your vision. Having the right people on board will enable your company to effectively translate your business’ purpose.
Harness your sales and marketing strategies to drive revenue, focus on building a loyal customer base and separate yourself from your competition. The road to scaleup won’t be easy, but being ambitious, strategic and confident will help your business on its quest for growth.
Thomas Fairey is chief revenue officer at Quantexa.
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