Growing any business is hard – but startups are the most difficult.
- Rivals in your marketplace have already established strong positions
- It can be difficult to find and hire the right talent
- There are less resources available
However, this shouldn’t scare you, as it’s more than possible to make your startup business a success.
At some point in time, every major company was a startup, from Apple to Nike. Over time, these companies have grown (and kept growing) to the point that they have a monopoly on global markets.
Of course, Apple and Nike are exemplary examples of success. Truthfully, you can grow your startup to be a medium-size corporation in a normal town and still be a major success – you don’t need to reach the heights that many global brands do.
With that said, this guide is going to explain how you can grow your startup business quickly and without breaking the bank. Make sure to read the tips and tricks carefully, as they will be extremely beneficial for you.
1. Use Cloud Payroll Software
Firstly, you should use cloud payroll software. If you don’t know what this is, don’t worry – it’s very simple.
What is Cloud Payroll Software?
A cloud payroll system is a management system that enables you to access and control everything online in relation to your payroll, from automating payments to ensuring your startup remains compliant.
Managing your payroll is incredibly important. If you don’t, it can lead to all kinds of financial and legal problems further down the line. Plus, if employees feel that their monthly payments are being mismanaged, they can quit, and your brand reputation is harmed!
Therefore, if your startup is still managing its payroll the traditional way, you need to change it to a cloud payroll system. This way, as you hire new employees and scale upwards, you won’t have to worry about wasting time on tiresome payroll tasks.
2. Build a Big Email List
Next, it’s highly recommended that your startup builds an email list.
Why is Email Marketing So Important?
Over the past few years, email marketing has seen a surprise explosion in popularity. There are several reasons for this:
- It’s great for high engagement levels (after all, over 6.5 billion people now own a smartphone)
- You can connect with your customers in a more personal way
- It doesn’t require a high budget, as email marketing is low-cost and easy to do (especially when you automate your marketing emails)
Make sense? Great.
How Can My Business Build an Email List?
Ideally, you should build your email list organically rather than paying a 3rd party to supply you with one. This way, you’re guaranteed to experience better results.
You can build an email list organically through:
- Upgrades and offers that require email-opt in
- Social media questionnaires and surveys
- Loyalty and referral programs
- Call-to-actions on website blogs and pages
- Forms given out in-store
Over time, as you build your email list, your startup will have an excellent audience to market to. You can mass email your customers to let them know whenever you have exciting offers, product updates, and anything else worthy of mentioning.
Currently, 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers (according to Campaign Monitor) so make sure you don’t fall behind the rest of the pack.
3. Use a Social Media Influencer – But Choose Carefully
Sometimes, it only takes one successful social media campaign for a startup to get off the ground and really start to achieve its goals.
Now, when it comes to social media campaigns, the best ones are often courtesy of social media influencers.
What is a Social Media Influencer?
A social media influencer is a content creator with a large following on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
When used correctly, an influencer will boost your brand recognition and get you the sales and inquiries that you need.
However, as a startup, you will probably have a limited budget. If this is true, make sure to only use an influencer within your budget range. Generally, this will be a nano-influencer (1K – 10K followers) or a Micro-Influencer (10K – 100K followers).
While collaborating with an influencer, make sure to carefully walk them through exactly what you want. As an influencer, they will likely also have previous experience with promoting products, which means they will be able to provide you with feedback and ideas, too.
At the end of your discussions, you should have settled on a plan-of-action, which might involve an influencer plugging your product on their Instagram stories or posting a link to a giveaway competition that you’re holding.
4. Hire an SEO Specialist
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketing is one of a startup’s most valuable tools.
Usually, this involves optimizing your website to run quickly and smoothly. From there, you will then post blogs, guides, and articles throughout your website (and the internet more broadly) to drive more traffic to your brand. This content should be rich in industry keywords so that it performs favorably in Google’s algorithm. Your website will shoot up the rankings and get you the exposure you need when it does.
If you and your startup team have no experience with SEO, then it’s recommended you reach out to an SEO agency, as they will be able to take care of it for you.
5. Build a Strong Team for the Future
Having a strong business team and company culture is incredibly important in the modern age. After all, your startup will really struggle to get off the ground without a good business team.
You should be aiming to hire a variety of talent, from established industry pros to younger workers such as those from the Gen Z and millennial generations.
What are the Best Ways to Attract Gen Z and Millennial Workers?
Finding the right Gen Z and millennial workers isn’t always easy. Thankfully, there are some tips and tricks you can use to get them on board.
- Post job vacancies on LinkedIn and social media platforms
- Offer career development plans that enable them to progress up the company ladder
- Have exciting company values and beliefs
- Provide employees with flexible work opportunities (remote working, 4-day work weeks)
- Collect and distribute feedback every month
Doing all of this will definitely help you to attract the right young talent to your startup.
6. Use a ‘Startup Accelerator’
If you’re an ambitious startup with a strong belief in the products you sell, then it’s potentially a good idea to use a startup accelerator.
A startup accelerator is a mentor-based program in which an organization provides a startup with support, funding, and guidance. In return for these services, the organization is provided with some form of equity in the business.
7. Modernize Your Website (and Make it Exciting!)
Does your startup have a website yet? If not, it’s time to call up your local web designer and get to work on executing your vision!
There are several keys to a modern and successful business website, including:
Also, it’s recommended that you pay for a website domain that’s as short and snappy as possible. This way, you can market your website more easily and perform better on Google.
8. Focus on an Efficient Supply Chain – the Greener the Better
Over the next couple of decades, the world of business will change a lot. Specifically, it’s going to turn green.
Right now, millions of companies are already taking the first steps in changing their supply chain to be more eco-friendly. From sourcing from green suppliers to reducing journey times to retailers, there are lots of different ways in which you can do this.
A good place to begin as a startup is by using recyclable packaging. It’s better for the environment and will help to boost your reputation with eco-conscious consumers.
9. Use Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is one of the world’s most popular marketing tactics. However, there’s a reputation surrounding PPC that it’s overly expensive and will drain your marketing budget, which simply isn’t true.
With platforms such as Facebook Ads and Google AdWords, you don’t need to break the bank. This is because you get to choose the scale of your ads and how much you spend.
Plus, certain platforms (like Google AdWords) allow startups free advertising credits if they’ve never done it before, which is a handy little bonus for those that need it.
10. Make It Easy for Customers to Contact You
Even if your startup only has a small customer base at the beginning, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you.
Ideally, you should offer a minimum of 3 contact points:
- Social media direct messaging
This will ensure that your customers always have a way to get in touch, such as when they have a complaint or want to learn more about a particular product.
Also, it’s a good idea to use chatbots for your digital customer service channels (such as social media).
Chatbots are a type of software that can communicate with customers like a human customer service employee. They provide automated responses to customer queries and questions and can even direct customers through to a real customer service employee if their problem cannot be resolved.