AMB Performance Group Blog

Entrepreneurial Growth Strategies for Startups

Posted on: October 21, 2021
Business Growth

You started with an idea. With drive and innovation, you turned it into a full-fledged business. The next step? Expanding your company and guiding it to and through the next phase of its life. Entrepreneurial growth is a stage that everyone with an idea, and a dream, wants to achieve.

Now that you are here, though, you recognize that it is also immensely challenging. How do you navigate this often-tough terrain? These seven growth strategies for startups will provide a useful map – and help you avoid some common obstacles.

7 Strategies to Help Entrepreneurial Businesses Get Through the Growing Pains

You’ve seen the stats: only half of the startups make it five years. You’ve heard the numbers: just a third make it for ten. And yet… here you are. This more than anything encompasses the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s knowing that the odds may be stacked against you – and still putting the blood, sweat, and tears in to make your business a success. And, with a smart strategy behind you, you will.

  1. Define and Clarify Your Value Proposition

You had an idea. But how does it differ from countless other people who have visions or claim to offer similar solutions? How do you do what you do differently, more efficiently, more effectively…. Better? Take the time to identify your value proposition: this is what sets you apart and what compels customers to choose you.

Take Walmart, for example, they’re competing on price and targeting budget-conscious consumers. Or Dove: they compete on empowerment, by emphasizing that beauty is more than skin deep. What are you competing on? Get clear, and stay consistent.

  1. Analyze Your Revenue Streams

Have a cool concept, exciting product, or intriguing service? Well… take a look at your balance sheets. Are they bringing in money? Or are these revenue streams more of a trickle? It may be time to cut ties with non-starters and identify areas that could enhance cash flow.

  1. Investigate Market Penetration and Expansion

Speaking of cash flow… How do you bolster this aspect of your entrepreneurial business? It depends. Some avenues to consider:

  • Adding Locations. Depending on your business, this could mean opening another physical location or it could mean adding a strong virtual presence to your in-person storefront/office, etc. If you’re exclusively digital, adding new locations may look like expanding into Amazon, eBay, or other sellers. The goal is to reach more potential customers. Ask yourself, “Where are they?” And then go there!
  • Diversifying Products/Lines. You never want to launch products for the sake of it. You must always stay consistent with your brand identity and value prop. That said, it’s a good time to think about adding levels or tiers to your offerings, expanding sizes or color options, offering complimentary or related products, etc.
  • Expanding Tiered Services. For services-based businesses, it may make sense to create tiered packages for customers/clients. We see this in software all the time: free packages get these features, $X gets these additional benefits, and $Y is premium. Does this make sense for you?
  1. Hyper-Focus On the Customer

Of course, none of these steps are going to take you very far if you are not focused on what the customer wants and needs. One of the best ways to find out? Ask them! You can analyze data, run tests, and do market research – and you should. But do not neglect the simple, but essential, step of asking for feedback… and listening carefully.

Where could you improve? What are they getting from competitors that they have been unable to get from you? What do you do differently that works for them? Are there any common frustrations? What are their pain points?

  1. Safeguard Your Finances

Be exceedingly cautious when raising funds to support entrepreneurial growth. There are many reasons for this: for example, you do not want to lock yourself into a usurious loan that becomes a significant obstacle to profitability.

Nor do you want to enter into an agreement with an investor, only to have them erode the value of your business or be forced to cede control of your company. And no, this does not mean getting a credit card and just putting expenses on there. For every $1000 you charge, your odds of survival fall by 2%. Think about that.

Run a tight ship, and remember that it’s all right to be a bit capital-constrained at this time.

  1. Hire Smart

The best investment you make in your business is people. There’s a saying: if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Hire people who are smarter than you in finance, in technology, in marketing and advertising, in product development, in customer support/service… find those people, and hold on to them.

  1. Step Back

When you do find the right people to grow your business, let them do their jobs. This is your time to work on instead of in your business. You free yourself to focus on strategy and on taking your company to the next level. You can be the visionary, not the chief cook and bottle washer.

These are proven strategies for entrepreneurial growth, and implementation is critical to your success. To begin putting them into action, contact AMB Performance Group.

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