If you're an entrepreneur in the beginning stages of growing your startup, you're probably well aware that what you do now will have a major impact on your overall success.
One of the best ways to scale fast is to stand on the shoulders of giants by learning from successful entrepreneurs. One such entrepreneur is George Otte. George's story is one of hard work, sacrifice, perseverance, and now success. He came from Peru to America at 7, started his first business at 21 and now is the president of Otte Polo, a conglomerate of businesses, which include Geeks on Site, Responsive Answering Service, Phase V and Otte Real Estate.
I had a conversation with George earlier this week and he shared 7 tips entrepreneurs can use to give their strategy the boost it needs, and grow their startup quickly. I'm sharing them with you today.
1. Have complete focus and dedication
There's a reason that 'ambition' is one of the most important personality traits investors look for in entrepreneurs. If you want your startup to succeed, and more importantly, if you want to also convince others that it will, you need to have complete focus and dedication.
Some make the mistake of thinking they can handle a startup without giving up on their other work or business ventures. But as more and more startups crowd the playing field, having complete focus on your current project is essential if you want to see the fastest growth.
2. Don't chase money
Having a startup should never be about getting rich quick. Successful startups that achieve exponential growth early on are the ones that focus on innovation and providing unique, valuable solutions for consumers.
In the long run, doing it right can bring in a lot of money. But if you chase money from the beginning, there's no way you'll ever get the growth you're expecting from your efforts.
3. Plan and budget for new and unexpected expenses during growth
Even if you plan for modest investments in all the key areas of your startup, unexpected expenses can always come up.
This has always been true in business, but the point is even more relevant now in the fast-paced world of digital marketing, where new technologies and algorithm changes can make or break your success one quarter to the next.
George mentioned the example of multi-touch attribution, a marketing automation strategy that most startups didn't budget for a few years ago. Then all of a sudden, 2015 became the year of multi-touch attribution, and every startup needed to quickly adopt advanced marketing automation or get out of the game.
Keep in mind the curve balls your industry can throw at you and always have a plan for these new and unexpected expenses.
4. Regularly review key areas
In the beginning, you probably laid out clear plans of strategy for the key areas of your startup, such as operations, sales/marketing, and finance. But if you want your startup to achieve exponential growth, you need to be regularly analyzing and reviewing these areas.
Paying attention to how external factors, such as your target customers and the state of the industry, change throughout the year, and using this information to adjust your key areas for target results is the most valuable strategy you can use.
5. Keep a close eye on the customer experience
It goes without saying that paying attention to the quality of your customer experience is important for any kind of business. But if your startup deals with a product or service that can benefit from repeat customers, then optimizing customer experiences should be one of your top priorities for growth.
According to CEB, 94% of customers won't buy from the same company twice if they receive a low-effort service experience. At the same time, it's also considerably more costly to attract new customers than to retain your existing ones. So even if you're just trying to get discovered, make sure the customers that do discover you have a great customer experience, so they keep coming back.
6. Delegate and trust, but verify
One of the key flaws many entrepreneurs have is trying to wear too many hats at once. If you manage everything yourself, you can ensure it works out in the smoothest way possible. But that's also how to put yourself on the fast track to burnout, which isn't going to do any good for your startup's growth.
Trust the members of your team and know when to delegate. The important part of your job is following up on their work and verifying that it's running the way you envisioned it.
7. Love and enjoy what you do. If not, get out
Managing a startup is more than just a job. As mentioned above, you have to have complete focus and dedication, but the component that really makes you succeed in the long run is passion. The business world today is filled with startups. Encouraging the growth of yours is a huge undertaking, which no one can really manage unless they really love and enjoy what they do.
If you don't have passion for your business and what it represents, then it's time to get out of the game.