Startups tend to spend a lot of their initial time and energy focusing on growth: when it will happen, how to make it happen, what happens afterward, etc. Basically you plant the seed, then focus everything on watching it grow!
So what happens when the growth feels stunted and you aren’t sure how to keep spreading those roots? Try some of these simple hacks:
1. Take a look at your growth plan (or develop one). This could be part of your overall business strategy, but should also stand on its own- meaning it should be fully fleshed out- think of it as a branch of your business plan. While it's important to map out how you plan to grow, it's just as vital to consistently tend to the plan, molding it and changing it based on the realities of your business development, not just the projections.
2. Enlist users and fans to create UGC (User generated content). Content makes the small business world go round these days but it’s a huge commitment of time and resources. In this rare instance both quality and quantity matter equally so don’t skimp in either area. Turning to your user base to create content is a simple hack that ensures your content has the voice of your customer, without breaking the bank.
3. Employ early engagement and exit-intent strategies to your online presence. Targeting your first time visitor with an offer they cannot refuse turns them into a repeat customer- engagement should aim to produce repeat business, not just one-time deal-seekers. Exit-intent can help build email databases and increase customer engagement, both of which can assist with growth. Exit-intent is when you hit a redirecting visitor with an engaging pop-up, developed specifically to keep them on the site, or returning as a buyer.
4. Automate everything and consider AI tactics. As a small business, it would be great to be able to remain people-driven and organic, but the reality is that you will quickly fall behind competitors if you cannot keep up with a wave of growth. Before you grow, make sure your operations are set up to handle the surge by automating anything and everywhere you can, while preparing to embrace what those robots (think chatbots) can do for you!
5. Return to the basics of business and reconsidering your funds. If you want to grow, it may be a good time to do a financial check-up and consider reallocating funds to directly impact growth abilities. These are the times to consider good old-fashioned ROI- what can take a backseat while you focus efforts on growth? Be sure to build these fund changes into the growth plan, including plans on how and when to payback or reallocate once more.