6 lessons on how to grow your start-up

You have got a brilliant idea for a start up, you believe in it and feel that it can work. So far, so good. But, did you know that 90% of start-ups fail?

This is a huge number but you shouldn’t let it discourage you, if anything this should encourage you to work harder because you know that to grow your company and become part of the other 10% you need to learn from these mistakes.

To help you, here are six lessons on how to grow your business so that you can take it from a start up to a well-known and successful business.

Lesson 1: Create a plan and set yourself goals

You need a business plan and, within this, it is important to set yourself goals. A clear plan and goals will give you something to work towards and mark yourself against. However, while these goals should stretch you, you need to make sure that they remain realistic.

Budget planning is an important part of this process. Of course you need to spend money to grow your company but you need to ensure that you are spending it in the right places.

Lesson 2: Market yourself

If no one knows about you then you are going to struggle to grow. So, in order to ensure they do, you need to market yourself.

This marketing should take place online – via social media, a website and a blog – as well as offline with the likes of leaflets, flyers, networking events and business cards. These should all link together to reinforce and support each other.

You need to think about the costs when it comes to marketing so that you get the best returns. Marketing can actually be much cheaper than you might think – take a look at online flyer printing at Phroom Print, for example – you might be surprised how easy it is to market your business without breaking the bank.

Lesson 3: Provide your product or service for free

You need to let potential clients and customers know why they should use your product or service. The best way to do this is to let them have a taste of it – once they have they will quickly be coming back for more. If you are a new gym, for example, you might offer a one-week free membership to tempt people through the door. Similarly, you could take advantage of influencers and their already huge following by sending them your product to try and hopefully share with their audience. A great way to get your product out there is to look for famous women and men’s lifestyle bloggers to promote your product with their posts.

Lesson 4: Recruitment

Employees are the heart of a company and without them the cogs will quickly stop turning, which is why you need to invest in the right ones at the right time.  When creating your plan make sure you determine exactly what roles you require and how they will work together. While you want the right people working for you, you also need to give them a reason to want to work there. So, consider the perks and benefits you could offer and the culture you want to create.

Lesson 5: Invest in the right equipment

As well as investing in people you need to invest in the right equipment. If your employees are working off poor equipment or having to work around it altogether, the work will be slower and motivation will be low. Save the really fancy equipment for when you have grown a bit more but make sure you have what you need to get there.

Lesson 6: Analyse your performance

Make sure you are regularly analysing your performance – if something isn’t working it is better to know about it, so you can fix it, before it is too late. This also gives you the opportunity to learn from any mistakes and improve going forward. To help, ask your employees and customers for feedback and refer to your business plan and goals.

This article is in association with Chelsea Ellsworth

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