Starting your own business can be really exciting. It means earning your bread and butter on your own terms and at your own pace. Only, it isn’t as simple as that.
Recent years have seen a significant growth in entrepreneurs and new startups. According to research by Kauffman Foundation in 2016, around 6% of the US adult population owns a business as their main job.
The top reasons why people want to start their own business include:
- Independence in work
- Control over decision making
- Working with selected teams
- Leaving a legacy
However, just like working your way up a career, business development and growth takes time, effort, and indefinite amount of willpower.
Internal factors such as finances, time, and skill set play a major role in steering the direction of any business. External factors such as competition, government regulations, and resource availability matter as well.
The question is this:
What can you do to take your business to another level despite those factors?
Here are some tips on how to grow your startup:
In the startup phase, new business owners tend to handle everything. This wastes a lot of time in doing tedious, administrative tasks. It’s time that can otherwise be used in coming up with creative ideas or expanding your skillset.
Unfortunately, 75% of all small businesses have zero employees which depict the resistance people have to delegating. You have to grow your business.
The trick is to hire people that can do such tasks for you. Although it may seem like it will cost extra, it will actually save you time for more constructive tasks.
2Pick your Battles
Research proves that planning well is critical for any business. However, don’t sweat the small stuff either.
For example, don’t dwell on finalizing your logo or packaging for a long time. Brands evolve and with that, logos and packaging change.
Hence, focus on revenue strategies, gaining customers, and making money.
Grant Cardone is an international sales expert, New York Times best-selling author, and radio show host of The Cardone Zone.
He says it best: “When you are hunting big game, don’t swat mosquitoes.”
3Make it Measurable
Hicham Amine is the Head of Growth at Hidden Founders. Recently in an article, he mentions the importance of metrics. According to Amine, no startup can adopt a sustainable business model without occasionally pausing to get directions derived from examining the right metrics.
He manages this through a big screen in the center of his office hall that shows growth metrics and their progress on a daily basis. He also recommends picking a minimal set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be tracked and reported every day.
Lean principles originate from the Japanese manufacturing industry. The term Lean was initially coined by John Krafcik in his 1988 article, “Triumph of the Lean Production System”.
The main elements of the Lean concept comprise focusing increasing value, process simplification, removing wastes, and the 5 Whys.
Marcio Cyrillo is head of mobile services and senior business manager at Ci&T, a software product engineering company. It delivers application services using lean principles and agile methodologies.
Cyrillo recommends the following 5 S’s to incorporate Lean into your business development.
Sort: Make workspace clean and organized.
Set in Order: Organize everything in a work area.
Shine: Clean regularly.
Standardize: Make it easy to maintain, simplify and standardize.
Sustain: Continue the process.
5Be Ready for Change
Change is inevitable. However, according to Ehsan Jahandarpour, it can be your greatest ally. Jahandarpour is a startup coach and growth hacker and has helped companies like Microsoft, PETRONAS, and BBDO grow their business.
He simplifies it by saying, “General rule of thumb — never fall in love with your first business model”.
A change management expert and author, Ron Ashkenas of Schaffer Consulting reinforces this by declaring the ability to change as a main competitive advantage. Ashkenas says that small businesses have an edge over large ones through the ability to quickly innovate and respond to changing customer needs.
Therefore, be ready to embrace change.
6Use a Project Management Tool
Project management tools have evolved over time. Multiple project management frameworks and applications float the Internet ready to be discovered and utilized.
These tools can simplify planning, designing, and managing your work without the need to employ extra staff and without draining yourself of energy at the same time.
Unfortunately, 44% of project managers use no software, even though Pricewaterhouse Coopers found that the use of commercially available PM software increases performance and satisfaction.
Online task management tools such as Wrike, Jira, and nTask make a project and team management a breeze. You have control over the progress flow with easily readable yet comprehensive project and team tracking tools. Plus, your work is secure and organized so it can easily be tracked.
Would you like to share any tips for entrepreneurs and startups? Talk to us in the comments below.
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Author: Fred Wilson
Agile and Software Consultant at nTask. Productivity expert. Tech enthusiast.