The forward step from having a dream of starting something to actually starting and growing a venture is a big one. The business is no longer theoretical and the actual work of building and growing a business begins to take over the entrepreneur’s day-to-day activities.
But there is a difference between launching a business and growing a business: launching is a project while growing is a process.
Entrepreneurs have to hit important milestones in the growth stage of their entrepreneurial journey. But growth takes on many dimensions, including expanding marketing efforts, growing the team, increasing conversion rates, and scaling operations.
Remember that in growing your venture, it is important to test every idea and then reflect back and learn from it. It is an ever evolving process in coming with innovative and new ideas, testing them and then assessing the results. There will be multiple failures, but the successes will outweigh them.
Growth in marketing
Advertising, social media, email marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), content marketing, online reviews, and even word-of-mouth marketing all help drive growth. But, to drive growth, you have to know what you are marketing and what your marketing objectives are.
You need to decide what is the most relevant to your business. Determine your objectives to answer the “what are you trying to do?”. This leads to the “how.” Which tactics are at your disposal to drive that marketing growth?
Grow with a network
Just because you’re an entrepreneur, that doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. When you’re starting out, you might find that it’s better to do many things yourself, from either a cost or a learning standpoint. To grow, however, you might need to find some positive mentors or even grow your team at a cost effective method.
Grow your conversion rate
Once you have your network of mentors/team members in place, you might see more referrals or interest in your business. Make sure that you are also driving growth by making the most of those visits. This is where testing and tracking conversion rates can really boost your business.
As your revenue continues to grow and your business becomes more successful, you might find that you need extra help. This is the time to grow your operations, whether that means hiring more employees or finding software that can help your business run more efficiently. When you get to this point in the “Grow It” phase of your journey, you’ll need to start considering how you will fund it.
How to fund growth
As your venture grows, you will likely need to increase your capital to fund it. If your business is doing well, the easiest route is to put your profit back into your business. It takes no effort on your part. But, that isn’t always the best route, depending on your strategy and you’ll likely want to consider an outside source for funding.
If you’ve been in business for a while and have most things figured out, you might find that a short term business loan is the way to go as you don’t land up having a liability on your balance sheet for a long period of time and you maintain equity in the business. Startups like Fundrr specialize in funding of this type. Fundrr offers a quick and convenient way to get finance for your business to help meet your growth goals.
Alternatively, some might look for equity capital as their business is not in a position to take on debt at that point in time. That is why it’s important to analyze the financial position of your business and understand the type of funding that your business requires.
When scaling or growing in all these areas, it is important to always remember to keep everything in balance. If you grow your sales too quickly or rapidly, you might not be able to meet quality of product or production goals. Make sure you always have the infrastructure in place, whether it be employees or processes to sustain the growth trajectory that you are embarking on.
Thoughtful growth can help you meet your objectives, and it can help you successfully reach even higher goals. As you reach those goals, you’ll find a balance between growth and managing the various initiatives that are in play to sustain the venture.