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Entrepreneurs don’t build successful businesses because they’re lucky; they build successful businesses because they’ve developed strong strategies for growth and development.
Here are my top 10 tips for developing a strategy that takes your start-up to the next level.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that in order to be successful, you have to know who you are, where you’re going, and what success looks like to you. I’ve seen my fair share of young businesses just throwing things out there to see what sticks.
When start-ups have been born in this way, it shows!
They’re unfocused, they’re all over the place, and they really have no idea of who they are. Building a brand identity may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how often it’s overlooked.
A strong brand identity, coupled with a logo design that communicates the values of your brand, can keep you on track.
Online startups are fortunate. They don’t need a physical infrastructure in order to get started. But they do need an online infrastructure that builds the foundations on which to not only operate but also to grow. At its most basic, this means a small business website, and digital skills to navigate the online landscape.
But before long, ‘basic’ isn’t going to cut it.
To create a successful online business, you’ll need an infrastructure that facilitates digital growth and development. I’ve compiled a list of resources – free downloads, ebooks, and guides – which can help you identify the tools you need to succeed online.
Just like the physical business world, the online business world is constantly evolving. It’s always a good idea to listen to advice from those who have been in this situation before. However, do remember that what worked for your friend two years ago may not be the best approach for your new start-up today.
It’s incredibly important to experiment with different techniques and find what works for you.
For example, I’ve had clients who have responded with ‘oh, no, we’re not going to do that’, when I’ve suggested they try the ‘rather outdated’ method of email marketing.
And guess what happened... Yes - unsurprisingly no traffic from emails...
By experimenting with various methods, you’ll find it much easier to see what techniques are driving results for your start-up, and what techniques are missing the mark.
This can be a budgetary lifesaver. It means you can allocate your budget more effectively, and start investing in activities that’ll drive results.
What I’ve seen many start-ups try to do is to get by using free tactics, during those financially uncertain early years. It’s easy to see why they do this, but it keeps them coasting for longer.
To see success, entrepreneurs should be making data-driven decisions and investing in options that will help them grow.
When building a business from the ground up, marketing is often a secondary consideration. In the physical business world, where storefronts acted as a powerful marketing tool, this was fine.
Clearly, things are different in the online landscape. Audiences don’t stumble across you on their daily dog walk.
With an online start-up, marketing can’t be an afterthought. It’s important to have a comprehensive digital marketing support package in place.
You need one that covers all online essentials such as SEO, PPC management, and email marketing, to ensure your target audience is able to find you.
A common mistake I’ve seen happen is that start-ups make decisions based on where they currently are in their lifecycle. But as every successful entrepreneur knows, things can change rapidly.
It’s important to ensure that any decisions that you make now will continue to bring value to your business in the future.
This advice covers practically every area of business. If you’re choosing software, for example, a scalable SaaS solution can grow with you, and keep supporting you as your needs change.
And if you’re creating content, content planning can ensure you’re sharing the right information at the most relevant time.
The team of Yorkshire website designers here at myCloud work closely with young start-ups.
One thing they’ve found is that entrepreneurs often see small business website design as just a way to create impressive online experiences for their audience, through good UX/UI. They don’t see the other benefits.
One of the biggest benefits of creating a website early on in your success story is that you can take control of your online reputation from the very beginning.
By publishing your own content, you don’t have to put your reputation into the hands of third party resources.
From the moment of identifying your very first lead, your start-up will hold valuable data about your audience. And the amount of data you hold will only become bigger and bigger as you generate more leads, boost conversions, and make sales.
Putting protective measures in place for this data is vital. Check out our recent blog article for more tips - 7 Must Know Tips To Help Manage Your Business Data Security
Data security poses one of the biggest risks to your online business and could mean the difference between success and failure. Unfortunately, breaches can and do happen – even to the big guys.
While protecting your data won’t directly contribute to success, it can minimise the risk of obstacles.
Entrepreneurs are very focused; they find a job that needs doing, and they do it. However, it’s worth taking just a little bit of time to research new technologies and discover how they could fit into your start-up.
It may then be possible to delegate some of these tasks to software, leaving you with more time to focus on growth.
Marketing automation is one such area. There’s a lot that goes into building an effective marketing strategy, and digital marketing automation tools can take over many of the most time-consuming tasks.
AI & machine learning are worth looking into, too. Don’t waste time on tasks that you could automate.
My final secret to online success for start-ups is simply to know your limits. As this list shows, there’s no one single route or one single task which will generate success. And no one expects you to have the time, or the niche skills required to handle everything on your own.
You don’t always have to wear all the hats.
Expanding your in-house team is one option. But if you’re not quite ready to recruit, bringing on board an external growth partner can be a great solution.
At myCloud, we offer a wide range of business services – everything from development services to strategic and creative services – to support your journey.
Thank you for contacting us.
We will reply to you in the next 24-48 hours.
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