from Startup to Growth
from Entrepreneur Magazine 18 Oct 13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
If you keep telling people you’re “just a start-up,” you will never grow much bigger – unless you want sympathy. It’s time to move from “Start-up to Grown-up” mode and from “planning” to executing. In a few years, you want to look back at your start-up phase as an important part of your thriving business’ history. Maybe you want to say something like, “I remember when I was packing boxes for shipping myself. Now we employ many people to do everthing.” This is the mindset to move towards and here are five (5) ways to do it:
1. Delegate. When you’re in start-up phase, you are handling everything. To become a legitimate business, you have to start investing in people to do tasks you should no longer do. Three quarters of all small businesses have zero employees, which under-scores the resistance people have to delegating. You have to delegate to grow your business, so you’ll be free to do Strategic Planning & other things – only you can do. It is a mistake to think people cost money. Hiring them when you need them saves $$. You can hire people to do the routine tasks at a fraction of the cost of your management & key employees. You can start you with Part-Time people first, then Full-Time when you need them.
2. Pick your Battles. Don’t get wrapped up for a week deciding on trivial things – that ultimately – don’t matter. Your policies will evolve as your business evolves, so lots of things are likely to change as you grow. There are more important things to obsess over – getting new Customers, making $$, controlling Costs. When you are hunting “big game”, don’t waste your time on the “small game.
3. Get Attention. The single biggest problem every start-up has is becoming known. Your most important task is to get attention for you & your company. It’s the pathway to growth. Look for all the “free” & low-cost ways you can do this. Give out Samples; place Evaluation models; give away Product; do PR, Demos. Do whatever it takes to “Get Attention”. Get Feedback; get it right, then you’ll get respect and more Customers.
4. Re-Posture your Pitch. Instead of saying “I own a small Startup company,” say “I own a Startup company like none other. We are “Faster, Better, Cheaper”. Notice the difference? The first makes you seem small & insignificant. It mentions no benefits. The second makes you seem unique, confident & capable of being a money-maker to help grow. Prepare a profession Pitch. Get outside help, if you need to. It represents you. The better it looks with quality information, the more “credibility” you have to convince them to “invest in you”.
5. Your Elevator Speech. From your Mission & Vision, prepare a short Elevator Speech (60-90 seconds) that you can give, when someone asks you, “What do you do? Let them see the significance & potential of your Product. You never know what kind of connection you might make – future advisor, employee, investor, etc.
6. Create Urgency. If you start a business venture without setting specific timelines for action & achievements, development & start will take forever. Deadlines give you a target to meet. Ambitious timeline create more productivity and focus on the important things. This pressure to perform doesn’t lead to inferior products; it get products “finished”. Urgency is key to getting things done.
7. The Marathon. Being an entrepreneur is a “marathon” activity with lots of sprints. Win a lot of little races and you will provide your people and company with motivation & momentum. Your growth is not improved by staying in “start-up mode” thinking. It’s time to accelerate & become a significant player – that is grabbing market share from the other bigger more established players. It used to be “the Big who ate the Small. Today, it is “the Fast who pass the Slow”. So Go, Go, Go !!!
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