Starting a small business can feel like an uphill battle. In fact, many startups fail to even turn a profit until their third year of trading. Thus, accelerating growth is something that many entrepreneurs dream of. Making the decision to grow more quickly doesn’t always translate into real results. Many business owners are then left floundering and frustrated at their lack of progress. Whether you’re thinking of starting a new venture in the near future or you’ve already started, it’s completely normal to feel as though the whole world is against you.
Instead of working harder to achieve your ambitions, turn your attention to smart working strategies. These can help your business grow quickly without adding extra hours to your working week. While none of these tips will deliver overnight success, they can help you to focus your efforts in a more productive way. Get started with any one of these top growth hacks today:
Thanks to technology, startup owners can reduce the amount of admin they need to do by automating processes. Especially, those tasks that eat up hours of their time. When you invest in the right software, you’ll notice an immediate increase in your efficiency and productivity. However, how do you know what type of software you really need?
One of the safest places to start with software is accounting. Check out this review of Sage vs Quickbooks as a starting point. After all, making mistakes in this department can lead to fines and financial ruin. Especially if you’re new to calculating your taxes. What’s more, if your business does exceed the annual turnover limit of £85,000, you’ll have to submit your tax return online. This is all part of the Making Tax Digital initiative. This aims to make tax returns a much easier process for both business owners and HRMC. Even if you are not sure you'll hit that threshold, it pays to prepare yourself anyway. Otherwise, if you do surpass your expectations just before the deadline, you’ll be left scrambling to transfer all your spreadsheets across to your new system.
Another type of software that can help you run your startup more efficiently is a social media management system, such as Hootsuite. With this, you’ll be able to schedule posts in advance. This reduces your chances of missing a post off your calendar or posting content at a time when your audience won’t see it.
Most startup owners focus on launching their venture before taking their marketing strategy seriously. But, building excitement for your products and services beforehand can secure sales as soon as you open your doors. Some strategies for this include building an e-mail list, writing guest posts, and being active on social media. To incentivize your audience to follow you and show up on the date of your launch, offer them exclusive discounts. Or, consider free materials such as eBooks or samples. Spread the word that your first 100 customers will receive a limited-edition freebie in their orders.
Pre-launch marketing essentially allows your startup to grow while you’re still getting everything set up. The best way to manage this is by hiring an agency or freelancer to take over the content creation and strategy execution. Then, you can focus on setting up your business. Some entrepreneurs are reluctant to invest too much in pre-launch marketing. This is because they want to wait and see whether customers will come and buy their products organically. However, it’s very rare that any startup will grow quickly through organic growth alone. Your audience needs to know you exist before they convert.
When conducting market research for your startup, it can be tempting to write off your competitors as simply the competition. However, they can actually teach you some valuable lessons, especially if you haven’t launched your startup yet. Pay attention to not just what your competitors are doing now, but how they started. There’s no shame in utilizing parts of their strategies and taking inspiration from what went well for them. Bear in mind that customer needs do change over time. Therefore, what worked for your competitors years ago might not necessarily work for you.
Use analytics tools such as Sprout Social, SimilarWeb, Semrush, or Buzzsumo to work out what your competitors are doing well. This can also show areas where they’re failing. Make sure you match them where they’re at their strongest and use their shortcomings against them. Thus, showing customers that you are the better option. When studying the data you put together, try to determine where most of your competitor’s traffic is coming from and tap into those sources yourself.
Did you know that just 49% of small businesses are investing in SEO? Often underestimated and undervalued, SEO is an incredibly powerful tool that can boost your startup’s visibility and authority within your industry. While it may take time to achieve those higher rankings on Google, SEO is a cost-effective way of getting as many people as possible to find your business. You can learn all the skills you need online, from keyword research and content creation to link building. It’s also advisable to invest in analytics software, such as Semrush or Ahrefs, but there are many free alternatives on the market as well, including Google Analytics and Yoast. SEO is constantly changing and requires an adaptable mindset, but once you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics, growing your company will be a much more achievable goal.
Growth hacking isn’t an exact science, but having a solid strategy in place can help you to steam ahead of the competition. Give your startup the best chance at success by putting plans in place today.