When starting a business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything you have going on. There are lots of things to do, to learn, and decisions to make to grow your start-up. To help, I’ve put together some recommendations on what to focus on to supercharge your start-up.
Improve your customer service
Start-ups with good customer service retain consumers and attract new customers through word-of-mouth. Even if you think you’re already providing good service, there are always ways to improve it. Appoint a Head of Customer Retention (even if it’s you). If someone isn’t responsible for looking after your existing customers, coming up with initiatives to help them, and reviewing customer performance against targets – then these things are much less likely to happen.
Try out new products or services
Even if you have multiple products or services selling well, be on the lookout for opportunities to expand and satisfy customer demand. If you’re unsure how well a product or service will sell, test it first. Just remember to update your marketing material to let customers know about your new offerings.
Assume your initial strategy will change
That means you need to maintain a mindset of constantly adapting to the realities you see. Those entrepreneurs who build a plan then put their head down and charge will find themselves with flat growth and no resources or energy to recover. Smart entrepreneurs always have a plan B.
Be stingy with your energy and time
Don’t be afraid to say “no” with a smile on your face. Saying yes to everyone will kill you. Keep some reserves for a focus on the urgent priorities of strategy, attracting customers and beating competitors, rather than the crisis of the moment. Learn how to delegate, seek outside help and balance your life.
Choose advisors as carefully as your executives
A good start-up advisor who is an expert in your domain and has built a start-up like yours is often more valuable than any C-level executive. Resist the temptation to be defensive, and don’t assume you are somehow smarter than the competition. Actively listen to mentor; advisor and customer feedback.
Manage your time more effectively
Take note of where your time is going each day. Some tasks could be consolidated or completed at a dedicated time each week. There are free or low-cost time management tools such as Toggl and Google Drive that monitor your daily workload and can generate weekly reports.
Pay attention to your customers
Take any feedback from customers seriously and make an effort to thank them for sharing their thoughts – even if they are raising concerns or making a complaint. If you have a regular customer who isn’t happy with a new marketing strategy or product line, listen to what they have to say – there’s a high chance that other customers might share similar concerns.
Don’t be afraid to try new ways to supercharge your start-up. Consider the tips above and start with focusing on one. Once you’ve nailed that, move onto the next one. Good luck and let me know how you get on.