Knowing how to grow a startup doesn’t come naturally. For many entrepreneurs, it’s a never-ending process of trial and error. When you’ve got a groundbreaking idea and feel eager and ready to grow your business, the last thing you want to do is take shots in the dark. 

Growing a company takes place in a series of startup stages. If you have a clear picture of where you’re at and where you’re heading the next step is to get started.

Below we’ll go over the top 12 tips for growing a company.

Your growing company will soon have a greater need for accurate financial records. Let Zeni make sure all your books are in order before you pitch to potential investors. Schedule a free demo with our team to see how it works. 

How To Grow A Startup In 12 Steps

You might assume, based on the names of the stages below, that most of your business growth should happen in the aptly named “growth stage.” 

While many of the techniques for building out your business do fall within that stage, you can get a head start and prepare for future growth in the early stages. It never hurts to think about growth from the very beginning. 

Ideation Stage

1. Learn as much as you can.

Your success in growing your business relies heavily on your mindset and overall approach. To prepare yourself for success and future business growth, pick up some helpful books to read to get you into the right frame of mind as you design and plan your product, set a budget, and successful business plan.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Stage

2. As you build your MVP, think about ways you can grow and expand on your ideas in the future.

Though your effort in the MVP stage should primarily be focused on developing your very first product, begin keeping records of ideas on features or services you’d eventually like to add. 

Early Launch Stage

3. Gather resources to take your MVP live.

Securing funding is a crucial component of growing your company, without the funds to build and release a product, your idea is dead in the water. Now is the time to gather your financial statements and other important documents and begin searching for investors. Keep in contact with any investors you meet, so you can begin building your funding network. 

Product Market Fit Stage

4. Spot other niches into which you could expand.

During product-market fit, establishing how your product is performing in its first limited market should be your priority. But if you go into this stage with a growth mindset, you can use this time to pinpoint opportunities to capture other markets in the future. 

Official Launch Stage

5. Monitor how your company handles growth.

Releasing your product to a wider audience — in comparison to the narrow market where you released your MVP — is one of the first true “growth” experiences you may have on this journey. 

As such, it’s a prime opportunity to close gaps in your team or look for more resources. 

  • Do you need more employees to support the increase in demand? 
  • Do you need to restructure your budget to account for marketing strategies and sales? 
  • Do you need to expand from an in-house accountant to a full-service finance team that can help you manage the rapid changes and increasing complexity of your financial situation? 

Growth Stage

6. Connect with your first 50 to 100 customers.

As a founder, you need to have your finger on the pulse of your desired market. After you’ve released your product, reach out to each new customer and ask for feedback. 

Showing interest in your target audiences’ input shows them customer services matters to your startup. Converting new customers to existing customers is the key to growing revenue for the long haul.

Be sure to ask questions that will spark growth and improvement in your business, such as:

  • What problem led to you using my product or service?
  • Has my product solved the problem?
  • What would you change or add? 
  • Have there been any problems with my product? 

Take the good feedback with the bad, and use both to guide your next steps. 

7. Build and utilize your network.

As you reach out to customers, ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in making a connection with you. These contacts could become new customers or potential investors. 

If your customers have businesses of their own, ask them to list your company on their business profile as a partner. In return, you can do the same for them. Their customer base can find a complimentary service by signing up with your company, and vice versa.. 

Another way to network is to make sure your business has a presence on social media. The digital age has given small business owners an opportunity to reach consumers all over the world. Keep active profiles, participate in relevant discussions, and don’t be afraid to start conversations with your contacts. 

8. Brainstorm ideas on how to keep your long-term clients happy.

Long-term and recurring clients are often the bread and butter of startups. If you’re wondering how to grow a service-based business in particular, tailoring that service to your legacy clients’ needs is a great way to build customer loyalty.  

9. Expand into other verticals.

If you’ve kept notes on opportunities for expansion so far in your startup journey, the growth stage of your initial product is the perfect time to bring your next vision into reality. Strive for continuous innovation to stay ahead of the competition and keep customers interested. 

It’s important, however, that you don’t let your quest to add more products and services compromise your existing offerings. Your customers know your business because of what you currently offer; they will notice the drop in quality if you sacrifice time and energy in favor of something else. 

10. Obtain more funding, if necessary.

Even if your product or service is successful, you may not have enough revenue to pay back debts and still invest in your business. Follow your business model and look for additional investors to accelerate your business in exchange for a future return on their investments. 

Speaking to current investors is an option, too. Investors are there for financial advice as well as second or third-round funding. 

11. Set up a free trial.

Give potential customers a glimpse of what they can expect with your product or service. This method is not without risk, but with adequate planning, you can often make free trials work to your advantage. 

12. Consider acquiring other businesses.

Developing new products isn’t the only way to grow your business into new markets. Purchasing another business is a great way to skip the early startup stages and go straight to the growth stage in a second company. 

Securing and managing funds is easier with Zeni’s skilled financial team on your side. 

One thing we love at Zeni is helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses—we were once a startup, too! Our experts have helped countless other startups secure funding and manage their finances using our full-service finance team and advanced AI platform. 

Once you’ve worked through the early stages of designing your product and finding the correct market placement, reach out to us for help with the financial side of things. Our monthly fee is based on your expenses, we know how tight a startup budget can be.  

Schedule a demo to see how Zeni can keep you in control of your finances as your business grows.