Did you know that only 50% of startups make it past the five-year mark?  Unfortunately, a high proportion of startups fail to achieve product-market fit.  Without having a smart and sustainable growth strategy in place, startups often fail to plan ahead.  Implementing a growth strategy provides a clear framework and roadmap for long-term success.


The technology field is a highly volatile and competitive market, making growth planning an imperative element to success within the tech field.  With so many variables to prepare for, or at least consider, there are a number of key steps you should be following to take your business from initial startup to international acclaim. 


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Fundamentals found in any successful growth strategy


Own Your Value Proposition

The first step in building any successful and smart growth strategy is understanding and owning your value proposition.  Your value proposition should detail the origins of your company and how your tech business is uniquely qualified to meet and ultimately exceed any customers’ expectations. 


A number of startups lose out because they don’t spend time creating and cultivating a compelling and memorable value proposition.  A sustainable value proposition is often critical in long-term success.  A great example of a killer unique value proposition is Uber.


Whilst there are few tech companies as widely criticised or polarising as Uber, you can’t find fault in their value proposition.  Uber’s unique value proposition simply offer Uber convenience.  Without explicitly saying this, Uber expertly pinpoints everything that people typically fault when taking a traditional taxi and also manages to point out its superior and stellar service at the same time. 


Uber’s simple, yet highly effective copy is what makes it such a tempting service:

  • With just one tap your car will quickly be making its way directly to you
  • Your driver knows exactly where to go and who they are picking up
  • Payment is completely (and wonderfully) cashless

Everything about this service contrasts to the typical taxi experience – there’s no need to place a phone call to a disinterested taxi dispatcher, no difficult conversations trying to explain where you want to get to, and no awkward fumbling for change or worrying you don’t have enough money to cover the fare.

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If your business fails to create and solidify a unique value proposition, this can often lead to difficulties when engaging with investors.  This can make it more difficult to generate a positive cash flow and can impact on their abilities to become market leaders in their chosen field.  The best value propositions demand careful analysis of your target audience behaviours, alongside their buying preferences.  In most cases, a strong value proposition should be limited to a headline, sub-headline and three distinct bullet points.


Identify who your target audience should be

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When it comes to developing a sustainable growth strategy, it’s important to identify your target audience.  Without having a clear picture of who your target audience should be, you are more likely to focus on the wrong product enhancements and create the wrong marketing messages.  These may seem trivial, however miscalculations like this can cost start-ups thousands of pounds.

To help avoid these costly mistakes, there are number of ways to identify your target market:


  • Spend time gathering survey data: One of the first steps in identifying your target market is to issue surveys via newsletters or specific email blasts.  A number of tech startups opt to partner with market research firms for this step.
  • Market data analysis: One of the easiest ways to gain insight into the current market is to look to your top competitors for information and insights.  You should be asking questions like ‘Who are your competitors currently marketing to?’ and ‘Why do their customers choose to buy there?’
  • Leverage the power of personal networks: Spend the time asking your personal network – colleagues, funders, friends, family, mentors – to take a look at the product or service you are offering.  The feedback this generates is vital in helping to craft assumptions about your target audience.


You can then organise your findings into useful buyer personas.  Utilising a buyer persona makes it possible to represent your ideal customer and what their unique buyer traits are likely to be. 


Make smart hires

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Find the right people to work for your startup is not easy but is extremely important in achieving sustainable growth.  Just think, for any startups still in their infancy, a big investment in the wrong employee can be extremely costly and can halt the overall traction and momentum of the business.


This is why it’s important to pay attention to experts in your field.  Many startups opt to pay experts for guidance and counsel when it comes to big money decisions.  Within the tech field, you’ll find a plethora of experts who can be used to your advantage, from legal counsel providers, like Goodwin, to CPA accountants, who can advise you on all the main areas of business finance.  While these expert services are not free, the management and experience they offer is truly invaluable.  Plus, this expertise can be utilised at all stages of the corporate life cycle, making it a smart move for emerging companies.


These are just some of the steps involved in creating a successful and sustainable growth strategy.  If you’re looking to grow your business in 2019, these steps will definitely help!


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