So, things took off faster than expected at your startup?
You’ve already hit some of your big, ambitious goals, pulled in some amazing clients, attracted a ton of orders?
You may be feeling like top dog… but you may also be terrified of breaking whatever it is that’s working, or racking your brain over what happens next. You’re not alone. Take a deep breath, and follow these 8 steps in order to learn how to maintain startup momentum.
In this article we’ll talk about the following tips on how to maintain startup momentum:
- Getting the balance right
- Trimming the fat from your processes
- Fostering new ideas
- Investing in your team
- Nailing your messaging
- Celebrating success
- Keeping your key clients on board
- Focusing on what matters
Let’s dig in into our startup momentum steps, shall we?
1. Get a Healthy Balance
In the early days of your startup, everyone in your team inevitably works every hour god sends, bootstrapping and grafting to get things off the ground. This is admirable, but not sustainable! Now that you’re through the worst of it, it’s crucial that you figure out how to manage the workload so that your team doesn’t burn out but still maintain startup momentum. Take on new staff, outsource stuff, or do whatever else you need to do to make it work.
2. Prioritise Efficiency
Now is also a good time to take a good hard look at the processes you use internally and figure out what you can do faster and more effectively. We’ve talked before about using automation in smart ways to free up time and make it easier for your business to expand – it will also help you to avoid getting bogged down and give your team time to think creatively. Which brings us to…
3. Encourage New Ideas
Okay, so you got off to a great start. Now you need to maintain startup momentum by innovating and improving to make sure your competitors don’t steal your thunder! Make an effort to talk to customers about what they like about your product as well as what features, tools, products or services they’d like to see next. Take the time with your team to brainstorm fixes and improvements, and make it clear that their ideas and suggestions are always welcome.
4. Invest In Your Team
Your team are (probably) feeling a well-deserved buzz of pride that business is booming so soon. Seize on that enthusiasm and make it clear how much you value them by offering to upskill them with training sessions and relevant courses. Just make sure you consult with individual team members first to figure out what kind of professional development they are interested in, so they don’t feel strong-armed into extra-curricular work!
5. Review Your Branding
In the early days, you’ll likely pick up many of your clients or customers through word of mouth. If that’s the case, you might have neglected your branding and marketing efforts – and now is the time to address this, so that you can start to target new people, markets, regions and so on.
Think carefully about the kind of brand identity you want to project and the kind of voice you should use to communicate with your target market. At the same time, work hard at building up an email list of qualified leads, with a fine-tuned email marketing strategy. This will give you an audience for your branding and marketing efforts that you can test ideas and messages on, including using split testing to compare what works and what doesn’t.
6. Celebrate Your Successes
It’s easy to get blasé about your achievements, but the best way to maintain startup momentum is to keep reminding yourself (and your team!) how well you’re all doing. Take time to celebrate each new milestone or awesome new client and consider sending out an email newsletter, either internally or externally, rounding up your top projects and activities each month.
7. Check in With Key Clients
Whatever you do, don’t take your first (or biggest) clients and customers for granted. Reward their loyalty with top-notch service as well as priority booking, special deals, discounts or however else you feel appropriate. Client retention is one of the most important ways to sustain your business in the long run; so don’t lose sight of that!
8. Keep Sight of Why You’re Doing This
What are your values as a company? How about what excites you? What problems are you trying to fix? What kind of experience are you creating for people? Once you get past the initial rush of launching a successful startup, these questions get more and more important. Revisit them whenever you start to feel stuck in a rut and use your answers to get inspired all over again. It’ll certainly help you maintain startup momentum.
Lastly, remember to be realistic. If your business was lucky enough to experience immediate, impressive success, that is awesome; but, it might not be possible to maintain startup momentum at quite that rate forever. Be ambitious, yes, but don’t get disheartened if that runaway growth calms down after a while!