How to Grow Your Business?
New startup companies are emerging every day. As an extension of the American Silicon Valley entrepreneurial culture that has been prevailing for 30-40 years, new ventures are emerging everywhere around the world. Especially with the efforts of the last 5-6 years, this trend is becoming evident with the great efforts of public and private sector organizations and new generation entrepreneurs. In this direction, we will look for an answer to the question of how to grow a business from scratch.
State support is available for many new initiatives that are established today. In addition, angel investors and investment funds are also offered to entrepreneurs. Also, the old entrepreneurs who started a business from scratch and achieved significant growth in a short time, but then transferred their company, have gained great capital power and invest again in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. As a result of all these, new businesses are sprouting every day. They give their first leaves by taking their roots out of the ground and new entrepreneurs and businesses are seen in every field (software, e-commerce, defense industry, textile, design, engineering, etc.).
However, this situation increases the competition in the market and decreases the chances of success of these new businesses. Therefore, most of these new initiatives will stop their operations in the near future. Of course, there will be successful initiatives that will continue. At this point, a huge problem arises against successful companies that have survived: How to grow a business from scratch, how to move things higher?
The most important thing to know is that there is no single solution for success. There are many ways to grow a company from scratch. The most important of these are;
- Discovering customer needs
- Designing the right solution for those needs
- Hiring the right people who can walk the same path with you / have the same dream
- Not being in love with your product/service
- Do not hesitate to experiment to find the market - product fit
- Operating in a scalable business (and standardizing)
- Having a clear understanding of finance
- Satisfying customers the first, more than the investor
- Investing in Digital Marketing
- Keeping motivation high
- Working hard and tirelessly
Discover Customers' Needs!
Discovering the customers’ needs is a difficult action. For this to happen, first, the customer must have a problem. And then you should have a suggestion that can solve this problem. Products and services that do not emerge from the needs of the customer result in 99% failure. The important thing here is to be able to communicate with customers (or potential customers). Understanding the specific needs and expectations of these customers is the key. So, you can discover customer needs by examining the details, not by hearsay and general information.
The solutions you will find will be hidden in the details. It is not enough to look over the clouds to find this detail, you have to dig deep to understand your customers’ business and social lives. This way, you can discover your customers and find their problems.
Design Right Solutions That Suit Customers’ Needs!
There are a lot of differences between finding solutions for the needs of each individual customer and finding solutions for the common needs of your general customers. Finding solutions for each customer's needs puts the quality of the service at risk, and after a while, things get into a deadlock. Suppose you interview all of your customers and learn about their problems; all of them are going to come with a different problem. Finding solutions to all of them means solving instant problems. But if you continue to do this routinely, you risk the success of your business. Instead, you need to go through the common problems of your customers. Designing a solution to the problem of the majority should be the first move for you and your business. In this way, you can gather all your customers at the common satisfaction point.
You can take actions without waiting, if the need expressed by your customer to you and the feedback of the customer who is most open to innovations. In addition, if this need is a solution that can solve the problem of many different people at the same time, you can launch your product/service to the market.
The first idea we will give in this direction is; recruit people who can "walk the same road with you" for your business that you have dreamed of. Do not initially hire people for their competence or knowledge. Do not hire people with experience. When starting a business, hire people who have the same dream, vision and passion as you, initially. At that point, education, knowledge or competence does not matter. Because the person, who pursues the same dream as you, works day and night to grow that business with you, develops himself, completes his deficiencies and walks side by side with you, giving everything without fear of trying to adapt faster than other equipped people.
It's not a big amount of knowledge you need when you first start your business; rather it’s energy, enthusiasm, excitement. Don't miss this the moment you find it, because that's exactly what will get you up.
Entrepreneurship was formerly known only as the move of young people who were college students or recent graduates. But now, everyone in the world can have an idea at any age and works with great passion to bring their ideas to life. Even people with a lot of work experience and good salaries may want to start a business from scratch by pursuing their own passions. The key to success here is to truly want and to pursue passionately. Therefore, choosing the people who can share the same excitement with you will be the right move!
Do Not Fall In Love With Your Product/ Service!
Whether you're a tech entrepreneur or starting a pastry shop, the moment you fall in love with your service or product, you will be ignorant of its deficiencies. You will not be able to find the solution that differentiates your product or better satisfy customer needs. Because the moment you fall in love with your product, you will not find any flaws in it and you think that everyone will like and want it just like you. The important thing here is the customer. However, as soon as you fall in love with your product, you produce it for yourself, not for the customer. This can sometimes bring along a lack of demand.
For example, your goal is to build a very solid aircraft. You built a plane with the strongest materials, even glass would not crack if a bomb explodes next to it. But there is a problem; the plane does not take off. It has become impossible to make the plane fly because you use heavy materials to make the plane strong! You have achieved your goal, yes, but you have destroyed the original purpose of the plane. For this reason, when starting work, products/services should be developed by determining the route in line with customer expectations without departing from the line of the main purpose. Your fall in love with the product does not mean that thousands of your customers will. This belief blinds you and leads you to failure. You have to make your customers fall in love with your products/services, not yourself.
Find the Right Market- Product Match!
Don't be afraid to experiment to find out if the product or service matches the market. One of the most important misconceptions of entrepreneurs is that they think they can make a huge difference when they develop a product or service that first comes to their mind. There is no such flawless development in the entrepreneurship stories of even the smartest and most successful people in the world.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, was in an office of a single-desk, single-chair office in 1999 who was packing and serving products with incoming messages and phones. Also, his career is full of failure stories. There are definitely situations where the first one succeeds, even if there is a possibility in a million. However, in general, it is unlikely that a product will succeed in the first state. So in order to grow, you have to change your initial mind. The demand of the market and the value provided by your product must match. So, going to the market should be your first move for success. Thus, success will knock on your door at the point where you bring your product and the market together.
If you do not fall in love with your product, it will be easier for you to give up the version of your product that has not found a place in the market. Do not hesitate to change the focus of your service, as you receive a signal from the market. In this way, you can create value for your customer and service. For example, let's say you plant seeds in your soil. You sow many seeds by sprinkling them, but not all of them grow. It can give 5-6 flowers like a bouquet from a certain place. But in some ways, a branch is divided by 5 by 6. So you prune because the energy of the plant won't be enough to grow all the branches. You leave one main branch so that it can serve growth with the energy it gets from the sun. You do not cut at the root, you cut the lateral branches so that the main branch grows.
Operate a Scalable Business and Standardize!
If you want to grow, you must be in a business that has the potential to grow. If your market is in a niche, your growth opportunities are limited. For example, if you are swimming in a pool, the place you can go is limited to that pool. But if you are swimming in an ocean, your limits disappear.
Your limits disappear at the point where the service or product you produce is scalable. For example, you made a venture in the field of technology. Let the product you offer be an application that does not require location, can be used everywhere, has every language option and has a simple interface. Because your borders are gone and your market is scalable, you will have a business with a wider range of growth opportunities. But if you are only in a local job, you will be limited. No matter how hard you struggle, you will grow as much as the environment you are in, you cannot go further.
So be in a market scalable business and appeal to your target audience without customization by standardizing and streamlining your product and service. With this method, you can get a million returns by spending your effort once.
Have a Clear Understanding of Finance!
It may sound unattractive to some entrepreneurs, but regardless of your education, you must have an understanding of finance. That’s because all of your operations are based on money! Unless you understand the numbers, you cannot grow even if your product is a star product. Way to develop and grow your company is through understanding finance. In this context, you should know the answers to such questions so that you can see the future of your business.
- What is capital?
- What is equity?
- What is profitability?
- What are the profit and loss?
- What does the cost of money mean?
You should know that the relationship between money and time, or that the payment term is as important as the price. You should be aware of the purchasing power of money. You should know that after companies reach a certain point, they go bankrupt not because of unprofitability, but because of cash flow problems. At the point where your skills are not sufficient, you should get support from people who know the job. Therefore, an entrepreneur who does not understand financial affairs and finance may be successful in the beginning, but eventually, he cannot escape from going bankrupt.
Satisfy Your Customers First!
Money can be a huge problem in the first phase of entrepreneurship. Liquidity plays a role in meeting important needs, human resources, machinery, mold, production, office, etc. It might be a good idea to persuade investors to fund you. But it should be remembered that there is always more than one way to do a job. For example, more traditional entrepreneurs attack customers before investors. They sell their first products to customers and finance their operations from selling them. They receive an advance payment from their first customer and present their first product. They produce their second and third products with the support they receive from their immediate surroundings. Then they take someone with them, produce more, and begin to grow in this way.
People living in the world of technological entrepreneurship complain about not being able to find investors and constantly seek investors. Therefore, they forget the value they create, the importance of customers, and the main purpose of their business. Most importantly, they spend years chasing the investor and their enthusiasm runs away. What you need to do to avoid this is to find customers who may be more prone to technological innovations, called "early adopters" and convince them to present your first product with pre-order or pre-advances. The investor only provides you finance. But, the value is a bond between you and the customers. Therefore, even if finding an investor seems like the first step in your business, it is a mistake. Your main target is always your customers, and what you have to pursue is not the investor in the first place, but your customer.
Invest in Digital Marketing!
In today's world, whether you are a traditional entrepreneur or a technological entrepreneur, you need to invest in digital marketing. This investment may not necessarily mean spending money. So, you should also invest in thought and time, in addition to financial investment. No matter what happens, life is in digital, so the whole world goes through digitalization. From bakery to market, from product design to technological initiatives, all sectors touch the digital. For example, we are in a pandemic period and we do not prefer to go out most of the time. What do we do instead? We order from food and market applications to our home. Years ago, we were thinking about what a patisserie, for example, could do in a digital environment, but today we have even searched for the patisserie in a digital environment.
Digital is not just advertising. For example, your website can come to the fore with it's content and expressing the value you create for the customer's solution. There are many open sources available today that you can implement to add value to your website without spending any money. Besides your website, there are many free social media networks where you can express your business. By uploading videos to YouTube, you can promote your business and present it to people by sharing on social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.
Your investment in digital marketing is important for your company's growth. Social channels, where almost everyone allocates a minimum of 2 hours a day, are the right areas where you can increase the visibility of your products and services. Moreover, most social platforms are free, which is a nice incentive for you to step into digitalization.
Keep Your Motivation High!
Life is not a rose garden without thorns. Therefore, entrepreneurship is not that easy. It is very likely that you will have problems with your customers. Also, you will have problems with your suppliers, the rule-makers will annoy you with their rules, your employees will create problems, the job you want will not be the way you want it. But none of this should decrease your motivation because the person called an entrepreneur is the person who provides his own motivation. If you can provide your own inner motivation, you can be successful in entrepreneurship and grow your company. Entrepreneurs who can not provide motivation from within and keep high will fail. Of course, there will be ups and downs, problems will arise and maybe the problems that arise cannot be solved. But as long as your motivation is high, you can always do the best for your company.
Business people who have achieved success time and again have a saying: Those who keep their motivation high in the business world will eventually succeed.
High motivation should always be your policy to deal with the problems that arise in the best way possible. In this way, you can always see your way ahead, do not despair, and continue without giving up for the success you want.
You may have many reasons for working hard. Some of these are as follows;
- Growing your company
- Create a successful business
- Overcoming challenges
- Making your first sale
- Getting your first customer
- Selling a hundred to a thousand
- Earning more money
- Earning more profit
You will encounter many obstacles that will discourage you, but you must work by overcoming these obstacles without losing your motivation, without giving up, with determination and high diligence, focusing on the things that create value.
According to researchers, you need to devote 10,000 hours to a job to specialize in it. Therefore, the more you work, the more you specialize in your job, the more you specialize, the more customers you will gain. The more customers you get, the more your company earns.