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Growth strategy for start-ups: build it slowly but with enough care

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Nov 20, 2012
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Business is business. You have to make money. If you are making money, if the process is legal and acceptable, nothing else is matter. However, start-ups often get stuck in distraction and trifles start to get more attention over things that matter most. But, as a start-up you must be sufficiently focused and luxury is not an option for you. I’ll be trying to share few strategies to think about while you are focusing on growth of your business.

#1. Spend as little money as possible and earn as much money as possible.

Keep your operational cost under control. Don’t recruit unnecessary people. Stop buying things. Naomi Dunford talked about it beautifully. She said; “remember that goal of a business is profit. It’s not being liked or having a huge social media presence, or having amazing products that nobody buys. It’s not having a beautiful website, or perfectly crafted email newsletters, or an incredibly popular blog. In larger business this is called accountability to shareholders. Business is not a popularity contest. The CEO doesn’t get away with saying, “but look at all these people who like us on facebook!” shareholders will not accept that. You are the majority shareholder in your business, and you have to protect your investment. You have to make sure that your recurring activities are as directly tied to making money as possible.”

# 2. If you spend any money beyond your necessary operations, spend them on building your audience/brand image.

#3. Connect with more people.

If you have a common task in your to do list as a start-up entrepreneur, make connecting that one. Lately, I have interviewed Sabila Enun, a budding entrepreneur in Dhaka and when I asked her advice for start-ups she said; “Connections are crucial. It even defines you. And now there are the social networking platforms and becoming social is a matter of click. So, as an aspiring entrepreneur you have to leverage these technological opportunities. We spend a huge chunk of our time on social media and we should take it seriously.”

#4. Price your product in relation to benefits not cost.

Well, there is nothing unethical with charging higher price. Everybody out there is doing it. A bottle of Mum water does cost BDT 15 but Partext is charging us BDT 15. So, why not you. Charge a higher price on your product. Be a little tricky in designing price of your product. If you want any specific idea let us know about it.

#5. Surprise your customers.

This is not happening in Bangladesh. Nobody is truly, honestly surprising their customers. As you are growing fast let’s try with some interesting ideas to surprise your customers. I bet this will pay off for sure.

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###To write this article I gathered help from Chris Guillebeau's $100 Start-Ups, which I'm reading currently. It's a wonderful book, if you have a chance grab a copy :)


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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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2 comments on “Growth strategy for start-ups: build it slowly but with enough care”

  1. "Dear customer, Surprise!"
    Yeah really; I should definitely start brainstorming more often to overwhelm the buyers with freebies and stuffs they'd care about.

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