10 things every startup needs for business growth

fivesquid.com where you can buy business services starting from a fiver is helping over 15,000 startups grow in the UK. Terry Koutsios, founder and CEO of fivesquid.com summarises what has helped his company grow. shutterstock_87712507


  1. Invest in content marketing early

We used a lot of the services on our own website to grow the business, from bloggers, to social media managers. That small investment in early stages of the business is now growing our organic traffic by 98%. Content marketing takes time; the earlier you start the easier it will be down the line.

  1. Test everything

We started out with only one price point for services, but soon found out it wasn’t optimal for our customers. It took a little while to get the pricing structure right to ensure both buyers and sellers of services were getting a good deal. Even a little adjustment to pricing points can make a real difference to conversion rates.

  1. Design for your customers

Find out who your biggest customers are and ask them what they like, don’t and wish the website had. You are essentially working to multiply this group of customers, as they will bring the most ROI. Try to keep your design very simple; we live in a digital age where constant bombardment of information leaves us very little time, so help your customers find exactly what they want in minutes.

  1. Harness the power of direct response

The customer journey is a puzzle, if you only monitor it from when visitors land on your website, you will always have pieces of the puzzle missing. Knowing where your customers are coming from, which content has prompted them to register, how many different types of content they have to engage with before they register, is key to direct response marketing. It took fivesquid.com a good month to optimise a few campaigns on Google Adwords, but once you find the right formula, it requires very little maintenance.

  1. Innovate to expand

Once you have a growing customer base, you need to be able to keep them engaged. By ensuring you have two-way communication with your customers, innovation should come naturally.

  1. Hire entrepreneurs

Surround your business with driven and ambitious people who strive for success. You will find by delegating responsibility, areas of the business will start growing without you having to drive the growth. We used services our members listed on our website at the beginning because they were excited and passionate about the brand.

  1. Forecast and set KPIs

This is probably one of the most important points. Without KPIs you won’t know what business success looks like. Set monthly, quarterly and yearly targets in the main areas that drive business growth. For us, it’s cost per member acquisition, registrations, revenue and average transaction value. Once you know your core KPIs, you will know where to focus most of your attention and energy.

  1. Don’t ignore the power of social media

Developing an interactive (not just sizable) community on social media is the most viral word-of-mouth brand recommendation you can get. It takes time but definitely worth the investment.

  1. Not being mobile-friendly can harm your business

With the new Google release, not having a mobile friendly website can impact your rankings on Google search. Even if you are not ready for an app, get a developer to simply transfer your desktop website into a mobile app which you can build on at a later stage. This is an inexpensive way to ensure you also have another puzzle piece of the customer journey fitted.

  1. Embrace competition

_EM_3013When there are competitors in your market, it’s a good sign; it means there is demand. Find your niche in the market and simply focus on it rather than trying to compete with other businesses. You will find that customers alternate brands for different products anyway so make sure that when a customer needs something specific that you offer, you are available.

For the full article have a look on page 85 on the Talk Business magazine free online.