Top 10 Startup Growth Strategies to Use in 2023
Building a startup is sort of like learning to swim. Your first tries might be clumsy, and you can face unpleasant conditions and swallow lots of water. But learning goes hand in hand with practice, so, at some point, you'll be ready to take off your floaty arm sleeves and swim the front crawl.
That said, growth hacking (or discovering ways to grow your business most efficiently) is vital for startups that are ready for a level-up and want to do it quickly. As such, if you're already getting some traction after the product or MVP launch, you have to prepare to take the next steps to expand. On this page, we've collected actionable startup growth strategies which you can apply.
Startup Growth Strategy 1: Define Your Value Proposition and Make It Clear
After you launch a startup you begin moving toward expansion. At this point, it is vital to reassess your existing business strategy and strengthen it. Because any growth implies spending resources like time and startup funding, putting the spotlight on your business fundamentals can be a great starting point.
Now that you've collected data on your product's early versions, you can better formulate the essence of your offering for consequent startup phases. How do you stand out from the competitors? Why do early adopters or existing customers like your product? What makes it so great that people want to return for more?
Working on your unique selling point (USP) and value proposition that highlights your offer's advantages is essential for startup scaling. This may seem like a small detail, yet it can determine your business model and shape the rest of your growth-related work and effort. For example, it will form the basis of your messaging, brand voice, calls to action, and other ideas you wish to convey clearly.
Note that it is very likely that you won't get it right on your first try. That's why many choose to run A/B or other types of tests in order to find what resonates with the audience best.
Startup Growth Strategy 2: Try to Connect with the Audience
Have you previously created a landing page or pre-launch waitlists? If you've already collected user contact details via the reliable findymail tool, you may put these lists in the requisition. For instance, you can reach out to your customers by working on an email campaign with newsletters and drip campaigns.
Your communication matters, so think about which channels are optimal for you to stay in touch with your customers after MVP or initial product release. Really give your messages due thought, as you should ultimately deliver value, not waste people's time.
Startup Growth Strategy 3: Improve Your Online Presence
Having a strong online presence is crucial for brand recognition and obtaining more clients. Consistency is key in this respect, as more touchpoints with customers can bring higher chances of growth for startups.
Even if you didn't build in public initially, you should work on your presence anyway. What should you take care of? You can work on the following:
- adding information about your company to maps and directories;
- creating an SEO strategy with the help of SEO Checker (which includes optimizing content for target keywords as well as building internal and external links) to drive organic visibility;
- setting up accounts on various social media channels that are relevant to your niche (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.);
- creating content for social media posts;
- creating videos using a video editor tool to captivate audience engagement to new heights;
- joining thematic groups and forums like Reddit or Indie Hackers and connecting with people;
- building a website or optimizing what you already have;
- starting a blog or expanding it;
- sharing customer testimonials on your website and socials;
- filming videos and holding webinars;
- making a YouTube channel or podcast with the help of trusted podcast production agencies.
Obviously, there are lots of other things you can do. Yet the major point that you should always keep in mind is that whatever you're producing must bring value to your target audience. In other words, it's not worth sharing something just for the sake of it.
Startup Growth Strategy 4: Get to Know Your Audience Better
One of the best things about startup analytics is that you get a hold of valuable insights. If you take the time to actually use the collected data and analyze your findings, there are multiple things you can learn about your target audience.
Maybe you'll find out that you were going after the wrong market or segment in the first place. Or, perhaps, you can try to put a spin on your offer so it becomes valuable to a new adjacent audience or market without even changing the product much.
Important discoveries on customer preferences, dislikes, and requests can visibly move you forward. The bottom line is that you should aim for product-led growth. And in order to create something that'll almost be selling itself, you need to make your decisions and plan the product's development based on facts and feedback, not dataless guesses.
What should you look into? Here are a few points to consider:
- feedback from customers, teammates, and others (both positive and negative opinions count);
- user interaction paths (via heat maps and click maps);
- various performance indicators (like bounce rate, net promoter score, or average session duration);
- such info as customer location, gender, and age.
Startup Growth Strategy 5: Make Customer Experience a Priority
The aim of creating a minimum viable product is to validate hypotheses and test ideas. But now you can move on to building a minimum lovable product, which entails giving usability and quality a primary focus. This is a smart approach both for startup growth and obtaining loyal customers.
Your solution has to be seamless, so revise your UX/UI decisions, element placement, messaging, and overall look to deliver the optimal solution. Do your best to spend enough time on:
- finding possible glitches and fixing them;
- allocating and eliminating distractors, excess movements, clicks, etc.;
- looking into user feedback and studying data reports;
- doing everything you can to make your customers' interaction with the product pleasant.
Perhaps you can improve page performance speed or use more readable fonts. Maybe your sign-up form or checkout page has useless fields or steps. What if some things cause confusion or are illogical? May a tutorial, explainer, or hint help guide the user during their journey?
These were just several examples dealing with the interface, but to anticipate the movements of your users, you'll have to dig deep and improve accordingly. There are other things you can do to improve customer experience and show people you care, such as:
- adding an FAQ section;
- hiring someone for customer support;
- linking up a chatbot;
- utilise customer experience analytics to keep improving your customer service.
Lots of things can be tweaked to achieve a more pleasing design to the eye and deliver a usable and enjoyable product that people would want to return to and recommend to others.
Startup Growth Strategy 6: Start a Loyalty or Referral Program
Speaking of word-of-mouth promotion, finding a way to motivate your existing customers to advise your product to others is a wonderful growth strategy for startups. Provided that a person enjoys the quality of your offering, a recommendation from someone you know inspires credibility and trust.
A startup budget isn't as elastic as you'd want it to be. Therefore if you can cut costs on acquisition with the help of your loyal customers, this is an opportunity not to miss.
Multiple brands, both big and small, run loyalty programs or referrals to acquire a larger customer base. So, what can you offer in return? As most people like to get good deals, you can incentivize them by providing discounts, bonuses, promo codes, branded gifts, or other valuable perks for recommending you.
Startup Growth Strategy 7: Learn from Your Competitors
Don't think of this as spying or that you must copy someone else to succeed. But by doing some research, chances are that you'll get a better understanding of who your competitors are, how to stay afloat and outperform them.
For starters, you can try to uncover what worked for your competitors and what didn't. Of course, each startup's or company's path is unique. However, if you're in the same niche, some findings may help you mitigate risks, avoid mistakes, and possibly craft a better product development roadmap and overall plan.
What kind of things should you overview during a competitor and market analysis aimed at startup growth? To name a few, study your competitors':
- marketing channels;
- SEO activity (e.g., used keywords, internal and external links, etc.);
- how their sales funnels are organized;
- what they include in their campaigns.
Furthermore, you can jot down any possible roadblocks or flaws that you spot in their product, offering, or strategy and build up on that to enhance yours. Essentially, this is similar to the work you did prior to building the product during the discovery stage, and it's definitely worth continuing to keep an eye on your competitors as you grow.
Startup Growth Strategy 8: Set Up KPIs and OKRs
Finally, you won't go far if you don't track your performance and set goals. Ultimately, a startup must have an actionable plan and should aim at achieving targets and aims. Setting KPIs and OKRs is one of the ways to go, as such planning allows for breaking down various-sized goals and measuring how successful the team is at achieving them.
Metrics and various performance indicators can show you whether your chosen strategy is working or not, may signal you that it's time for a startup pivot, or can highlight trends and opportunities that you haven't considered earlier. By measuring and monitoring, you'll find out more about your target audience, the different kinds of weak spots you have, as well as whether you're allocating resources optimally.
Of course, untangling piles of data can be challenging. Therefore you must pick out only those KPIs and metrics that are suitable for your product. Also, utilizing explicit dashboards or other visuals can ease things up for a team that isn't too savvy with analytics, as it can simplify comprehension and turn raw data into actionable insights.
Startup Growth Strategy 9: Apply to an Accelerator Program
What else can positively influence your startup valuation? Surely, there are such growth paths as turning to startup accelerators. By applying to an accelerator program (like Y Combinator or Techstars) and getting selected, a business can skyrocket its growth within quite short timeframes.
Gurus in the field advise on how to mold the product best, provide guidance, and even investment possibilities. Such programs are usually intense yet may bring amazing results (e.g., this was the case for Stripe, Udemy, SendGrid, and many others).
Startup Growth Strategy 10: Establish Partnerships
But partnerships don't necessarily stop here. For instance, you may find many like-minded tech enthusiasts and connections as a result of a Product Hunt launch. Not to mention that you can also grow your viewership and subscribers and possibly find investors and clients there.
Or you could try networking in thematic chats, channels, forums, entrepreneur groups, industry events, conferences, and meetups to find companies to team up with. Regardless of where you find your partners to collaborate with, this growth strategy for startups may lead to great results. By providing mutual support and promotion, you can build up your reputation, boost brand awareness, enter new markets, and more.
Final Thoughts on Growth Strategies for Startups
Certainly, there are many more possible ways to achieve startup growth. For instance, you may consider expanding the business to new locations and markets, working on other product offerings, trying new marketing techniques, pouring more money into advertising, collaborating with influencers, and so on.
Sadly, there's no magic potion or formula that can guarantee success. However, if you're ready to scale and need a hand, Upsilon provides IT staff augmentation services for growth-stage startups and those looking to accelerate business growth with professional talent. So don't be shy to contact us to discuss your needs, we'll be glad to provide you with a consultation!