It’s no secret that the best way to grow your business is with strategic partnerships and acquisitions. The market is saturated with startups looking for partnership opportunities, so it’s harder than ever to get noticed. But not impossible — and not just for the right startups either.
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There are specific factors that make certain start-up partnerships more likely to be successful than others, such as how quickly the company can grow and whether it has a clear plan for going public. In this blog post, we’ll explore 5 growth-driving business development strategies for startups you should consider implementing if you want to see your business thrive beyond its early stages.
Hire the right people
Finding the right people to hire is important for all companies, but especially for startups. The hiring process for startups is especially tricky as founders often look for candidates with the skills they don’t yet have. However, hiring the wrong people can dampen a company’s growth and cost it valuable time. To avoid this, startups should focus on hiring people who complement their core product or service — and only after they have the necessary skills. As a founder, you can help those who are hiring by asking companies to interview you in the capacity of a hire. This can help hiring managers gain an understanding of your company’s needs and culture, and therefore make better hiring decisions.
Focus on your core product or service
Before partners and investors will invest in your company, they need to see a clear path to success. Partners and investors want to see that your team has a concrete way of achieving their growth goals. Put the focus on your core product or service, and you’ll create an opportunity for growth. All businesses have multiple lines of products and services, but rarely do they achieve revenue from all of them. Partners and investors want to see a clear business focus. Your focus is the product or service you will put all your time and energy into growing. At the same time, focus on differentiating your product or service from your competitors’ offerings, and you’ll create an opportunity for growth. While partners and investors want to see revenue growth and exponential growth, they also want to see that you’re not spending all your time on the wrong things. In order to stay focused, you must be crystal clear about what you’re building and how you plan to achieve your growth goals.
Build a network of influential users and partners
As a founder, you have a direct connection to your customers. Partnering with other companies to bring their products or services to your customers helps you scale quickly. Many partnerships take place before you even have customers, and a network of partners and influencers can help you find and bring on partners before they even have an idea of who they’d like to partner with. When you partner with other companies, you’re also building a network of industry-connecting people and partners. Partners can help you get connected with investors, and the connections you make now may open the door to more opportunities down the road. Building a network of partners and customers also helps you stay focused on the right growth initiatives. Partners can help you choose where to focus your efforts, and customers can provide feedback on how you can improve your product.
Create an ecosystem of growth-driving services and products
For years, investors have focused on software companies as being the primary growth driver for startups. This makes sense since software is the core building block of any business, and it’s an area that is easy to scale. Software can also be purchased or leased, giving it immediate revenue. However, it’s important to note that you don’t need to focus on one area of growth. An ecosystem of growth-driving services and products can help startups grow. Choose a few areas of growth, such as marketing and product development, and partner with other companies to manage these areas. For example, a product development startup could choose to partner with a company that handles marketing and product design. Choose a few other partners to manage other areas of growth, such as customer support and sales operations, and you’ll have a solid foundation for growth.
Find a partner who can accelerate the growth process
All businesses grow at different rates. Some may need time to prove that they have a clear path to revenue. Other businesses may need time to prove that they have a clear path to profitability. Some businesses may need time to prove a clear path to growth. Regardless of your stage of growth, finding a partner who can bring you from 0 to 100 in a matter of months can help you accelerate your growth process. Partners who can help you accelerate your growth can be found in any industry. For example, consider partnering with a company that can help you find or launch a beta or pilot program that can help you test your product before bringing it to market. Finding a partner who can help accelerate your growth process can dramatically shorten the time it takes you to expand your business.