By Babatola Akinpelu 
Guest Writer, The Xpress Train

So you have been able to get to the “Grow” part of the “Build, Launch & Grow” process of a startup, I would like to say congratulations. But unlike the previous parts of the process, this is perhaps the most daunting part. You have been able to make your idea, with the help of mentors and investors, a worthy business. That is good and all, but I have to inform you that you can’t afford to rest on your oars yet.

Building and launching a startup or any business is not like a growing one. The task is difficult but it is completely necessary. It is the only way through which you can make your startup idea sustainable in today’s ever-changing market. The scalability of your business comes into play here and not to pressure you or anything, but if you don’t get this right, you might end up like Blockbuster, a popular brand from the past and nothing more.

So how do you go about growing your business?

The first thing to do is to work on what you have on ground. You have to improve on it as much as possible so that you can help it grow even faster. You can do this by adopting capable software, apps, and programs that will help operations move faster. This could be a simple payroll app that will help you with salary payment or maybe a tool that will help you organize the entire process even better. You can also try to boost your online presence as well as your social media presence. This will help boost your customer database while also improving customer accessibility standards. Leverage on email marketing to also improve customer relations and you will find that your startup will get less negative reviews as time goes on.

Now it is time to go back to the drawing board, or in this case, the business plan. If you didn’t have a business plan before, it is a miracle you got the business running at all. Once you have boosted your online presence and customer database, you have to start making necessary changes to the original business plan.

Increasing the capacity of your startup is the next step. If your services were only available for seven hours before, then work on making it nine or ten now. Your staff strength was thirty before, try to get it to fifty. This will not only boost productivity but also boost customer faith and satisfaction. As you do this, you have to make sure that you work hand in hand with something, perhaps the current technology trend. This will give you the foothold you desperately need in the bigger market.

Next, you have to up your sales. Thanks to your already established customer base, you know what people want. Now it is up to you to get more of that product. This is easier than most of the other steps but it is not exactly easy. Study your customers and I am sure you’ll get it.

Once you have this down, you can then work on boosting your revenue stream. With more revenue streams, you can continue to grow your business as much as possible. It is important that after each step that you take time to analyze if what you are doing is doing more good than harm. Carry out regular business analysis and you will be able to avoid traps. As you do this though, the most important thing is to remember to have as much fun as possible.