A startup’s path from being ‘typical’ to ‘extraordinary’ isn’t easy. There is no single formula or a secret for its success, but the entire growth phases are incredibly crucial to the startup’s real progress. Thus, without a smart growth strategy, it will fail to achieve its market fit. 

Have you ever been eager to know what it takes to strengthen your startup’s growth?

Here are five hacks, plain and simple, so that you can relate easily.

Carve out your niche but listen to the market.

The power of niche focus and clarity is easily reflected in success. Almost every top business giant made it big by embracing its niche. It serves you a well-defined position to stand out within the industry. 

Unfortunately, 9/10 startups fail because they cannot figure out the purpose of their product and its market fit. They chase an idea pretty quick, but down the lane, they burn out even faster. It is mainly because of the changing market demands, which can’t be ignored at any cost. 

Take a look at Orkut, for example. It nailed in the social networking domain, but not for long. Facebook scrapped off its market with elements of better usage. Thus, being a generalist with stagnant features doesn’t work anymore. In short, you must get your niche right and also be open to the newer waves of innovations

Make sure to implement a user-friendly UI.

Although there are billions of websites in the digital kingdom today, only 15-20% of them update regularly. Do you realize that approximately 96% of visitors to your website don’t agree to buy something. It speaks a lot about the lost opportunities for owners, leaving the least value for the potential customers. It happens mostly because you have a cluttered, hard to navigate homepage. It turns them off, creating doubts about you and your products.

To avoid it, have your website professionally designed. The most crucial goal here is to satisfy information hunger in visitors by educating them well. Get rid of distractions, keeping your contents current and relevant- free of typos and errors. Make it mobile-friendly, with real showcase elements like customer testimonials, self-customized photos, and a precise address and contact details. 

Try to avoid the price war.

The startup space is bursting with new players every day. And unless you are producing something really unique, you are probably not much different from your fellow market players. The ‘price’ factor is a serious deal here. If you compete on price, the chances are that you will be thrown out by the more established businesses, who can afford to lower their price to the point that you simply can’t. And once you are out, they will continue ruling.

But don’t worry! There’s a lot that you can do to avoid this. Let’s say, start storytelling about your products because people always want to know backstory secrets. It builds up an emotional connection, which, if done successfully, makes price irrelevant upto a point. You can also come up with some creative USP approaches that can make your customers’ life easier like no one else could. And last but not least, there’s the premium pricing strategy that encourages artificial price raising- just to create a notion that you are better in the market. Well, that’s how the brain works; try it sometime!

Don’t forget Employee Engagement.

When we speak about 360 degrees growth in startups, the arc that completes the circle is the arc of employee engagement. Startups thrive or die, depending on the abilities and dedication of their employees. Thus investing in them is an excellent way to invest in the overall growth. 

Your competitors are ready to pick up the best talent that you have. So, you cannot afford to lower the motivation level in your organization. Employee engagement paves the route to self-motivated, committed efforts. Employees feel free to share their ideas and opinions, leading to an adaptable, healthy, and productive environment. 

So what can management do to improve engagement in startups? 

Founders often call their startups their ‘baby’ and rightly so. It needs careful nurturing to grow into a successful business. First, you must assign the right job to the right person, considering the importance of intrinsic motivation. Second, acknowledge them often with unique, state of the art rewards and recognition solutions because yearly pay hikes aren’t always enough! Third, promote your work culture with proper training programs, encouraging crystal clear communication, respect, and utmost professionalism in the workplace. 

Never, ever give up.

Someone rightly said, “Founders have a special gene. The never give up the founder gene. That’s what makes us founders.” Of course, failure is a necessary step, but that doesn’t stop us from going for what we believe to be a revolutionary idea. 

To be on the safer side, track your startup’s progress, and get into the roots of the problem areas. Connect to people who can prove to be powerful allies in the long run. Master risk management and take advice from people who have been there themselves. Regarding finances, as long as you are adding value to your business, don’t worry much…but try and don’t get broken. 

AND most importantly, don’t get demoralized, no matter what.