Startups can be extremely risky nowadays. In fact, almost 90% of startups are doomed to fail, only because the pillars that support them lack in strength. Fortunately, not all of them end up in failure – some of them do things right and are able to grow.
Basically, there are four aspects of a business that can affect a company’s growth, and if these elements are well-developed your business is more likely to achieve its goals. Here we are going to discuss these four pillars that enable steady growth and help young entrepreneurs in managing their assets.
- Project management
- Knowledge management
- Sales management
- Customer support
Quality project management is essential for a startup and, truth be told, it never stops playing a crucial role in any line of work. Being able to deliver everything on time, and having a product that meets the demands of your audience is all thanks to good management. Furthermore, project management directly impacts how employees feel about their workplace, how motivated they are and how well they collaborate with one another.
In order to improve organization and to help their project managers, startups tend to rely on project management tools or online platforms. This type of software allows a company to have a more flexible approach to collaboration, it makes it easier for the managers to keep everyone posted, and it can ensure every stage of the project is neatly organized in terms of task distribution and deadlines.
It is also worth mentioning that project management entails a lot of responsibilities, and experienced project managers know just how many elements must be taken into consideration when tackling a certain project. You need to think about potential scope creep and how to avoid it. And you need to have a contingency plan in the event something goes south.
Furthermore, keeping track of all of the relevant stakeholders is another job that must not be taken lightly, since it can directly impact the project. Communications and follow-ups are also core elements of a successful project, and the less anyone assumes, the better. It should be made abundantly clear from the get-go who is responsible for what and everyone should know what they need to do.
Project management can only be effective if you create good working conditions, and with the right knowledge management system in place, you can easily foster efficiency and accuracy. Knowledge management is another pillar of a successful startup since it directly affects your employees and their growth opportunities.
With a good knowledge management system, you can ensure all of your sensitive data is safe, and that it can only be accessed by the chosen few. Additionally, you can archive your projects and easily fetch them in the event you need them for reference. In other words, you can use your past work experience to train new employees, help the current team do a better job and improve just about any aspect of your business.
By using archived projects you can analyze what works and what doesn’t, thus creating a superior product or service. You can analyze your users’ behavior and feedback and improve both the sales team and customer support team.
Your project managers will be able to ascertain how long it takes to complete a certain project based on the archived results of similar projects. Lastly, your employees can have meaningful brainstorming sessions online and keep track of each discussion and idea that comes up.
Much like with project management, you can use knowledge base tools to create a secure and valuable database that will definitely come in handy. You can use it for creating FAQ pages, ticket assignment in customer support and, as mentioned, for archiving valuable data.
A rather self-explanatory entry on this list – sales management. In order to generate income and to maintain the inflow of clients, you need to have a good sales management strategy. Unfortunately, not everyone is cut out to be a sales team member, so from the very start, you need to be selective about who will be entrusted with this role.
Luckily, today’s sales agents rarely need to leave the office, since sales can be done online, however, the social skills needed for a good salesman are still going to play an essential role. You need to have a team of people who will readily reach out to clients on your leads list, and they really need to be likable.
If clients like your sales staff, they are more likely to buy. This is why your sales staff needs to ensure they are not perceived solely as someone who is there to sell a product, but someone who is there to help your clients.
So, your team needs to be friendly and communicative, they do not have to be pushy to be successful. Even if they don’t close the sale immediately, they can give clients some space, and check on them later.
Even an unsuccessful sale can be insightful, as long as you uncover what went wrong. You need people who can adapt and change their approach if necessary, they must also be willing to accept constructive criticism and constantly improve their sales pitch.
Finally, in order to retain your customers, you need to be reliable and show them you are there for them. Customer support will be a final trial for any business because your users will judge you based on how you react in certain situations.
One of the most effective tools that customer support uses nowadays is live chat software. This tool ensures that you can easily be there for the people who visit your website, you can redirect them to a corresponding support agent if needed, and you can solve their problems a lot quicker. Also, by utilizing chat bots you can ensure your live chat is active even if no one is at the office.
It is important to solve problems quickly and with a positive attitude since this is the best way to get good feedback and recommendations. By utilizing the previously mentioned knowledge base, you can help plenty of inquisitive users by simply redirecting them to the section of the website that contains the answer or explanation to their questions.
Moreover, remember that customers do not like to wait, and thus it would be ideal if you can engage with as many customers as possible in order to trim down the waiting list. However, make sure you do not take on too much, so as not to impair your ability to communicate with them fluently.
These were the four main aspects of any startup business. As you can see, it’s important to rely on state-of-the-art technology in order to improve these aspects and to keep up with your competitors.