Start Smart, Grow Fast: 10 Strategies for Launching and Scaling Your IT Business
Growing a startup from scratch isn’t easy, particularly in the fast-paced industry of technology. Statistics show that 47% of tech startups fail within the first two years of being launched, and 70% fail within the first ten. Ultimately, that leaves only 30% of IT startups left standing after a decade.
This rate of failure is significantly higher than in many other industries, making the tech sector one of the most challenging to establish yourself in.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are hundreds of successful IT businesses that haven’t failed and that continue to thrive, and yours can be one of them, too. With the right strategies, finding your footing as a business and embarking on a trajectory of sustainable growth becomes possible.
Here’s everything you need to know about building a resilient IT business and scaling it up for long-term success.
Why Are IT Businesses A Challenge?
To ensure you future-proof your IT business, you need to know why so many in the industry fail and what the biggest challenges are. When you know the facts, it becomes far easier to move forward in a way that promotes success.
Some of the biggest challenges for IT companies include that they can be difficult to manage. There’s also a lot of competition, production costs can be high, and the outcome of a purchase can be hard to predict, which complicates customer satisfaction rates.
For this reason, it’s important for IT businesses (especially startups) to focus on the efficiency and benefit of their product or services—rather than what they are actually selling. We’ll expand on this a little more in the following list of strategies for launching and scaling your new IT business.
10 Strategies For Launching And Scaling Your IT Business
When it comes to launching any business, having a well-researched strategy in place is essential. Without a strategy, connecting with your audience and building profits won’t flow.
Fortunately, there are many different strategies out there worth implementing, and many of them can be incorporated simultaneously. But it’s going to take more than high social media engagement and launch hype to push you into stable, sustainable territory.
Let’s take a look at some practical, profitable, and growth-oriented strategies you can implement so that your business succeeds beyond launching and can scale up in the years to come.
Conduct deep, ongoing customer research
Your IT startup won’t perform well if it can’t strike a connection with customers. Consumers these days have so many tech and IT solution options that they’ll quickly take their business somewhere else if yours fails to deliver.
But chances are, your product or service has a place in the market, it’s just about finding the right people to receive it. Performing deep, continuous market and customer research is essential for launching something that your audience actually responds to.
Once you’ve found your audience, don’t sit back and relax. The tech and IT world changes all the time. You need to ensure that you stay on top of trends and developments and can continually retain your audience and grow it too. It costs more to bring a new customer on board than to retain one, so ensure you encourage repeat business by staying on top of your audience’s demands.
Surround yourself with trusted industry leaders
Don’t go down this road alone. Surround yourself with people that you trust from a personal and professional perspective. Mentors with experience in the industry will be able to offer you pearls of wisdom along the way that only time can deliver.
If you cannot connect with a mentor or leader in the IT industry, look a bit further afield. Perhaps you can connect with someone who can guide your marketing efforts or offer advice on employee retention or HR. Advice from anyone with experience in managing and running a business is always valuable, no matter what industry they operate in.
Set milestones and KPIs to track progress
It’s nearly impossible to track the progress of your startup without some firmly set benchmarks. The use of KPIs and milestones will help you to measure your success now and in the future. With a KPI you have a quantifiable measure of performance that can guide your actions and help you to determine what you’re doing right, and what’s going wrong.
Some of the KPIs you might like to set could include:
- Average revenue per customer
- Customer churn rate
- Customer acquisition cost
- Revenue growth rate
- Monthly active users
These KPIs will help you to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your startup. Plus they can provide insights and help you to make better data-driven decisions about what your business needs to do, and where it can improve.
Perform comprehensive competitor analysis
Another crucial bit of research you’ll need to have under your belt is comprehensive competitor info. Who are your main competitors? Why are they successful? How can you beat them?
These are just some of the questions that need answers if you are going to push past the startup phase of development and into the established-business one. Learn as much as you can about industry benchmarks and competitor angles to put yourself in a position to triumph.
You can break your research down into specific areas and focus on what your competitors are doing well in each one. You can also see where there are gaps in the market that they’re not filling, or how you can do what they’re doing better.
Train your customer support team well
Customer support is the lifeblood of many companies. And IT happens to be one of the industries that customers tend to require the most support for. Whether you’re offering email, telephone or live chat support, you need to ensure that your support team is highly trained, efficient, friendly, and helpful.
By training your customer support team well, you can enhance customer satisfaction and improve their trust and loyalty to your company. Plus, you’ll develop a culture of professionalism from the inside out.
Manage cash flow through a pro
Poor cash flow is the number one reason for startup failure. And even if you are well-funded, don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re above it. Outsource or hire a professional financial manager to monitor cash flow to avoid common financial pitfalls.
Diversify your products or services
A diversification strategy can help you jump-start sales and profit growth by expanding your customer base. This simply means entering new markets or introducing products in related areas to build brand familiarity and generate cash flow for long-term sustainability.
If you do stick to one product or service, ensure that it has longevity and that you can scale up with it. If you don’t you run the risk of your business becoming outdated or overtaken by those that offer more.
Know your strengths and weaknesses
Every business has its strengths and its Achilles heel, and your IT startup is no different. Don’t be afraid to unpack your pain points as a strategy for better understanding and overcoming them.
Knowing your strengths will also help you leverage them to your highest advantage.
If you’re not great at liaising with customers, ensure you have a strong team in place who can represent your brand. Or, if accounting isn’t your strong point and you battle with invoice processing, assign this task to someone who can ensure your suppliers get paid on time. This can greatly help in growing your business and ensuring that it runs as smoothly as possible from its launch.
Invest in a strong marketing plan
Marketing is essential for getting the word about your startup out and expanding the scalability of your business. Make sure your online presence is active and consistently nurtured to maintain a strong audience connection and enhance profit growth.
This is another area where you may want to invest in the services of a professional. Marketing is an entire industry all on its own and it encompasses many facts. You need to ensure you select the marketing channels that will best serve your IT business and attract the most attention. Social media is a great platform to start with, as are paid ads on Google, but even posting flyers in and around the area can help your startup to get noticed.
Create a strong, healthy company culture
What you put in, you get out. The social and professional dynamic that exists behind the scenes of your business can have a profound impact on productivity and success.
Fostering a positive, motivated, and communicative company culture will keep energy levels high and encourage your team of employees to stick around well past the startup phase of business. The launch of your business will be exciting, and you need to keep this momentum going. Celebrate every win, show your appreciation to high-performing employees, and lead with respect and empathy. In doing so, you’ll ensure that every employee remains engaged.
The Right Tools To Succeed
Launching and scaling any startup is difficult. IT businesses take a while to develop familiarity with the public, and can often experience serious funding issues in the first few years of activity.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. If you believe in your product and your team, all you need to access to the right funding and a solid vision for the future. With the structure that these strategies can provide you with, keeping your IT business alive and thriving will be much easier.