New start-up companies are emerging in Turkey every day. As an extension of this, the culture of entrepreneurship, which has dominated the American Silicon Valley for 30-40 years, has started to show itself in Turkey as well. Especially with the efforts of the last 5-6 years, this trend is becoming evident with the great efforts of both public and private sector organizations and new generation entrepreneurs. In this direction, we will look for an answer to the question of how to grow a business from scratch.
How can I grow my business?
There are government subsidies for many new ventures and businesses established today. In addition, angel investors and mutual funds are also offered to entrepreneurs. In addition, former entrepreneurs who established a business from scratch and achieved significant growth in a short time, but later transferred their companies, regained a large capital power and invested in the entrepreneurship ecosystem again. As a result of all this, new businesses are sprouting every day. They give their first leaves by rooting out from under the ground, and new entrepreneurs and businesses are seen in every field (software, e-commerce, defense industry, textile, design, engineering, etc.).
However, this situation increases the competition in the market and reduces the chances of success of these new businesses. That’s why a significant number of these new ventures will cease operations in the near future. Of course, there will be successful initiatives that will continue on their way. At this point, successful companies that have survived are faced with a huge problem: How to grow a business from scratch, how to move things up?
How to Grow the Company?
The most important thing to know is that there is no single solution for success. There are many ways to grow a company from scratch. The 11 basic answers to the question “How to grow the company?” are as follows:
Exploring Customer Need
Designing the Solution that Fits the Customer's Need
Hiring people who can walk the same path as you / have the same dreams.
Not falling in love with their product/service.
Market – don't hesitate to experiment to find product fit
Being in a scalable business: Multiplexing its product and service by standardizing it
Must understand financial affairs and finance
Chasing more first customers than investors
Investing in Digital Marketing
keep your motivation high
Working hard and tirelessly
Discover Customer Need!
Discovering customer need is a difficult action. For this to happen, the customer must first have a problem. You should have a suggestion that solves this problem. Products and services that do not come out of the customer’s need result in failure at a rate of 99%. The important thing here is to be able to communicate with customers (or potential customers). Understanding the specific needs and expectations of these customers is key. You can discover customer needs by examining the details, not hearsay and general information.
The solutions you will find will be hidden in the details. To find this detail, it is not enough to look over the clouds, you have to jump with a parachute and land on your customer’s business life and social life and live your life with him. This way you can discover your customer and find their problems.
Design The Solution That Fits The Customer’s Needs!
There is a big difference between finding solutions for each customer’s needs and finding solutions for your customers’ common needs. Finding a solution for each customer’s needs both risks the quality of the service provided and after a while, things get stuck. Suppose you interviewed all of your customers and learned about their problems; They will all come up with a different problem. Finding solutions to all of them means solving instant problems. But if you keep doing this routinely, you’re putting your business’s success at risk. Instead, you need to go through the common problems of your customers. Designing a solution to the majority’s problem should be the first move for you and your business. In this way, you can gather all your customers at the common satisfaction point.
If the need your customer expresses to you is the feedback of the customer who is most open to innovations, you can take action without waiting. In addition, if this need is a solution that can solve a problem of many different people at the same time, you can launch your product/service on the market.
Hire people who can walk with you on the same road / have the same dream!
Here we go from “you” to “you” by personalizing our address a little more. The first idea we will give in this direction is; hiring people who can “walk the same path with you” for your business that you have dreamed of, designed, planned and founded. Do not hire anyone because they are very competent and knowledgeable. Don’t hire because you have a lot of previous experience or accept your money. When starting a business, first hire people who have the same dream, vision and passion as you. At that point, education, knowledge or competence do not matter. Because the person who is chasing the same dream as you works day and night to expand that business with you, improves himself, completes his deficiencies and walks side by side with you by adapting faster than other well-equipped people, giving everything without fear of trying.
When you first start your business, what you need is not a big chunk of knowledge; energy, enthusiasm, excitement, holding on to the same vision and dream of the future. The moment you find this, don’t miss it because that is exactly what will lift you up.
Entrepreneurship used to be known only as the move of young people studying at university or newly graduated. But now everyone in the world can have an idea at any age and works with great passion to bring their own ideas to life. Even well-paid people with a lot of work experience may want to pursue their passions and start a business from scratch. The key to success here is truly wanting and pursuing it passionately. That’s why choosing people who can share the same excitement with you when you set off will be the right move!
Don’t Fall In Love With Your Product/Service!
Whether you’re a tech entrepreneur or starting a bakery, the moment you fall in love with your service or product, you go blind. You will not be able to find the solution that makes you you, that will make a difference, or that meets the customer’s needs. Because as soon as you fall in love with your product, you will not find any flaws in the product and you think that everyone will like and want that product just like you. The important thing here is the customer, but once you fall in love with your product, you produce it for yourself, not for the customer. This can sometimes bring with it a lack of demand.
For example, your goal is to produce a very solid aircraft. You built an airplane with the strongest materials, even if a bomb explodes next to it, even a glass does not crack. But there is a problem; the plane does not take off. Since you used heavy materials to make the plane strong, it became impossible for the plane to fly! You achieved your goal, yes it was solid, but you destroyed the original purpose of the plane. For this reason, when starting the business, products / services should be developed by determining the route in line with customer expectations without leaving the line of the main purpose. Just because you fall in love with the product doesn’t mean thousands of your customers will. This belief will blind you and lead you to failure. You have to make your customers fall in love with your products/services, not yourself.
Feel Free To Experiment To Find The Market–Product Fit!
Do not hesitate to experiment to find the fit of the product or service with the market. What we mean here is that one of the most important mistakes of entrepreneurs is that they think that they can make a big difference when they develop the product or service that comes to mind first. Even the smartest and most successful people in the world do not have such a flawless development in their entrepreneurship stories.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, was in a one-table, one-chair office in 1999, packing and serving products with incoming messages and telephone calls. Also, his own career is full of failure stories. Even if there is a chance of one in a million, there are definitely situations where the first thing is successful. However, in general, it is unlikely that a product will be successful with the first form that comes to mind. So, in order to grow, you have to change your initial mind. What the market demands and the value your product provides must match. Going to the market, not the market for you, should be your first move for success. At the point where you bring your product and the market together, success will knock on your door.
If you do not fall in love with your product, it will be easy for you to give up on the version of your product that cannot be found in the market and improve the current version. Do not hesitate to change the focus of your service, as you get a signal from the market, evolve your product after that signal. In this way, you can create value for your customer and service. For example, let’s say you are planting seeds in your soil. You scatter many seeds, but not all of them grow. It can give 5-6 springs like a bouquet from a certain place. But sometimes a branch is divided into 5 by 6. That’s why you prune because the plant’s energy won’t be enough to grow all the branches. You leave one main branch so that it can serve for growth with the energy it will receive from the sun. You don’t cut the root, you cut the side branches so that the main branch grows.
Become a Scalable Business: Multiply Your Product and Service by Standardizing!
If you want to grow, you must be in a business that can grow. If your market is in a niche and limited area, your growth opportunities are limited. For example, if you are swimming in a pool, the place you can go is limited to that pool. But if you’re swimming in an ocean, your boundaries disappear.
At the point where the service or product you produce is scalable, your limits disappear. For example, you made an initiative in the field of technology. Let the product you offer be an application that does not require location, can be used anywhere, has every language option, and has a simple interface. Because your borders are gone and your market is scalable, you have a wider business opportunity for growth. Because there will be no need to speak a specific language for your product, be in a position or make an effort. But if you are only in a local job, you will be limited to that job. No matter how hard you struggle, you grow as much as your environment, you cannot go further.
So be a scalable business to market and appeal to everyone who is your target audience without the need for customization by standardizing and simplifying your product and service. With this method, you can get a million responses by spending your effort once.
You Must Understand Financial Affairs and Finance!
It may seem unpleasant to some entrepreneurs, but regardless of your education, you must understand financial affairs and finance. All your operations revolve around money. Unless you understand the numbers, you cannot grow even if your product is a star product. The way to develop and grow your company is to understand finance and finance. In this context;
What is capital?
What is equity capital?
What is profitability?
How is the profit-loss?
What does cost of money mean?
You should know the answers to questions such as so that you can see the future of your business.
Based on the relationship of money with time, you should know that the payment term is as important as the price of the job itself, depending on the situation. You must be aware of the purchasing power of money. You should know that companies go bankrupt after they reach a certain point, not because of unprofitability, but because of not being able to return the money (cash flow problem). At the point where your skills are not enough, you should get support from people who know the job. Therefore, an entrepreneur who does not understand financial affairs and finance may be successful in the beginning but will not be able to avoid bankruptcy in the end.
Follow the First Customer More Than the Investor!
In the first stage of entrepreneurship, money can be a huge problem. Liquidity, human resource, machinery, mould, production, office etc. plays a role in meeting important needs. It might be a good idea to pursue investors to fund them. But it should not be forgotten that there is always more than one way to do something. For example, more traditional entrepreneurs attack customers before investors. It sells its first product and finances its operations from the customer. receives an advance from its first customer and presents its first product. It produces its second and third products with the support it receives from its close circle. Then he takes someone with him, produces more and starts to grow in this way.
People living in the world of technological entrepreneurship, on the other hand, complain about not being able to find an investor and are constantly chasing investors. Therefore, it forgets the value it creates, the customer and the real purpose of its work. Most importantly, he spends years chasing the investor and loses his enthusiasm. What you need to do to avoid this; It is to present your first product with pre-order or pre-advances by finding and convincing customers who may be more inclined to technological innovations, called “early adopters”. So you create value in the customer. The investor only provides you with finance. Value is a bond formed between you and the customer. For this reason, even if finding an investor seems like the first step of your business, this is a mistake. Your main target is always your customer, and what you should pursue is your customer, not the investor in the first place.
Invest in Digital Marketing!
In today’s world, whether you are a traditional entrepreneur or a technological entrepreneur, you need to invest in digital marketing. This investment does not necessarily mean spending money. In addition to financial investment, you should also make intellectual and temporal investments. No matter what happens, life is digital, that is, the whole world is going through digitalization. From the bakery to the market, from product design to technological initiatives, all sectors touch digital. For example, we are in the pandemic period and we do not prefer to go out most of the time. What are we doing? We order from food and market applications to our home. Even that is digitalization for a business. Maybe years ago, we were thinking about what a patisserie could do in a digital environment, but nowadays we even look for a patisserie in a digital environment.
Digital is not just advertising. For example, by doing SEO work on your website, you can better express the value you create for the customer’s solution and stand out. There are many open resources available today that you can implement without even spending money to add value to your website. Besides your website, there are many free social media networks where you can express your business. You can promote your business and present it to people by uploading videos to YouTube, sharing on social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.
Your investment in digital marketing is important to your company’s growth. Social media, where almost everyone spends a minimum of 2 hours a day, is the right place to increase the visibility of your products and services. Moreover, most social platforms are free, which is a good incentive for you to step into digitalization.
Keep Your Motivation High!
Life is never a rose garden without thorns. Therefore, entrepreneurship and the business world are not like that. It is very likely that you will have problems with your customers. Also, you will have problems with your suppliers, the rule makers will make you angry with the rules they set, your employees will create problems, the job you want will not be the way you want when you want it. But none of this should demotivate you, because the so-called entrepreneur is the one who motivates himself. If you can provide your own inner motivation, you can be successful in entrepreneurship and grow your company. Entrepreneurs who cannot provide their own motivation and keep it high fail. Of course, there will be ups and downs, there will be problems and maybe the problems will not be solved.
Business people who have achieved success over and over have a saying: those who keep their motivation high in the business world will eventually succeed.
High motivation should always be your policy to deal with the problems in the best way. In this way, you can always see ahead, do not despair and continue without giving up for the success you want.
Work Hard and Work Hard!
You can have many reasons to work hard. A few of them are:
Grow your company
Making your company successful
Climbing hills that seem tough
make your first sale
Getting the first customer
Make a sale for a hundred, sell a hundred for a thousand, sell a thousand for a million
To get more profit.
There will be many obstacles that will intimidate you, but you must overcome these obstacles without losing your own motivation, without giving up, with perseverance and with a high level of hard work, focusing on the things that create value.
According to research, you need to give 10,000 hours of your time to specialize in a job. So, the harder you work, the more you specialize in your business, the more you specialize, the more customers you get. The more customers you gain, the more your company earns.