Getting your startup business up and running is a daunting project, but it’s just the beginning of a long journey. Properly developing that business into something meaningful with a strong position on the market is something you’ll be doing pretty much as long as that company exists, at least if your goal is for it to grow properly. Growth can be defined in various ways, but once you’ve started exploring lean startup methodologies, you’ll find that they have the potential to address all growth-related aspects of your business.
Adapting to a Rapidly Evolving Market
Old business growth methodologies are rapidly falling out of favor, and this can be attributed to the way the market itself has changed over time. Everything changes all the time, sometimes even faster than on a daily basis, and you can’t expect the techniques you were using yesterday to still be relevant tomorrow.
That’s exactly what lean startup methodologies try to address as well. For example, by continuously gauging the opinion of your customers and striving to stay up to date about their demands, you can know how to approach the next phase of your own product’s development. You shouldn’t work with data that hasn’t been validated recently, as one of the core principles you’ll have to get used to rather quickly is that information can become obsolete in the blink of an eye in the modern world.
Thinking One Step Ahead
Many startups fail due to their inability to think a few steps ahead, and only focus on the problems at hand presently. Sure, developing a company from scratch usually throws a lot of work in your direction, and it can get overwhelming quite quickly, but you also have to keep an eye on the future. If you don’t, you will end up stuck in a vicious loop where every action you make only serves to improve the company in its current state, but sets it up for failure in the long run.
Plan your “production lines” in advance, well before they’re even built. Don’t fall for the trap of thinking that your company doesn’t actually have any production lines, either – many types of production work can be abstracted in this manner quite easily. Even something like software development can be seen as a chain of events connected to each other. The software is designed, that design is passed on to developers who write the code, and then submit their work to testers who do quality control.
You’d be surprised how much you can achieve with a change like rearranging the physical placement of the desks in a software company’s offices, for example. Reducing the time necessary for communication between important entities in the company can make a huge difference in the productivity of each individual link in the chain, and regular production companies have realized this a long time ago.
Always Keep Moving Forward
Last but not least, it’s important to always move in the direction of growth. Even if the current step you’re making isn’t completely aligned with that, the key is to look towards the future and ensure that you’ll end up in a good state later on. Any contribution to the long-term progress of the company should be seen as moving forward, and this is exactly what you should be aiming to do at every point as well.
This means that you should never sit idly in a situation that suits you, just because you’re comfortable enough with the status quo. This is stagnation and it’s the immediate precursor to failure, but unfortunately entrepreneurs tend to realize this far too late.
There is a lot to gain from applying lean startup methodologies to grow your business, and the sooner you establish a rigid system for the application of those principles across the whole organization, the better you’ll fare in the long run. Of course, this also assumes that all of your employees are on the same page as well, and that’s a separate task that you’ll have to accomplish along the way. But generally speaking, the sooner you secure that aspect of the business, the better you’ll be able to progress later on when things get really difficult.