If you’ve made it the first few years into your startup business’s lifespan, you’re probably breathing a sigh of relief right now. After all, getting any new company off the ground is a monumental effort that shouldn’t be downplayed, and if you’re entering into your third or fourth year of business you must be doing something right!
At the same time, however, making it to almost five years of business may be cause for reflection as you start to think about ways that you could improve your company moving into the future. While there are undoubtedly some things that you’ve done well if you’ve made it this far and still have customers, you may, too, have a few mistakes or missteps that you’d like to correct. Here are just a few suggestions for launching the next chapter in your startup’s lifespan.
Find a new framework for productivity
Especially if you’re new to the business world, you may not have a clear strategy when it comes to how you do business. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re ineffective as a leader (since your company’s still kicking, you obviously aren’t!), but it could mean that you have room for improvement in how you accomplish tasks. One way to get ahead in this area is to begin to use OKRs, also known as objectives and key results. OKRs are the same principle used to help Google run, meaning that it’s definitely worth considering for your startup if you’re interested in getting more done.
Put in its simplest terms, OKRs help you determine your strategic priorities by identifying an objective and what success looks like when that objective is achieved, the key results. This helps you align each department’s goals with your broader business goals, provide accountability, and create more focused agendas and worklists. If all of this feels a little tricky to understand, software solutions and primers like the ones available from workboard.com can help you begin to implement OKRs in your business. Best of all, WorkBoard offers up-to-date, real-time analytics that can further inform your goal setting as you get the hang of the OKR process.
Re-tool your brand
If you cut corners when branding your business the first time around or have just grown to do more as a company, now may be the time to start planning a rebrand. Whether it’s updating your color scheme, building a new website, or making a bolder new logo, how you handle your brand identity is a crucial part of how customers view your business. These sorts of efforts extend from your website tag line to your brand name and even your social media accounts, where a business like Wendy’s is a great example of having a strong brand voice.
As you work to plan your rebrand, it’s crucial that you avoid some of the top rebranding mistakes. Don’t get too precious about your company’s history and don’t skip doing the necessary research on your target market. A successful company, even a small business, will let more than one individual be a part of any rebranding, letting other team members weigh-in to get a diversity of opinions.
Plan with an eye towards expansion
As you think towards the future, it’s just as important to figure out how you can make more room internally for new employees, departments, and teams. Perhaps when you started out you were outsourcing your tech support to another company, but there would be a value from bringing that kind of IT service in-house. Or maybe there’s another small business that you’d be interested in acquiring if you could work out the right deal. By thinking about the different ways that you can continue to grow, you’ll constantly be finding ways to improve and boost your profits.