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Four tips every startup founder needs to know before scaling up

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by Startacus Admin

tips before scaling up
Martin Sandhu, Founder of digital agency nuom, shares his four tips every startup founder needs to know before scaling up.

Whether you’re a start-up or a well-established company, owning and running a business can be all-consuming. To really make your mark on an industry, and get a new business venture off the ground, it can take hours of dedication and guts.

Founder of digital agency nuom, Martin Sandhu, works with ambitious entrepreneurs every day as they strive to launch their products into the world. Here, Martin shares his four tips every start-up founder needs to know before scaling up.

Map it out

Having spent months – and in some cases, years – working on a project, it can be all too tempting to release your idea before it’s ready. The excitement of seeing your vision realised is irresistible, but ‘jumping the gun’ can often be the reason your project, whether a website or app, falls flat.

tips before scaling upWhile you might think this is a bold move that will get you noticed, releasing your product too early could leave you with a near-obsolete platform that lacks functionality and good UX design as you scale up. 

It’s crucial you have a clear picture in your mind of every touchpoint and the ability to meet current and future demands in terms of volume. There are two key questions to ask yourself, the first, ‘who do you want to target?’ The second, ’what do you want your future users to look like?’

Once you’ve got this worked out, it’s time to flesh out who your audience is, or rather, who they might become. Like the wind, trends in the mobile app market are continuously changing. It’s your job to monitor how those trends are shifting, and map out how they may differ in future. 

With so many competitors vying for your audience’s attention, business leaders must be vigilant and prepared to adapt to succeed. Planning for growth is vital to the longevity of your platform – as the saying goes ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, and that much is true for developing, launching and scaling up a brand new app. If you’re not prepared, your app performance may stall and you could lose the audience you’ve worked hard to establish. 

Shaping the design 

A start-up’s time and money is precious, so it’s important to choose the right development agency. With the right team on board, they can help with a number of factors when it comes to creating your platform.

The first, is helping you to think about where you would like your platform to be in the next five to ten years. You need to consider everything from tips before scaling upthe platform architecture and design, to the colour scheme and which territories you are planning to launch in. Forward planning will set you up for future success by helping you to avoid pitfalls, for example, the connotations of certain colours overseas, some of which could have negative associations in certain cultures. 

They can also advise on which frameworks to use, so that your product can be easily scaled up and what functionality might be required to grow. This is the perfect opportunity to think about the ‘MoSCow method’; the idea that you can keep a ‘wish list’ of functionalities you want to add to your platform at a later date, but prioritise first the more valuable ones as you get your idea off the ground. 

Remember, don’t be afraid to dream big when it comes to growing your vision, even if you are just setting out on your creative journey. It’s good to have ambition for your digital product. When looking for a design and development partner, getting this vision across can really help the team build your product in the right way.

Testing, testing… 

As with most things in business, constructive feedback is an incredibly powerful tool.

As you near the end of your platform’s design, it’s the perfect time to prototype test before development begins. Set some time aside to conduct a workshop where potential users can feedback their thoughts on every aspect of your platform, from its UX design to branding.

In some cases, this user centric ‘test and learn’ approach can throw up some serious stumbling blocks, leaving you to take your idea back to the tips before scaling updrawing board. Don’t be afraid to pivot, particularly if this has been your idea from the start. We’re all guilty of sometimes getting too attached to our own ideas, so it’s good to take a step back, and, best of all, you’ll save time and money in the process.

If you’re new to workshops, we have built our own facilitation process, sherpa; a toolbox to help guide you through the process of developing your product.

Falling flat

Like with anything new, there is always a buzz around the unveiling of a recently launched product. Don’t underestimate the dreaded ‘start-up plateau’ though; where the buzz of your platform falls flat and your audience start to lose interest. 

Consumers today are easily bored and distracted by the latest fads, it’s vital that you pick up on this excitement immediately. You should capitalise on your active market quick enough by offering them something exciting – a new function or dynamic feature for users to enjoy – before something else catches their eye. This is where your earlier forward planning will come in handy. 

Respond to the feedback gathered during your workshops in order to hook your audience for longer. To really understand your market, examine just what draws in your audience, what features are valuable to them and how they are using your app. You can then plan what features you want to grow as you scale. 

Founder and owner of nuom, Martin Sandhu.


 


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Published on: 31st January 2020

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