On the face of it, the UK's startup scene looks promising. Last year, the Financial Times reported that UK startups had reached a new record tally. However, Enterprise Research Centre head Mark Hart despaired: "The UK's productivity puzzle remains as seemingly intractable as ever."
He observed that too many companies struggle in productivity or making jobs, perpetuating the UK's "problem with turning startups into high growth companies." How could your firm avoid the trap?
Create and communicate an appealing brand
Many of your favourite companies probably have a distinctive brand that helps them spread the word about why people should buy from them. Consider the example of Dove, the blue-and-white colour scheme of which helps promote its image of ethics and purity.
You could learn from such examples by cultivating a distinct brand before checking that employees right through the business take up this brand image to help communicate what your firm is about.
Resist cutting corners with the standard of work
However much you might feel under pressure when running your company, you can't afford to occasionally sacrifice the quality of the work which you provide for customers.
Adopting such a half-hearted approach could lead the customer to feel underappreciated and that they should look for the same products or services from another business that will deliver them to a higher standard.
Offer the occasional bonus or freebie
Naturally, everyone appreciates a little unexpected extra from time to time - and you can offer exactly that as a way of attracting new customers and helping to keep older ones coming back.
However, you can't expect such goodies to draw much attention if you don't make a serious effort to ensure news of these treats is reaching as many people as possible. Therefore, when you do start offering them, remember to promote them across various social media platforms and onsite blogs.
Pay attention to what competitors are doing
Rival companies can benefit yours in a range of unexpected ways. For example, their prices can help you to discern how exactly you ought to price your own products or services.
Meanwhile, if their customers are showing disgruntlement with certain aspects of a competing business, you can identify such aspects and endeavour to make your firm especially appealing in these areas. Taking account of other firms can feed into wiser corporate decisions on your part.
Surround yourself with a competent team
King of Shaves is a great example of a British business success story. Founder Will King told Start Up Donut that much of his phenomenal success at the helm can be attributed to great staff.
King - who, in 1993, founded the business that now trails only Gillette and Nivea in its UK market - insisted that "you'll need a good team around you". He added that such a team "frees you up to keep imagining where the business has to be in five years' time."
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