As a business owner, striving to increase your business’ audience and customer base is very important for the growth of the business. Having a plan of action to help your business capture a larger share of the market is what determines if the business will grow. This is why a growth strategy is important.
DFS Labs, an emerging market fintech investor and accelerator supporting startups in Africa with funding and strategic mentorship, organized a session centered around Growth Strategies. The guests at the session were Odunayo Eweniyi, the co-founder and COO of PiggyVest, Laurence Booth-Clibborn, a growth manager at Iwoca and Chijioke Dozie, the co-founder and CEO of Carbon.
What is growth?
As an entrepreneur whose main focus is building a product with core values, growth means getting the largest percentage of target customers to experience that core value as quickly as possible. This growth, however, should be moving at a steady and possible pace to achieve the set goal, and Chijioke Dozie added,
“Over the last couple of years, we have seen companies acquire growth through aggressive expenditure. As for us at Carbon, we’re chasing sustainable growth.”
Tactics And Tools Of Growth
The strategies that are put in place to record tremendous growth is regarded as the growth strategies of a startup. Whether it’s by employing paid marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, referral features, virtual events, and many more, entrepreneurs need to first develop ideas and decide what ideas to execute in their business.
Odunayo shared during the session that in Piggyvest, which is a secure online savings platform, 80% of the new users are as a result of referral features. Users that make use of the platform share their testimonies with other people and this encourages them to create accounts with Piggyvest.
“Users are the best ambassadors for any platform that I’ve ever seen.” – Odunayo Eweniyi
After brainstorming and deciding on the best ideas to go with in business, the next thing is to decide how to execute the chosen ideas and learn from the best to improve the next set of ideas.
How Does An Entrepreneur Decide If A Strategy Is Working?
In an example Laurence Booth-Clibborn gave regarding paid marketing, a business owner will need to have a clear cut goal to highlight what the paid marketing strategy is for exactly, and then create a way to measure success. If after a period of time, the strategy doesn’t meet up with the expected results, it can simply be turned off easily.
Also, if the strategy can be tweaked to suit the marketing purpose and achieve the desired result, then that is fine. However, if all possible amendments and brainstorming sessions are done and there’s still no desired result, the growth strategy should then be scrapped.
Some Major Growth Lessons Shared
As a fintech company just starting out with no prior experience, PiggyVest, according to Odunayo Eweniyi, had the mission to look for people that will give the best customer service they can possibly provide. And over the years, this service orientation which makes the team go the extra mile in order to satisfy a customer and make them feel special has resulted in major growth for the company.
In growth as a startup company, just like Laurence Booth-Clibborn shared, one needs to have an excellent team.
How does this happen?
By first employing people that are aware of their skill sets, and are not afraid of failure. Then, creating a team with members that feel invaluable and are working towards a common goal is also very essential.
Chijioke Dozie stated that Carbon actually started out as a manual consumer lender company, not a fintech as it is today, and growth was challenging at first because most users didn’t want to believe that the startup company could actually give out loans without face-face interaction.
“As we contained the losses that came in at the initial time of operation, we fixed it as we encouraged users to engage the other features that Carbon has to offer.” – Chijioke Dozie
At the end of the day, having a standard growth strategy and long term plans gives a startup purpose. Long term plans that will keep the company working towards goals that go beyond the present market.Like 10