The 5 Key Stages in The Growth of a Start-Up
Even though the story of a start-up is unique, we notice that the development process always respects 5 key stages. Yes, the duration of the stages varies from one start-up to another, but the challenges remain the same and it is essential to understand them properly in order to continue your growth.
1. Ideation, Your Start-Up in Its Infancy
Ideation is the stage in which you will consolidate your idea. You think about your positioning and your business model. Let’s be clear: the conclusions you draw here will not be representative of what your start-up will be in a few months, but they are essential to move forward effectively. It is also from this stage that you will identify the different growth potentials for your Start-up.
Another important point during the ideation phase: you find one or more partners whom you have convinced thanks to your solid vision. The choice of partners is a fundamental element for the growth of your start-up. The key is to surround yourself with skills and traits that complement your own.
At this point, your start-up is financed by your own funds.
2. The Creation, The Birth of Your Start-Up
The first step in the creation is to formalize your start-up. Your start-up is now a real business. The creation stage is also that of the famous MVP: The Minimum Viable Product.
The idea here is to work on a prototype of your offer to test it as quickly as possible on the market. This is your beta version. You are convinced that your idea is exceptional. Now is the time to confront your certainties with the opinions of your customers.
3. Seed, Your Market-Proof Start-Up
This 3rd step, the priming phase, signals the start of your race for growth! From now on, you must do your utmost to generate attraction. In other words, do everything to attract customers outside your close network. 2 points are essential here: to be successful in the seed phase of your start-up, you must have an appropriate marketing strategy and constantly develop your product based on market feedback.
It is during this priming phase that you are likely to need to pivot. You had a clear idea of your offer and its value proposition, but the test of the market sweeps away all your certainties. This is the Product / Market FIT stage.
Finally, in order to generate more growth for your start-up, you must now recruit key management profiles to manage your technical department, your sales department and your marketing department.
4. Scaling, Your Growing Start-Up
This is where it gets really interesting! At this point, you were able to validate that your offer corresponded to a need. Now, the time has come to industrialize your user acquisition strategy.
It is during the scaling that the sustainability (quite relative of course) of your start-up is played out. You are doing everything you can to accelerate your growth. This inevitably requires the implementation of an innovative marketing and sales strategy.
Your start-up is growing at the speed of light. It is therefore essential to recruit and equip yourself with the right SaaS tools to cope with the increase in load.
Management is also a major issue at the time of scaling. The majority of your employees were not there when you created your start-up and you need to make sure they understand and carry your vision.
5. Expansion, Your Start-Up to Conquer the World!
Your start-up is now a scale-up. Your foundations are solid, your offer appeals to the market and your Marketing strategy has been proven. In short, you are now mature enough to enter new markets, usually internationally.
The main challenge here is to identify high potential markets and adapt your offer to their characteristics. This is a crucial issue because your failure in a market can directly stop the growth of your start-up. Here you may encounter technological, cultural and legislative barriers. To successfully invest in new markets, it is essential to be able to rely on a Marketing tool thought for the international market.