How to grow a business? 7 tips from Graffersid’s Founder and CEO, Sidharth Jain
How to grow a business? It’s a question faced by many entrepreneurs as it is one of the toughest things to do, especially when you are running an early-stage startup. That’s why we would like to share, ‘seven tips to grow your startup’ from Sidharth Jain, Founder and CEO of Graffersid, an award-winning website and application development company with a mission to turn dreams into reality.
Sidharth Jain, with his team, is disrupting the startup landscape by taking the start-ups from ideation stage to a successful launch. Products build by Graffersid have raised funding and received recognition on an international level. Thus, his tips can definitely help you in scaling up your start-up.
Here are seven tips to help you grow your business from Sidharth Jain of Graffersid via a question-answer session:
1. What must an entrepreneur do to avoid stagnation of his business?
“It’s very interesting to be an entrepreneur and run a successful business. It is not a tag or a title, but a way of living life. However, when we focus one thing for too long, we enter a comfort zone which is pretty tough to leave, and it can prove disastrous for the business. With the way the world and technology are growing, the competition is immense and the consumer demands are never settling.
Thus, I recommend you to follow a basic three-step process to stay updated:
I. A strong customer feedback mechanism:
At multiple stages of the product development, make sure to take continuous feedback from customers. Try to analyse the different channels that the customer used to approach you, and why did they choose you. How satisfying is the current process? And what would they have preferred differently?
There are some great tools to assist you with the feedback, I would recommend a few of them:
a. TypeForm b. Survey Monkey c.Google Forms.
In case you are not a lot client facing, then your website could give you a lot of feedback on how users are interacting with the UI. Some of the tools for that are:
a. CrazyEgg b. MockingFish c. LuckyOrange.
II. Vision sharing:
Founders set the foundation for the company, and the team should equally have the high vision. A company is not built in one day, hence every now and then, the founders should address all the employees and share what they have learned, what has inspired them, and what are the values that the company is built on. As a founder, you should be able to lead from the front and inspire your fellow co-workers, only then they would think at your level, and would truly be able to contribute for the success of the company.
III. Employee discussion session:
At Graffersid, once every month we have an ‘Employee Discussion Session’. For the complete month, people fill a jar with chits containing suggestions and problems. On a specific day, the chits are opened, and everyone is divided into two teams per topic; one in favour and another one in opposition. The team with more logical suggestions makes the decision. 80% of the time the topics are related to the company, and the level of suggestions and the quality of discussion never fails to surprise me.”
2. What entrepreneurs must do, when their start-up grows rapidly?
“We have built products for start-ups from more than ten different countries. Hence, I have had the opportunity to see the companies grow. Startups are very agile, and dynamic, but as the company grows you have to change. For a growing startup to be scalable there needs to be a process for each thing.
Moreover, an important factor to take care while growing is to focus on delivery rather than money. Money is very important, and a single major factor which can give you time and space to experiment. However, it is like approaching your crush, the harder you try behind her, the worse are your chances. Make sure your clients are happy, and your bank balance will reflect the same.”
3. Can you share a financial tip that can help an entrepreneur in levelling up his venture?
“If you are a startup in the service industry, then the growth is not directly proportional to your bank balance. A mistake that majority of start-ups makes. Startup’s Token Size with their total number of projects is directly proportional to the startup’s growth.
The Token Size = Bank balance / Total deliverable projects (service)
‘Token Size’ is your true reflection of the growth. If you truly want to take the company to the next level, then you must keep increasing your token size with time. If in 2017 your token size was INR 100 per service, and in 2018 it remains the same while your clients grew by a factor of 2, then you are not growing, you are just doing more work. For a company to grow your token size should increase by X% and your client by a Y% where X>Y.”
4. What are some common things that an entrepreneur must do differently to grow his business?
“a. Stay hungry and learn from anyone and anywhere. You can do this only if you are humble, and friendly with everyone you meet. There is something unique that each individual can teach you; it depends on you to learn from them.
b. Don’t be shy about what others will think. If you fail, they won’t be there to help you rise. So do everything with confidence, and stand for everything that you believe in.
c. Have goals to measure your success. Everyone, even the office boy, should have a goal to work for each month. As a human, we work best when we have something to look forward, and timelines work as great motivators. It will also help you in building a sense of setting realistic expectations for your strategies. The goals could range from delivery dates or a feature list to each employee’s ‘dream list’ or personal growth.”
5. How to make your employees embrace and accept the increasing workload due to growing sales?
“‘A company is as good as its employees’, a quote that we live by every day. We have the policy to give a bonus to employees, who take ownership of the given tasks, and for finishing the work before time. When we have crucial projects with a strict timeline, then on a successful delivery we organize team outings as a token of thanks. Humans are simple and always hungry for appreciation, pat their backs, and publicly recognize their efforts.”
6. Do you think venture funding is the only way to grow your business? If not, can you share some other ways?
“I personally prefer to keep company bootstrapped and grow it to a level; where you get to choose venture capitalist with whom you want to partner. This is what I have suggested to most of the start-ups funded by us. If you fall into the trap of raising around, then you just waste a lot of precious time, which you could use in strengthening your understanding of the business and customer expectations. In a startup, every day is new and brings lots of new lessons to learn.
This is what I have suggested to most of the clients for whom we have built web and mobile application who later got funded.”
7. At last, which habit can help an entrepreneur in finding success?
“I take a personal interest in every startup for whom we work. It has exposed me to founders who have gone from being bankrupt to crossing seven digits in monthly revenue. The one things all successful entrepreneurs have often said is: “There is no option to give up”. And when there are no alternatives, then the only way is straight ahead. If you think about it, it does make sense, if you keep trying, then one way or the other you will find a way to overcome the hurdles to see the silver lining.”
Which tip did you like the most? Do comment below.