Throughout my journey, I’ve encountered numerous entrepreneurs, including my mother, who personally, has been my pivotal role model in demonstrating the dos and don’ts of business. This experience, coupled with running a company in North America, has offered me unique insights into the variances of business growth in different regions, like Colombia versus Canada. Observing similar patterns in numerous tech companies in our cohorts, I felt compelled to share these insights.
This blog aims to help entrepreneurs set realistic expectations and identify key focus areas during their business growth, regardless of the industry.
- Market Research is Crucial: In today’s hyper-connected world, discerning true from false information, especially on social media, is challenging. Many entrepreneurs fall prey to the same mistakes by relying on assumptions rather than concrete data. Independent market research is vital for any business looking to grow, regardless of location. It provides an unbiased perspective on the market, helping you manage expectations and avoid the trap of confirmation bias.
- Understanding Your Client Profiles: Experience in your home market is invaluable, but expanding into new regions presents unique challenges. A common barrier to healthy growth is the entrepreneur’s ego, often leading to a late realization of market realities. Engaging directly with customers, understanding their needs, and adapting your approach is crucial. Avoid the costly mistake of forcing a product or service that doesn’t align with the new market’s needs.
- The Significance of Team Dynamics: Building a company with a small founding team is an achievement, but scaling up often requires a different approach. I always stress to founders the importance of having an advisory board or board of directors. Fresh perspectives are essential, particularly when entering new markets. They can challenge your assumptions and guide you through the nuanced dynamics of market expansion.
- Continuous Effort and Leadership: Growing a company demands even more effort than starting one. A common misconception among entrepreneurs is the idea that they can delegate all responsibilities upon reaching a certain scale. However, the reality is that the founder, often also the CEO, must remain actively involved, especially during market expansion. It’s a delicate balance between delegating tasks and maintaining hands-on involvement to ensure the company’s vision and standards are met.
- Defining Your Long-Term Vision: Expanding your business requires a clear long-term vision. Whether you aim to become a major player in the industry or maintain a medium-sized business for eventual sale, having a clear goal is crucial. Understand that your vision might evolve, and be open to change. Surround yourself with people who can contribute to and help refine this vision.
Belief in your mission is crucial, but so is the awareness that there might be better ways to achieve your goals. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for business growth. While it’s helpful to learn from others’ experiences, remember that your journey is unique. Embrace this uniqueness as you navigate the complex but rewarding path of business expansion.