4 Tips to Follow to Grow Your New Business

4. Apply to Programs That Support the Growth of New Businesses

Nowadays, we have organizations with programs that support the growth of new ventures. In the city of Ottawa, we have Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada, Export Development Canada, and Invest Ottawa Accelerator Hub.


These programs offer valuable assets that can help grow your new business, like fundraising opportunities, tax benefits, mentorship, and resources.


When I worked at Incuvers, I learned that good business support extends beyond just monetary support. Accelerator hubs like Invest Ottawa offer tutelage, funding opportunities, workshops, and access to co-op students.


By taking advantage of these programs, you are empowered to grow your new business with confidence.


When I was first connected with Incuvers, it was through the RBC Entrepreneurship Program. A program that connects entrepreneurial students with small businesses, and covers the wage cost of the students so that the small businesses can acquire more manpower with less costs.


By applying these 4 tips, you are building the foundations of your business in marketing, finances, and operations. These tips will help you grow your new business, and insulate it from periods of elevated risk and uncertainty.


But enough about me, let's talk about you!

Have you started a business?

What are some useful insights you’ve discovered?

97.9% of businesses in Canada are considered SME (small to mid sized enterprises), and 80% of new ventures tend to fail. Entrepreneurship is a growing profession in the realm of business, yet many innovative and passionate entrepreneurs are not aware of the troubles their businesses may face.


As a marketer who’s worked in non-profit, new venture, and public sectors, I’ve identified the major hurdles new businesses face and I’ve compiled key considerations that’ll establish a strong foundation and help grow your new business.


Here are the 4 tips: 

  1. Validate Your Market & Your Product
  2. Build and Release a Minimum Viable Product ASAP
  3. Establish Tracking Measures
  4. Apply to Programs that Support the Growth of New Businesses

Thursday 11th, June 2020

1. Validate Your Market & Your Product

You may have an idea, a solution that easily solves an everyday problem, but before building your business, the first thing to ask yourself is “is there a need in the market for my product?”.


To grow your new business, this stage is vital as it helps establish the key fundamentals for your product and guidance for your marketing strategies. In order to acquire clients, funding, or revenue, you need to validate that there is a need for your product and a market willing to spend.


Through research, you can find answers as to whether or not the value propositions of your product or service are desirable. To validate your product, you need to ask yourself questions such as:

Why does my product exist?

What problem is it built to solve?

What is unique about my product?


The answers to these questions can be found through focus groups, surveys, family & friends, and potential early-stage clients.


Moving forward, you know your product is viable, and that there is demand for it. But the next question to ask is “who am I selling to?”. By answering this question, you establish who your target market is. More importantly, you want to find key insights about your market such as their online behaviours, their cognitive disposition, their main channels of engagement, and their painpoints.


Once you’ve validated your product and your market, the viability of your business is supported. The data you collected will help you grow your new business as time moves forward.

2. Build and Release a Minimum Viable Product ASAP

One of the major blockades in this stage is reaching the market before competing businesses do. Transforming your concept into a real workable product can yield significant benefits in a niche / untapped market.


If the product category is new, you can reap the benefits of being the “First-Mover”. This means that your brand is directly correlated to any extension of your product. For example, let's look at Uber. Although ride-sharing was a small and existing market, Uber streamlined the ride-sharing market, and now any extension of C2C delivery ties back to the Uber legacy. This also means that as a “First-Mover” you dominate your competition in search engine results because your business was the first to coin a new idea.


To grow your business competitively, it is absolutely vital to build and release an MVP ASAP. By building and launching an early stage product, you can leverage your relationships with your early adopters to collect feedback that will improve continuous product-iteration; this is called the DevOps method.


At this point in your business, you want your development team to be highly engaged with your test users so that you can improve the user design of our product.

3. Establish Tracking Measures

One key tactic you can implement to help grow your new business is establishing tracking measures across all the channels that you use to engage with clientele.


For social media, you can track reach, engagement, and action by looking at in-house analytical tools. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have in-house analytical platforms that provides data. By combining content testing, and measurement tools, you can improve your understanding of the market, and build data-driven strategies.


For your website, you can use Google Analytics and Google Pixel Tag Manager as a way to measure the performance of your website, and where the majority of your site visitors are coming from. This can help measure the visibility of your business and it provides analytics that you can utilize to improve design for your site.


For email campaigns, you can use tools like MailChimp or HubSpot to track data like open rates and response rates of your emails. By tracking iterations to your email campaigns, you will begin to better understand how to resonate with your market.


All of these tracking tools will not only allow you to present transparent data to stakeholders, but also helps you evaluate how you can tweak your marketing to maximize reach to your target market. Developing strong and effective marketing campaigns derived from data will help grow your new business significantly.