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5 possible ways to grow your startup

Many founders think only about getting funded and growing the business themselves. They seldom realize that there are other possible and proven ways to grow.

Acquisition - buying up small firms with the necessary core competencies makes a lot of sense. This is a very fast way to grow as the acquisition not only gives us the skills and capabilities but also an existing cash flow and trusted customer base, with possible up-selling opportunities.

Mergers - Nothing wrong with it. Find the right minded and like minded competitor and create synergy. Probably the most difficult stunt to pull off in the business world, but can provide dramatic growth opportunities.

Franchise - Often ignored model where we are providing proven business opportunities to interested entrepreneurs in new markets. This leverages the brand image as well as proven business and operational models. But we need to really prove the business model with enough branches of our own before getting ready to sell franchise.

Strategic Partnerships - This is about identifying partners with complementary products and services and partnering with them. One of the best examples is Pizza and coke. The partner provides either a production base , marketing channels or sales & distribution network which gives us an immediate access to new markets. Selling through Amazon is one such example.

Divide and grow - This is about separating the different promising products and services and running them as separate businesses. Some of you may say that it increases overheads. I agree that it would, to some extent. However, the advantages are many more. It is much easier to position and brand the smaller companies into their selected niche markets. A lot of synergy is possible in the back end. The smaller size makes them nimble with low mgmt overheads.


Sridhar Chakravarthi Mulakaluri

Author of Multiplier 19, Startup Coach and people developer

My vision is a world without poverty. My mission is to develop people into entrepreneurs to generate more jobs and livelihoods. I have been coaching the entrepreneurs and helping startups and small businesses find their feet since 2007, in India, Europe and Africa. Most of the entrepreneurs struggle with various challenges during their startup phase I help them with appropriate solutions. I have been the national Coordinator for Indian Startups Network for the past 18 months and have been helping hundreds of Entrepreneurs in many ways. I have been working for 26 years in various domains and verticals and have played multiple leadership roles. I have launched two businesses earlier and am presently working on a new social business. I am working with a few educational institutions for setting up startup incubators.