Starting a business can sometimes be the most daunting route you’d ever take in your life. At least, it was for me. There were period of highs and some periods I only felt like giving up. These hard times were simply roadblocks I had to overcome to get to where I needed to be in order for the startup to run autopilot.

Getting to that place required me to have specific business moves I initiated. And I always apply these business moves whenever I want to start a new startup.

Here are the five business moves that should get your startup well on the way to success this year.

  1. Get To Know Your Customers Better.

Gain a deeper understanding of what your customers want and expect from you as a service provider. Carry out periodic surveys and researches to find out how you can serve them better.

To do this, you must first develop a customer persona. There is a need to know who your customers are, where they meet, what their problems are and what they want as solutions.

Having a customer persona set up for your business will allow you know all these things and also let you know the best method to acquiring them.

When you get a customer persona set up, you’d actually be getting the customers needs met and by doing this, you achieve higher sales and better results.

  1. Invest More In Productivity Technology.

Successful businesses the world over have caught on to the fact that technology in more ways than one is good investment to make where productivity and profitability are concerned.

In many ways, investing in smart technology helps you work quicker, smarter and more efficiently. Though it can sometimes be expensive, investing in the right technology that is relevant and useful to your business is definitely an investment worth making.

So research new automation technologies for your startup. This could be filing or data entry software, a leave tracking application for Human Resources (HR), or a salary management software system etc.

Whatever it is, your business will be more efficient because of it.Because the best route to follow in becoming a successful business owner is to automate virtually every aspect of your startups from the start.

  1. 3. Set Out Your Goals, Sub-goals and Timelines.

Most times, startup goals are documented in a lengthy business plan and remain there. As a company, especially a startup company, your goals must be active at all times.

Your goals should have sub-goals i.e. the smaller steps required to achieve the main goal and most importantly, timelines to monitor those goals.

Setting out timelines helps you keep an eye on your goals and shows you what goal you should be working towards at any given time. As each goal is achieved, new ones are to be set.

  1. Pay More Attention to Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) Rules.

The internet is getting more crowded everyday on an unprecedented level. The only way to triumph above the crowd of competitors is to adhere to the Google ranking factors and following them to the letter.

Adhering here means developing a White-Hat strategy for your startup that won’t result in Google banning your site in the near future when profits have started to creep in.

5.Do Marketing Like Never Before.

Put your brand out there! Businesses sometimes do not put enough emphasis on marketing. This is the opportunity to sell your brand, to tell the world about how great what you’re selling is.

Google, Facebook and Rolls Royce are already super well-established brands that could probably get away without much marketing, but they still do; you simply cannot afford to be forgotten.

As a startup, there is even more marketing to be done. Take all the opportunity there is to sell your business. Get a website for your business, invest in SEO, and grow your brand. Go large scale if you can afford it – television and web advertisements and radio jingles or small scale –local newspapers, fliers and the word of mouth.

Just do it.

The best way to set about doing this is ensuring that there is an allocation in the budget every year for marketing.

6.Hire Smart.

I understand what it is like to want to do everything yourself especially when your startup is still new. But you don’t have to. The smart thing to do is to delegate effectively so you can focus on the most important things.

Fortunately, there are now lots of opportunities for startups to take advantage of a pool of labor that is flexible, smart and affordable.

I am referring to the large pool of freelance labor and contract employees across various industries. Freelance workers are equally educated and as experienced as permanent employees, they just choose how to use their time.

However, their flexibility somewhat impacts their bargaining power, which serves businesses well.

Startups can take advantage of this pool by hiring freelance labor for the roles and tasks that do not require day-to-day office attendance – the work still gets done but is cheaper, flexible and altogether more cost-efficient for your business.