The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted e-learning with many apps seeing higher use. E-learning platform Preply has also seen growth with the company now planning to hire 150 to 200 employees across its offices in Barcelona and Kyiv in the upcoming 12 months.
CEO and co-founder Kirill Bigai shared some tips on how startups can achieve success – especially at a time when so many others are collapsing.
1. Invest in the right people
Hire passionate, ambitious, and hard-working people who you know you can trust. If you’re interviewing a lot of different candidates, have a checklist with factors that are imperative to your business to make sure they meet the requirements.
“This is my utmost important tip. Each person you hire must share the same vision as you, and want to see the business grow,” said Bigai.
He added: “Another tip of mine would be to ask why they want to work for you and what they can bring to the table.”
2. Build trust
Build a credible reputation among your target audience by always offer great customer service.
“People want to use a business they know and trust. Be authoritative in your sector and a thought-leader,” said Bigai.
“Experience and first impressions are vital, so ensure people have an enjoyable experience when using your offering – they’ll likely return this way, while also giving you a great review.”
3. Personalise your brand
Share content written by your team on your website or blog, and post pictures on your social media platforms to help your brand seem relatable.
“Putting a face behind your brand is a great way to establish a connection with your target audience,” said Bigai.
“A brand that showcases real people behind the scenes goes a long way. Customers want human connection, after all.”
4. Set goals
Set goals, and use them as planning tools to ensure you keep moving forward and stay ahead of the competition, said Bigai.
“Setting goals is an essential part of business success, a strategy that has really helped Preply grow,” he said.
“Refer back to your goals every so often with your team, and if you have succeeded, set new ones.”
5. Stay on top of your finances
Stay on top of your cashflow, as this will give you the clearest indication of how your business is performing.
“Various strategies can be implemented if you’re finances aren’t great – however, it’s best to act sooner rather than later if this is the case,” warned Bigai.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If it’s your first business, don’t be too stubborn to ask for help from peers and mentors with more experience than you.
Bigai explained: “Speaking to someone with more experience and knowledge will help you learn and gain the skills you need to take your business to the next level.”
7. Take a moment to yourself
It’s important to take a moment for yourself, to reflect on where you are and how far you have come.
“As business owners, we spend a lot of time working around the clock, juggling many different tasks to ensure our business is always moving forward,” said Bigai.
“Very often we get stuck in the moment and forget to look at the bigger picture to help celebrate our success to date.”
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