The 7 essential steps for the growth of startups

Business and advices

In Cameroon, 1/3 of startups do not have a clear understanding of the growth process of these economic entities. This situation creates great unease and confusion between their operations, growth strategy, and financial approaches. Knowing how much growth we are with our startup and the next big decision to make is an essential point for the control of its operations and a better lucidity in the strategy related to financing and marketing. We have summarized them in 7 steps in order to allow startups know when they absolutely need to take the services of professionals to ensure their growth.

1. Idea stage

Every startup starts with an idea. No matter how you start, it's the cornerstone of any business. But unfortunately, not all "big projects" are new or innovative.

To avoid making a mistake when you launch a product or service that no one needs or wants, make sure your "million dollars" idea can actually make a difference. Do thorough research to see if your idea is new and can bring real added value to avoid creating a poor product/service.

At the idea stage, you are most likely to use your own means, because you are your own investor here. At this stage no marketing budget is necessary, you need to create a business plan, or what's better, consult an expert as a mentor. This will help you draw a clear picture of who your customers are, and your proposed value, define your cost structure, revenue streams, and many more essential elements.

2. Friends and family

Having a valid idea and starting its development with your resources is just the beginning. You need to grow your business and for that, you will need more money as your sources dry up. It's the turn of family and friends to get their hands dirty.

Typically, friends and family, and angels are the first step when the founder wants to market their product but needs outside support. With a business plan in place and new financial support, you can now work on a clickable prototype of your product. It can be a demo video or something more interactive that can give your customer an idea of what your product will be like and how people can benefit from it as is the case with Dikalo or 5 Nkap. At this stage, we are already projecting ourselves to the next stage which includes an Innovation marketing seed, the most interesting would be to work with a specialized agency.

3. Pre-boot phase

Pre-seeding is a phase in which the entrepreneur needs additional funds to support their start-up. For example, it is very important to proceed with market validation. From this point of view, this step is key because it provides answers to your questions:

  • Is your product really something your customers need or want?If not, how can you rotate? If so, are there any essential features it lacks?

To answer all these questions, you need to create an MVP, which is a proven tool for validating an idea.

MVP is a representation of your product with the necessary features to satisfy early adopters.

4. Startup stage

The name of the stage speaks for itself. You can imagine a startup being a seed, which was planted to become a flowering tree. This step suggests that you have validated your idea. Your product is already generating revenue on a regular basis and your startup is acquiring new customers. But if you want to grow faster, get bigger, and secure your position in the market, you may want to opt for the seed fundraising phase with specialists from the dissemination of innovations.

Seed-stage startups gravitate towards investment firms rather than individual investors. Business owners can attract investment with the help of these institutions. For example, VCs (or Venture Capitalists) can voluntarily provide money to startups. Plus, they can provide you with valuable experience, human resources, and office space, and even guide you through the next steps in developing a startup.

In exchange for financing, they will get a portion of your company's equity.

5. Getting Started

Early-stage startups are companies that have already determined what kind of business model is right for them. They generate expected revenue, have customers, and attract new ones, but they must evolve to meet growing market demand. At this point, they can start financing a series of equity sales (shares of the capital still available).

The early start stage includes the A series, B series, and other series. They are important milestones for startups on their way to resounding success. During this phase, to attract funds, you need to provide investors with proof that your startup already has a steady stream of revenue, customers, and a solid business strategy in place. You can have this expertise delivered by a specialized agency.

During the funding rounds, start-ups can count on the substantial help of investors to reach new heights, satisfy market demand or even conquer new markets.

6. Stage of growth

At the growth stage, companies bask in the glory of their success. Entrepreneurs have new options to secure the next fund – investors, and bank loans. Banks offer good benefits, for example, they can lend you money with low-interest rates, and they don't demand your company's equity in return. At this stage of growth, the marketing budget represents more than 50% of the investment of startups.

7. IPO

Your company has several offices, perhaps even outside your country. Your product or service has positioned itself so firmly in the market

that it is now an integral part of your customer's lives. And now it's time for the IPO or initial public offering. This is the last step in the development of a startup.

The IPO is the very first time that a startup (private company) has made its shares available to the public for purchase.

This allows startups to raise funds from public investors and it means that the company's private status becomes public and its shares become available to an unlimited number of investors. There are several reasons why you might consider this option for your startup. The IPO helps you attract long-term investments for your business, strengthens the prestige of the company, and offers you leading partners and new customers. The IPO allows existing shareholders to sell their shares or you can sell your shares on favorable terms.

Whatever reasons you might have, you can always opt for this option.


We've guided you through the seven stages of startup development. But it should be noted that not all startups should not, do not need, or will not follow the same phases. Some start-ups find themselves in the pre-seed stage without moving on to the next stage, while others successfully sell their business and start a new business. Each startup can have its own mode of development.

But without adequate funding, which is the main means of survival for startups, you don't last long in the market. You will need to attract investment at least at the initial stages of the startup's development.

whether you are a startup looking for growth or simply need to surround yourself with experts for your growth surround yourself with agencies like ALM Creative Studios.

21st September 2022