May 13, 2016
Whether you’re fresh out of college or have been in the workforce for a few years, it’s never too late to begin your own business. However, startups are notoriously difficult to get off the ground. With an overwhelmingly large percentage of new startups failing in the first year, the real challenge is in finding that initial traction.
The good news is that once you find that initial traction, the whole process tends to gain momentum from there. Here’s how to help your startup be in that critical point to gain momentum and use it to jumpstart growth.
Start with Your Product
Forget about business plans and budgets for a moment. Without an awesome product, you’re not going to get your startup anywhere. Focus on building the best product you can before deciding to establish your company. This is one part of the process you absolutely shouldn’t rush.
For any startup, supporting the production of a solid product that consumers respond to are far more likely to promote positive growth. Go out of your way to test the product and give the general public a chance to give their feedback – this will only help you in the long run.
What is Your Brand?
Branding yourself is more than your logo – it’s every touch point with your customers. From social media, talking or the phone, or advertisements, they all make an impact in the long-term success of your startup. But to get there, it’s crucial that all of these forms of branding are unified.
The CEO of WB21 said, “Your brand is about literally delivering your voice to your customers. Every time your brand speaks, you have to imagine that it is coming straight from your mouth. Make sure that you take extreme care over this.”
You may understand what you want your brand to say, but this also has to apply to everybody else. Make sure your entire team understands what the brand goals are, and how each role plays a part in achieving that.
Networking is how you are going to create the business connections that will benefit your startup both in the short-term and in the long-term. Knowing the right people really is everything in the business world. They will turn you onto leads and provide you with sage advice as your business grows.
Businesses, for example, may start this process early. They may connect with various charities around the world from the start. Using the brand appeal of these other organizations, you are using association to offer instant credibility to both you and your products.
Networking isn’t something you indulge in once a year, either. This should be something you are doing regularly. That applies just as much to meeting new people as it does to reconnecting with old ones.
Be Aggressive and Don’t Scale
Scaling a product is startups often spend an increase of revenue to ensure a product’s successful takeoff. Unknowingly, many businesses aren’t realizing that they’re missing opportunities by doing this.
Some companies decide to aggressively recruit the right people early, providing the funds necessary to give their products a push. This manual start may be the difference between spinning your wheels and giving your product the push it needs.
Scaling certainly has its place in building a startup, but it can sometimes hold your company back because you’re preventing yourself from moving forward.
Build and Leverage Your Email List
If you don’t yet have an email list, you’re missing out. Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways of reaching out to your customers. To fully utilize this feature, you should be building your email list from the beginning.
Email marketing is important because it’s the top way of ensuring your customers never forget about you. Go out of your way to start building a list by promoting it wherever you can.
When you have a suitable number of people on your list, leverage them by doing the following:
- Contacting them. It’s shocking how many companies never send an email to their list.
- Make sure you’re giving more than you are receiving. Ask for favors, but make sure you are primarily giving things out, such as eBooks and exclusive content.
- Ask for opinions. That’s what your list is there for. It makes customers feel valued by a brand they care about.
Getting traction requires a lot of effort on your part. But it’s also something that won’t happen overnight. Make sure you have the fundamentals in place and see how much of a difference it makes.
What are your top tips for helping startups to get traction?
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