7 Secrets to Help Your Startup Thrive in Spite of Strong Competition

March 7, 2017

2:20 pm

Starting a business has never been easier or more competitive. With a strong digital marketplace, entrepreneurship has become accessible to many different people who previously would have struggled to get a business off the ground. So how do you make your startup stand out and differentiate from the rest of the crowd? These secrets will help you do it right.

Solve a Problem People Care About

Too often, innovators come up with a great solution to a problem that people don’t really have. An example might be a lot of the products that are created for young babies. Many gadgets and gizmos designed to make a new parent’s life easier end up being more complicated and difficult than either going without them, or using the same alternative that has been used for years.

Before you start developing a project, make sure that the item you deliver will solve a problem that customers agree they have. Marketing will only take you so far on this point.

Up Your Content Marketing Game

Many businesses are on social media, but outside of a few big players, not that many have really grasped the importance of content marketing. By sharing information with your customers in a way that doesn’t push for sales, you establish yourself as an expert within the market, and increase customer confidence over time. This makes them more likely to choose you down the road.

If there isn’t a company in your niche with a handle on content marketing, you could make a lot of waves by being the first and capturing the attention of your audience.

Excel at Customer Service

Online companies sometimes think that they won’t need to spend much on customer service; they couldn’t be more wrong. All businesses have customers, which means that all businesses need to have someone who can, quickly and reliably, address customer concerns, respond to questions or problems, act upon reviews that are left, or reach out to customers to encourage them to leave a review in the first place.

Depending on a number of factors, this might be an entrepreneur themselves, or they might need to hire someone to handle these pieces.

Differentiate Your Product

If you are making yet another cloud-based accounting tool, for example, you need to understand what is already on the market, what you are doing differently from other companies, and why your potential clients are going to care.

Once you understand that, you have the basis of your entire marketing campaign – showing them the problem they have, and following up with how you’re going to solve it.

Look for the Best Online Marketplaces

Everyone knows about Etsy and Amazon sellers. These can be good places to sell your items, but it can also be difficult to stand out, since so many other sellers are already saturating these markets. Another interesting option is TrueGether. With no selling fee, this is a great alternative to eBay; you can also list items in multiple channels, like Amazon and Google Shopping, from one interface. This makes it easier to change or update information later.

Browse for different channels and tools to help making online selling easier for your startup.

Go to Your Customers

If there was ever a time when customers found companies on their own, that time has passed. The challenge for any startup now is to reach out to customers and engage them where they are. This means you need to know what your potential audience is already doing, online and in the real world.

You need to place ads and communication in areas where they will see it, or else you are just shouting into the void without any real benefit.

Make Sure You Deliver

This really ought to go without saying, but all the marketing and messaging in the world isn’t going to do your startup any good if you don’t ship your product on time. Because so many things are available instantly, customers are often less willing to wait for something, if they can’t understand why they should.

If your product is handmade or made to order, that’s one thing, but if you’re shipping out a product that the customer could buy in many different places, and it’s taking you longer than Amazon to do it, you’re going to run into bad reviews, and struggle to retain customers.

Be upfront about the amount of time it will take for things to be sent and to arrive, and make sure to hit your deadlines, no matter what it is that you’re selling.

With some focus and attention, it’s possible for a good startup plan to succeed in nearly any market. Make sure to investigate thoroughly so that you know how to overcome the obstacles for your company, and see how far you can take it!

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Marketing Director at Digital Media Group, content marketing and digital PR agency based out of Salt Lake City, Utah

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