There probably isn’t an entrepreneur on the face of the earth who isn’t eager to get his or her startup off the ground running.
However, the best advice is to take a step back for a moment to consider some very necessary steps that you must take when planning a strategic entry into your market.
Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot and onStartups once said “Behind every major success story, there is usually a major effort. It’s not enough to be just smart and passionate.”
Most successful entrepreneurs put lots of time, money and resources into their major product or service. Success needs more than just your best efforts and sometimes your best effort does not even pay. You can still fail even when you think you are doing everything right.
Perhaps that is the key word to take away from this – strategy! Here are some pointers gleaned from around the web that should help you get your startup off to a smashing success.
Knowing your market is everything
One of the most important key to launching any startup is to know your market and understand the industry. Your market includes your customers, your suppliers and your competitors.
This will take almost as much time, sometimes more, than it takes to actually develop your product and get it ready for market. Key metrics need to be analyzed and you need to know who is buying what, how and where.
- Is your potential customer base going to be found online or locally?
- Do they respond better to online or local advertising?
- What was the deal closer for your competitors?
- Is your market looking for discounts or value?
These are all key points to understand before even thinking about strategizing a marketing campaign. Make absolutely sure you use these as key metrics before moving on.
Strategize your marketing
Once you have a handle on your marketing it’s time to devise a strategy. Here you may want to enlist the help of a professional marketing team.
Sometimes all your advertising will be carried out online and other times you may use local radio, television, news publications and even set up booths at local events.
Some of the most successful startups made their entry into the world of commerce by attending trade shows locally and even on a national level.
Your marketing team may even offer direct marketing services which would help you build brand and customer engagement almost overnight.
Even here, more professional help would be called for because you need high visibility. Pop up trade show displays can be just the solution you are looking for. Check out these displays to see why they draw attention even in a crowded event.
Don’t do it alone
Not only do you need a rock-solid marketing team behind you prior to launching your startup but you also need key players alongside you in your business endeavors.
You have heard the old saying, “Two heads are better than one,” and so it is in the world of business. You can’t be expected to be all things to all people, to know everything there is to know about your product line even if you created it and of course sales.
Professional sales teams are vital to your success. Your marketing team can get them to your site (or physical location) and your Research & Development team may have helped produce an amazing product but without crack sales personnel, you may close few deals.
Again, the key take away is strategy. That means taking a step back, a deep breath and a lot of thought. Don’t jump into the water until you’ve learned to swim.
Remember, without help you may be a very small fish in an extremely large ocean. Surround yourself with experts who know how to gain the most exposure, especially at live events and you really can get your startup off to a smashing success.