1. Make sure you are “solving a problem”
A large number of startup businesses have been created without proper market research for their products. Innovative ideas are a great first step, but knowing that a potential future product will be well-used and valuable is also a vital component. The Startup J Curve, a book on creating startup companies, and written by Howard Love, explains that “…entrepreneurs need to recognize that the best ideas aren’t manufactured, that superior technology does not automatically produce superior products, and that products succeed because they solve real problems or provide real new opportunities.” Knowing this ahead of time will prove your value to potential investors, making you a standout.
2. Don’t get distracted early on
Making sure that you are staying on track can be tricky; lots of startups attempt to “jump the gun” when they need to slow down and properly map out their business plan. Trying to monetize a product before perfecting the product itself, as well as trying to grow too quickly without a steady flow of capital are two of the largest killers of startups. Don’t worry about how you are going to profit off of a product in the beginning, instead, ask yourself if you can market your idea to your target demographic. Showing investors that you can focus on the task at hand, and take each hurdle in stride will help you rise above the competition.
3. Use social media effectively
Social media is one of the best ways for a startup to begin its advertising efforts. It’s crucial that before commencing these efforts, however, that you are aware of which platforms your audience uses. If your company is on multiple platforms, make sure to stay consistent with the handle that you use. Build an image and mission statement that you can aim to achieve through all stages of your business’s growth and marketing campaigns. Maintaining this uniformity across all social platforms can help customers associate your voice with your brand, and avoid conflicting messages. Especially in the early days, try to post quality content as often as possible to keep followers interested and returning regularly. Relevancy is imperative when looking to get an edge over other companies.
4. Don’t use out-of-date technology
Businesses who fall behind on technological trends often get left behind. In today’s rapidly evolving world, make sure you stay up-to-date on the most current tech. Utilize a variety of high-performance machinery and software applications to execute your business processes. These could range from video conferencing for remote workers to more advanced systems such as Robotic Process Automation. Using new and improved technologies will not only show investors you are forward-thinking and innovative, but give them confidence in your business operations as a whole. Many well-skilled employees want to be at the forefront of an industry and are attracted to businesses that show progress and the ability to stay modern.
This mindset can be a double-edged sword, however, as businesses who get too focused on integrating the best and most updated technology can find themselves burning through budgets quickly. Know the key areas of your business that will benefit from innovation, and focus your attention there.
5. Foster an engaging work environment
Making sure that employees are engaged and enjoying their work is crucial to the success of a business. The University of Warwick’s Department of Economics carried out a study and found that employees who were happier worked harder, and were 12% more productive. Providing current employees a fun and productive work environment is a great way to foster creativity and keep them engaged with their work. According to Gallup, “organizations that are the best in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth more than four times that of their competitors.” Providing this type of atmosphere will help prove you are unlike all other startup businesses.
Creating a startup business is no easy feat, but making sure that you have a solid business plan and product that offers a solution to a currently unmet problem is the right place to start. Combine this with up-to-date tech, slow and steady growth, and an engaging work environment are the keys to helping you and your startup business thrive.