“Every big business starts small”
– Richard Branson, Founder- Virgin Group
If you’ve already been bitten by the startup bug and now want to build your own, you’ve reached the correct destination- congrats!
Starting your own business can be an emotional roller coaster ride- one minute you are proud to be your own boss, the next minute you realize you will have to spend countless sleepless nights.
For some motivational dose- companies like Google and Amazon started out from a garage and have dominated their industry for several decades.
The year 2020 does look promising and according to the weather forecast, it is raining startups this year and we might be lucky enough to spot a few reaching the billion-dollar milestone.
In this post, we’ve compiled a list of 7 unconventional tips that would help you reveal your best entrepreneurial self and build a successful startup.
Let us wear that business hat and unravel this wisdom.
1. Bootstrap: Building Something From Nothing!
While your start-up might be rich in passion and optimism, money would surely be a constraint at some point in time. The startup world is always flooded with million-dollar funding stories, however, funding does not guarantee success. Period.
During the initial testing times, you need to bring out the miser in you and allocate the right amount of funds towards priority tasks.
Bootstrapping will help you make wise decisions since you would know that you cannot afford to make mistakes. This is a great habit to develop for accelerating your startup growth in the year 2020.
The business world is not as fancy as it seems. Social media is flooded with motivational pictures and videos of entrepreneurs, all suited up and walking past their private jet in super slow-mo. However, that is far far away from reality. When it comes down to money and surviving in the business world, you need to be humble and wise with every single penny.
2. When Your Competitors Miss, You Hit!
No business is perfect and your competitors are likely making mistakes, a lot of them. You need to have a bird’s eye view of the market and see where you can make a mark.
They say that the road to profits is full of unfairness and uncertainty. This statement is evident in the fact that great ideas can fail, while average ideas can become the next big trend. At the end of the day, it all comes down to ‘competitive advantage’.
Your startup can look to outperform competitors in many aspects- it can be price, quality, or simply customer service. You just need to discover a weak point of your competitors and market that as your strength.
You might be selling a product that has 100 alternatives or probably just one. Getting a significant share of the market can be equally challenging in both scenarios. The only way to steer clear of the competition is by focussing on what makes your brand unique.
3. Go Viral or Go Home!
Ever thought of becoming an overnight success?
Bet, you have.
The possibility of a startup going viral is maximum today than it was ever before- thanks to the power of social sharing. The best way to go viral is by telling your story in a way that would resonate with your target audience, encouraging them to create a sharing loop.
For instance, nobody knew about Dollar Shave Club until they released a youtube video which was shot in a single day at the cost of just $4500. The video went super-viral in just three days and at present has over 26 million views.
The company’s CEO, Michael Dubin, when asked about the viral video explained, “we wanted to use humor to tell the story about why our brand existed.”
Takeaway: Getting your brand viral is easier if your target audience is relatively young as they indulge heavily in social sharing. Also, you have to be creative enough to offer your users something they have never expected from a business before.
4. Embrace the World of Social Media
The world of social media has leveled the playing field for everyone. It surprisingly presents equal opportunities for both Fortune 500 companies and month-old startups.
Moreover, social media has played a crucial role when it comes to getting customer feedback. Many individuals prefer sharing both positive as well as negative experiences over their social media pages.
According to a study by bright local, 90% of customers go through online reviews before interacting with a business. Such figures have given great incentives for startups to maintain an impressive social media presence and keep users highly engaged.
Takeaway: Leveraging the power of social media sites can prove to be a game-changer for your early-stage business. Social media can often prove to be a tricky place and you need to respect the opinion and feedback of every potential user. To solve this, most businesses are rigorously using an online helpdesk system to integrate various social media channels into a single platform.
5. Sell & Sell Again Like a True Hustler
“Without hustle, talent will only carry you so far”
Most entrepreneurs fret over the idea of selling, however, sales is the only thing that will keep your startup afloat.
Selling is an art and just like athletes sacrifice their bodies and diet to achieve maximum results, you must go out in the market and pitch your product/service to a live audience. Even if your business is not operational yet, you can still sell an idea and seek validation. People might reject your idea but this will only make you come out stronger.
Takeaway: There is no substitute for selling. While marketing will help you get the attention of your prospective users, it is only selling that will help convert them into paying customers. All major business tycoons were great at this game of selling at some point in time.
6. Turn Customers Into an Army of ‘Brand Advocates’
According to a study by Nielson, 86% of customers trust recommendations by friends and family members.
When your initial customers have a delightful experience with your business, they will be bound to share this within their social circle. ‘Word of mouth’ is perhaps the cheapest and most effective form of marketing that this decade has seen.
However, bad experiences will make you lose customers and increase your dependency on customer churn analysis.
In case you are wondering what is customer churn analysis, it is the evaluation of a company’s customer loss rate due to many underlying factors.
Let’s take a customer churn analysis example- Netflix monitors how active you are with your account and when it witnesses any possible chances of losing a customer, then the platform proactively engages you with special offers.
Takeaway: People love sharing, whether it is advice or product recommendations. You need to offer superior customer service to ensure that your customers do the marketing for you and bring in more customers like a chain reaction.
7. Be Ready to Fail the Unconventional Way
Do you know what most successful entrepreneurs have in common?
Yes, they have all failed at some point or the other.
However, they never knew they would eventually fail and that is why anticipating failure is near impossible in this unpredictable startup world. Failing in the business world can be compared to getting knocked down in the boxing ring.
However, you must know when and how to get up and knock down your rivals. Failing in unconventional and unexpected ways can help you develop a much-needed entrepreneurial mindset that encourages you to keep pushing forward.
Takeaway: There is no escape from failure. While some business leaders fail during the initial days of their career, others might fail after decades. The best part is- they all get to learn. Therefore, it becomes important to embrace failure as a significant part of your entrepreneurial journey
Founders who want to succeed must evolve with time, maintain a healthy balance, and surround themselves with the right people. In this cutthroat competitive world, startup failure is extremely common, with most of the startups failing within just half a decade but by adopting these 7 unconventional strategies, you can increase your chances to make your startup a success.
cheerful startup team -DepositPhotos