With more than 90% of today’s startups failing after launch, an effective marketing strategy could just be your ticket into the top ten percent.
Anyone who has started a business can relate to the passion, grit, belief, confidence, enthusiasm, and determination that comes naturally to entrepreneurial individuals.
That rush of excitement when your business website goes live for the first time, the joy of checking emails to find that new leads have appeared overnight, the scent of fresh furniture in the new office space.
I guess it can be described as the feeling that comes with falling in love, everything feels new again, simple things seem more exciting, and we, as entrepreneurs feel whole again or for the first time.
So the question that begs this post! Why do businesses fail?
Well, there’s a myriad of reasons…
Lack of competitor analysis, poor market research, overspending, understaffing, and… POOR MARKETING.
How can you expect anyone to buy from you if they don’t know what you sell, where you are, or who you are? Beginning to make sense?
Below, are some steps to follow to market your startup effectively.
Identify Your Target Market:
First of all, you must decide to whom you will want to sell your products or services. I know, in an ideal world, your brand would suit everybody, and the world would be your target market. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so you must split your target market into segments.
Start by casting the net wide, and then focus on more specific groups of individuals.
For instance, if your company sells protein powder, will this protein powder be aimed at women, men, or both?
Will it be aimed at the weight loss market, the bodybuilding market, or both?
Can you hone it down more specifically to groups such as male bodybuilders?
By choosing the best target market for your product or service, you can construct your brand and messaging to cater specifically to their needs. That being said, don’t be so specific that you alienate a large portion of people that could benefit from your offering, try to find a middle ground.
Undertake Market Research:
Just because you think your target audience will love what you offer them, doesn’t mean that they will.
That’s where market research comes in handy.
It’s a way of finding out if people want or need your business in their lives. If they don’t, it’s time for a rethink.
Some great ways to conduct market research are to:
- Interview people
- Conduct focus groups with selected people
- Let these people try out your product or service
- Listen to their feedback carefully
- Not every business creates something unique. You may have just made improvements to products or services that already exist.
Analyze your Competitors:
Almost every type of startup will have competitors out there before they even think of their business idea. This is a reality entrepreneurs should quickly come to terms with. Your idea is not as novel as you think it is.
However, that’s fine because an excellent marketing strategy will help to fend off and even beat the competition.
Analyze your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats using a SWOT analysis chart.
Compare competitors to your brand… Who is their target market?
Find strength in the flaws of your competitors and don’t forget to acknowledge where they went wrong.
Set a Realistic Budget:
The second biggest reason startups fail is because they are unable to budget and run out of cash.
As a startup, consumers often don’t know who you are, and you won’t have a steady client base.
If you are currently in the early stages of writing a business plan and securing funding for your startup, make sure you estimate your marketing costs as accurately as possible.
Including your marketing budget in your business plan is essential. Marketing does not have to be expensive, so don’t worry and stick to your budget at all costs, overspending kills startups like a plague.
Save Cash by Creating your own Marketing Channels:
We live in an age where we have a huge amount of control over the information that we create and distribute. Don’t be limited to the popular marketing channels, your Startup could just blow up by your use of WhatsApp effectively.