So here we are in 2017.
Didn’t the last year go quickly. It just seems like the year started a few months ago and now it’s gone.
However, while 2016 is gone, the desire to start that new venture is still there.
In fact, it’s the same desire that’s been lurking at the back of your mind for the last few years. So what are the 8 essentials that you need to start up that business or organization you’ve been talking about.
Essential #1 – S is for Solve a Problem
Every great start-up organization or business is built on a purpose. A cause. A justification. A reason.
In essence, there is a problem that it seeks to solve. You need to be really clear and be able to articulate from the outset what problem is.
Essential #2 – T is for Tell a Story
Having clearly defined the problem that your start-up is solving, it’s time to tell a story that captures the target audience’s imagination about the problem and, importantly, your solution.
That is the job of your brand. It builds perception and articulates the promise of your product or service.
Essential #3 – A is for Ask the Questions
You will already have some clear ideas about your start-up business or organization. However, never stop learning about the evolving needs of your target audience.
Customers change along with their desires and references and what might be ‘hot right now’ might be ‘not right now’ very soon after.
So, make sure that the fundamentals of your business isn’t built on a fad or something transient. iTunes may well have seemed like a fad, but it was built on the premise of changing the distribution and consumption of music.
Essential #4 – R is for Recruit Evangelists
As every network marketing enthusiast knows, it takes an almost evangelistic fervour to spread the word about a new venture and build a new customer base and a new community.
Marketing and advertising campaigns are great but nothing hits the spot like an evangelist with nothing to gain from enthusing about the features and benefits of your product.
The thing is, most people love to make their voices heard, therefore, it won’t take a lot of persuasion to talk about the product experience.
Just remember, though, this road is a two way street, so make sure you are able to respond honestly and openly when it doesn’t go to plan.
Essential #5 – T is for Test, Test, Test
When we launched experience growth online, with eg Magazine as our flagship offering, one of the things we were advised to do was to test frequently.
Test the images, the fonts, the colours and most importantly, the copy (wording) and the call to action.
There are many components, and sometimes, a seemingly insignificant change delivers massive results in the call to action.
Testing ensures that you are getting the best results by tweaking little components. Try it!
Essential #6 – U is for Understand the Market
‘Have you worked out WHO are you targeting?’ This question is critical! Why? The answer is simple…
If you don’t know who your target customers are, then you cannot communicate effectively with them nor serve them appropriately.
The very words you use (copy), is all about talking directly to your target audience’s fears, aspirations, dreams and desires. If you get the person profile is wrong then you are literally speaking a foreign language.
‘Sore wa hanasu yōna monodesu nihongo kara eigo e kotoba rīdā’
See what I mean?
(Look for the translation at the end of this article.)
Essential #7 – P is for Progress through Partnership
Partnerships can be contentious especially if each party has a different vision or different values. However, the best partnerships are like a rope where the 3 strands work together in unison to create something much stronger because each strand or party is going in the same direction and shares a closeness brought about by common values.
Your first and most essential partnership is your team!
Essential #8 – S is for Sell, Sell & Sell
No matter how brilliant your idea and no matter how brilliant your product, branding, marketing or your market intelligence, if you do not build a platform to sell, you have no business!
All your activities must ultimately be underpinned by a sales platform as this is where the ‘solution exchange’ happens. Your target audience will swap their money for your packaged solution to their problem.
Unfortunately, this is where many start-ups fail!
So, what about your Start-up this year? Are you up for it? How can we help?
‘It’s like speaking Japanese to our English language readers’
If you like this article, it’s one of the articles in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of eg Magazine, 114 pages of Entrepreneurs’ Tales, Tools & Tips. You can download the entire magazine here.