10 Best Startup Survival Tips for 2017

10 Best Startup Survival Tips for 2017

Dare to Dream Big with Right People, Right Strategy and Right Attitude- Be Proactive

 

 

 

While initiating a start-up plan, the first feeling that creeps in is if it is going to be a success or not. Having heard about loads of failure stories amid few successes makes us feel even more…. Terrible!. According to Statistic brain analytics reports nearly 25% of start-ups fail during their first year of operation, 36% die out during their second year, 44% just fade away by the third year and nearly 50% vanish by the fourth year of operation with “incompetence” being the primary reason behind, which means only 50-50 chances prevail for you to survive.

However, these facts should not restrain you from making every possible attempt to make your business a success because that 50% is considerably high enough if you have the right attitude and a better strategy to outsmart your competitors. There is no definitive strategy that you can adopt, each business has its own best strategy that works exclusively for them. So keep trying until you find your’s best.

Having said that, we spoke to some Market Experts who helped several businesses become the market players of their industry along with strategies that worked best for us, we have prepared a go-getter list of must to do’s that you should remember while starting up.

1. Create a Business Plan that Solves a Real Business Problem

Before taking a plunge into the market with your product, you have to do a thorough market research and get answers to some questions like

  • What are the problems that are prevailing among current businesses?
  • What solutions can you offer them with your product?
  • What is your target audience or customers?
  • What are your competitors doing and what they missed? or What do they offer?
  • What unique can you offer that encourages customers to patronize you instead of more established businesses?
  • How will you reach your target audience?
  • What is the realistic time-frame of your launch, sales and getting profitable?

Having answers to these questions will help you craft a business model that offers solutions to your target customers.

2. Create a Checklist of Must-do’s and don’t’s Beforehand

The bad news is Time Flies,
The good news is YOU are the Pilot! –  Michael Altshuler
(A Motivational Edutainer)

It is always good if you plan your things ahead to save time, so you don’t have to rush through or confuse yourself over a sequence of events. Simply create a checklist of must do’s and follow it for an organized & systematic approach to work. Check your finance resources, distribution of roles and responsibilities among your team and coordinate efficiently to get powerful results.
Also, be prepared for the probable mistakes like tax or billing issues that might prompt up untimely and bother you. So just relax and make a list of all the probable mistakes that might happen and how would you handle each scenario for an uninterrupted process.

3. Create a Customer Persona of your ideal customers who might be interested in your product

Creating an avatar of the customer based on demographics (gender, age, location etc) and psychographics(customer behavior) is a reliable and a realistic method that helps to target specific customers that might actually be interested in your product. Initially when your main focus is growth and revenue generation you need to be specific on whom you are targeting, so you get quick easy returns. It helps you understand the motivations, expectations, and aspirations of users and lets you build something awesome based on their specific business needs.

4. Prepare a Marketing Strategy to Outreach Prospective Customers

Prepare a marketing strategy that guides you how to put your message across your audience and start getting enough clicks and signups.

  • Prepare an email list of prospects for cold emailing
  • Utilize the amazing potential of social media i.e Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest etc and share your posts regularly
  • Start blogging to connect with the readers and improve your company’s visibility and enhance your digital reach
  • Register yourself on discussion forums of your industry of sites like Growth Hackers.com, Inbound.org, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Sumo Me etc and share your blogs there for content amplification.
  • Get mentioned on product review websites for comparison with the competitors.

So, your aim is to basically to Get known…..So just do it!
Spread the word about yourself, all over the web and simply start reaping the benefits.

5. Start Building a Network with Thought Leaders of your Industry

You should send outreach emails to influencers and contributors of your niche. They are the market experts who can offer growth-oriented advice. Simply try grabbing their attention by sharing their work with a specific mention of the work you liked the most. You can ask them to share your work across their own audience as a return of a favor BUT…. Stay Humble!

You should also connect with the journalists and publishers with small pitches and ask them to share your work across their audience. Promote others and they might promote you in return of a favor you did to them. Even if they don’t, keep nourishing your relationship with them that will pay back in years to come.

6. Talk to the New Sign-Ups for Genuine Feedback

Primary sign ups are very crucial for any start-up as you should never commit a mistake of ignoring them. You should ask for feedback, grievances and the experience they have while they are one trial period. You should ask them

  • What is the best thing they liked about the product?
  • What are the things they found difficult to understand?
  • What are the things they disliked?
  • What problems are they solving with the product?
  • What benefits are they drawing for their business on using this product?
  • What changes for good they would love to have in the product or an additional feature that will enhance their user experience?

Provide them an amazing user experience, free initial signups, free subscription of eBooks and whitepapers to increase conversions and then ask them to make recommendations of your product to their colleagues at workplace and friends.

7. Keep Experimenting with Strategies & Adopt the Best-Suited one

Seeking advises from market experts and mentors is always a great idea. In fact who would dare to question their knowledge when they themselves have a million dollar business. However, the advice and guidance they provide mostly aren’t

industry or product specific. They may be market experts and know what is best suited for their business, however only you yourself know what strategy will work best for you. Like many brands believe in social gaming and contests type marketing that may work out for them but may not work for you. It is all about adopting different strategies, hit and try and find out what is best suited for your business.

Mentors are experienced people, we should always seek their guidance but you need to frame your questions better to reap benefits of their experience.

8. Keep Stalking Your Competitors

Try keeping an ethical check on what your competitors are up to. Since you are new to the game, you need to concentrate on small/medium business to find what strategy did they adopt to draw customers. Keep a check on their social media profiles i.e Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to track their posts and tweets. Keep a track of their advertising strategies i.e

  • Which channels are they using for advertisement to draw customers?
  • How much do they spend on different channels?
  • Which channel drives most traffic for them?
  • What kind of Ads are they using for getting more clicks?
  • Keep looking for the negative feedbacks they get from the users on their blogs, Google marketplace, review sites like g2 Crowd or on social media profiles and reach out to those unsatisfied customers for help.
  • Keep a track of competitor’s fans and followers on social media and connect with them to show your availability and what better can you offer that will help users with substantial growth.

 9. Be Accessible 24 X 7 for Post-Sales Assistance/Customer Support Online

The Customer experience is the next Competitive Battleground –   Jerry Gregoire( CIO Dell Computer)

New users or sign-ups might need your assistance at any point of time so better stay available to them 24 x 7. If you can’t be online every time you should be reachable via phone. Make sure you prominently mention a “prompt customer support icon” that flashes anytime a user visits your website or product. Always mention your working phone number that makes you accessible anytime. Remember ! Your product may be good but you need to manage your customers efficiently as they are are the ones to either make you or break you. If they are left stranded and confused they might switch over to your competitors.

10. Keep Reinvesting Funds to Scale Higher

One of the biggest mistakes that you might commit during the initial period of startups is NOT keeping a track of CASH FLOW. Cash is the lifeblood of your business if you run out of cash YOU’RE DEAD! So, you should keep reinvesting the money to keep your business growing steadily. You will need finances to advertise

your product, give salaries to your employees or for making payments of the office infrastructure that you are using. Make sure you use your money wisely because “Money saved is money earned”, so better keep your expenses low initially.

  • Cut short your office expenses as much as you can
  • Hire only when in a desperate need of assistance
  • Try reaching out to your technically experienced colleagues who are ready to help without money
  • You need to have cash reserves for unforeseen financial requirements that might crop up all of a sudden.

It’s the continuous supply of CASH that keeps your business ALIVE!

Although many Mentors and Advisers are out there who will give you loads of advice and guidance to prevent your startup from dying your ultimate Savior will be YOU! YOURSELF! Keep on trying to find out which strategy works best for you.

Just gear yourself up, Relax and take enough sleep so you are ready for all the hard work you need to do. Start a fresh every day with your daily goals in mind and work with constant perseverance

Digital Marketing & Communications Manager @Fusionmint.
An Information Analysis Expert who loves breaking stereotypes of marketing