10 ways to win over startup challenges – a checklist for founders
Today we are happy to present another guest post from Alisha Shibli from Radix – the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions (including .SPACE and .ONLINE.), whom we have accreditation with.
Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, said, “Change is the only constant in life.” As a startup founder, if you are not ready for the change, you are messing up with the future of your venture.
Successful startup companies are the ones that can embrace the adversity of change and adapt to the latest governing trends.
By being open to continuous learning and applying what you learn, you prepare yourself for the unknown future.
This can help you build a brand that will stand the test of time. While trends might falter, your brand will not.
A checklist of how to sail through adverse times comes handy for startup leaders. Consider the following tactics as you implement your new business strategies.
Create a precise vision
Your business’s mission might be identical to thousands of other companies, but your vision won’t be.
The mission outlines the ways you intend to adopt to fulfill your vision. It is the “how,” and the vision is your “why.”
Try to think of several long-term and short-term goals for your business that’ll help you achieve your vision.
These goals can pertain to revenue, products, company size, market share, and more.
The goals that you develop will define your brand moving forward. One healthy exercise is to practice building SMART goals to give your startup some momentum.
Your goals will change periodically according to the changing times. However, you must ensure the goals don’t blur your vision.
Communicate your goals
Creating goals doesn’t make you a great business leader. Some of the best entrepreneurs are the ones that effectively communicate goals to their staff, and help them take actionable steps to achieve those goals.
It’s about aligning your employees’ goals with the startup’s goals.
For example, assume your goal is to generate $50,000 in revenue within the first year of business.
A savvy startup founder will voice that desire to the sales staff, help them identify their targets, and equip them with the right set of tools and resources to improve their lead management.
Solve a need, gain a customer
No matter what type of product or service you sell, you’re solving a problem for someone out there in the marketplace. It’s your job as the founder to find what that problem is and how your product can solve it for them.
Don’t emphasize solely on promoting your product. If it provides value, it will sell. Give people a reason to purchase your product. Instead of sending them product offers, share informative content with them.
For example, if you sell email marketing automation software, you can share an eBook on lead generation tips to increase email subscribers.
Keep your eyes on yourself
Being the founder of a company is no small task. The attitude and confidence that you have will reflect in the business that you run.
That’s why you must continue to look inward for ways that you can improve your management style.
What areas do you lack in? How can you compensate for your weaknesses?
Every founder has shortcomings. The best founders surround themselves with those that can provide knowledge about the industry.
Enroll in online courses, participate in events, training, and workshops, and more.
These are excellent opportunities for you to connect with like-minded individuals and, in the process, learn as well as teach.
Focus on your website
In this day in age, a company’s website is more important now than it has ever been in the history of the corporate world. Without it, your company won’t have a presence in the online world.
Building a great website starts with choosing a great domain name. Most entrepreneurs don’t pay attention to this detail which costs them precious branding juice and, in some cases, even business.
With new domain extensions such as .STORE, .TECH, .ONLINE, .SITE, .SPACE, etc. you can get a domain name that is meaningful and contextual to your business.
For example, an eCommerce website on a .STORE domain name will gain extra leverage in their branding. Consider these two examples:
Just by looking at the domain name, can you tell which one of these websites is definitely an online store?
New domain extensions help you build stronger and more relevant brands.
Focus on building relationships with clients
Clients these days only want to invest in companies that they have a vested relationship with.
If you focus on building a product that provides a solution, then the sales will generate as a result.
However, if you focus too much on being salesy, then they’ll choose your competitors over you.
Try building relationships by communicating with your clients via numerous touchpoints (such as emails, calls, texts, etc.)
You should focus on providing value to your customers and prospects. You will build trust in the process that, in turn, will increase customer retention rate, customer loyalty, and brand value.
Surround yourself with winners
There’s a common misconception among most founders on how to build a corporate dream team.
Many believe it to be about hiring the best and the brightest for each position. But, for all you know, that employee with 10+ years experience could be completely burnt out from that industry.
Instead, focus on finding people that truly believe in your company’s product and vision. Find people that are willing to grow this company with you, whatever it takes.
Learn more about hiring by reading this resource on hiring the best talent for your startup.
Focus on your process
The marketplace is indeed getting less and less patient with order turnaround times.
However, try to stay focused on maintaining an efficient process for your business model over everything else.
If you focus on getting products out the door too fast, then other aspects of your business will suffer. Speed can be improved over time. Don’t sacrifice the standard of your process just to ship things quicker.
Even if you want to scale, do it gradually, keeping certain factors in mind. These include – studying the demand and supply gap, creating the blueprint, investing in technology, sourcing the right talent, creating channels of communication, supply, and delivery, and more.
Always look ahead
Many founders make the mistake of thinking that they can’t plan ahead due to the ever-evolving trends in the marketplace.
However, it’s vital to keep your eyes focused on new opportunities to grow and expand. Plans can always be altered if something unexpected arises.
Whatever you implement, or plan to, should be in-line with the market requirements. For example, chatbot marketing is growing rapidly.
You can set up a chatbot to help marketing, sales, and service teams to interact with customers and prospects. It will definitely increase sales conversions.
Keep costs low
As a startup, it’s imperative to be frugal (don’t confuse it with being a miser.) You have to keep a check on spends and, at the same time, ensure you don’t compromise with startup processes.
Growing a startup is all about keeping costs as low as possible while you build everything up.
Avoid costly mistakes such as paying for too much marketing, outsourcing, or overspending on products. These things can be added as you gain more revenue. Prioritize staying in the green with your company’s budget.
The bottom line
Managing a startup and keeping it afloat is an incomparable task. While founders have the best knowledge and resources to grow a startup, sometimes changing times (for example, a pandemic) takes a toll on them.
These tactics to adapt as per evolving trends will help you stay a step ahead of your competitors and grow your startup at a steady pace.Originally published Friday, May 15th, 2020 at 3:32 pm, updated May 22, 2020 and is filed under Marketing.