Managing a new start-up company isn’t always as simple as doing things your way. Behind that success is an ever-changing business plan, a carefully curated marketing and PR strategy, and savvy people management. Juggling all of these features isn’t always possible and so the responsibility of delegating will also come into play.
Watching your new company grow and thrive is perhaps one of the most rewarding features of founding a start-up company, but what are the realities?
How do you promote a new company?
First things first—you may be wondering how you would even go about promoting a company that has yet to fully take off. The answer is: just like any other company. While you may not have the full list of testimonials yet, you still need to utilize every arm of the possible marketing strategies out there. Here’s where you should be starting:
- Content: While this method of marketing should never be used on its own, content marketing is a surprisingly effective way of getting your name out there. This method of marketing is pretty much exactly as it sounds; creating online content that is useful for a particular audience. For example, if your company offers IT solutions, you may want to create helpful how-to videos for the every-person on how to fix small-scale problems. This will get your name around as a reliable, and informative company. It will also expose your expertise in the industry—ideal for a company that is still establishing itself.
- Events: Your lack of testimonials and pre-existing clients may be a temporary blockade to having quintessential proof that you offer a high service. However, one easy way to get around this is to attend industry events. Not only will you get an accurate sense of your competition, but also an opportunity to meet new customers. Offering freebies and discounts will get people through the door and entice new visitors to leave a positive review. You never know—you may even entice an influencer to try and promote your product.
What are the key marketing methods?
As mentioned above, there are a number of marketing methods that are particularly useful for startups who have yet to establish themselves. On top of that, there are also some marketing tools which are universally used by all brands and companies, big or small. Below are a few marketing tools that shouldn’t be ignored at any level.
- A stylish and helpful website: It cannot be underestimated how important and useful a website is. While social media is king when it comes to customer and public interactions, your website should be the hub they come back to.
- SEO: As well as having a beautifully-designed and informative website, it will be useful to you to have it full of keywords that are search engine optimized, or SEO for short. This involves using regularly-used search terms that are related to your industry or business. However, in order to really make use of this technique effectively, you will need to make sure that your content is easy to read and isn’t just crammed with keywords. You are far more likely to retain traffic if your content has the integrity of high-quality and informative copy.
- Email: encouraging subscriptions to an email newsletter is one easy way to get information on your target audience. Not only does email entice customers and clients to keep in touch or value your product, but the information you receive from click-throughs and the average subscriber will help you tailor your marketing strategy. On top of that you can offer special one-off emails for birthdays, if appropriate for your service.
- Social media: Of course, it should almost go without saying that your business should be present on social media. Any new products you release or any updates should be posted and promoted on this platform. However, it’s important that you use it wisely. If you run a corporate or financial company, for example, then it’s likely that you will have no real place on apps like Instagram. Instead, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter would be incredibly useful to you.
Being an effective manager
When you first start establishing your company, you will need to learn the art of becoming a good manager. This will involve keeping an eye on processes and doing a fair bit of maintenance of how your company functions on a day-to-day basis. As you expand and grow bigger, you may end up acquiring the employees to delegate managerial responsibilities to. The management of your company is what will ideally make it operate like a well-oiled machine. Being a good manager is a skill in its own right, and it is vital when you are trying to get a new company off the ground.
On top of being a manager, you will need to show some fundamental leadership skills. Your ability to motivate employees, drive ambition and listen to problems will help everyone who works under you to feel as if they are part of an important team. Part of this skill involves understanding the fundamental difference between being a manager and a leader. Undergoing some education on management vs leadership would benefit you tremendously as a team leader, and as someone who has to keep track of the company’s personnel.
Learning how to accept failures
You may have heard already that there is a high failure rate when it comes to start-up businesses. However, failure is also the path to any success. Your first failure could be as large as having to re-start your company or a small as changing its business plan. Having the stamina to persist against the odds and move on from failure is what truly makes for an excellent leader. On top of that, preventing or overcoming failure requires the skill of problem-solving. No matter what the scale of the problem, it will be your responsibility to pull together the resources and strategy to overcome any failings.
Reassess your business plan
If you are concerned about the likelihood of failure, or want to make sure that any success is harnessed and maintained, a good way to protect your company is to constantly re-assess your business plan. Your plan should be simple enough to understand but thorough enough to ensure all financial and marketing areas are covered in-depth. If you find you aren’t heading in the direction you would have liked, then it could be time to revisit the drawing board. Take a look at what isn’t working, amend your business plan and try again. Your business plan is a way of monitoring any loans you have taken out, how management is structured, what your business is earning every month and what marketing strategies you have decided to implement. All of these should pull together to form the business that you want to see.
Managing and marketing a new start-up business are two big responsibilities. One ensures that the personnel within your company are being used to their best ability and the other makes sure that you get seen. Start-up businesses are involved with a certain amount of risk; there is every likelihood that your business as you know it today might not work out. However, a strong business plan and education will help you to prevent such a likelihood. Remember, too, that your business may simply change its name and structure; even if you change beyond all recognition it may be for the better. When managing a new start-up remember to stay informed, continue to research and adapt to the industry.