So you just launched a start-up for the first time and you’re all excited to jump in and get started right? I understand the exuberance; I was there once myself. Let’s take a look at three things that can either help your business grow or prevent it from growing at all.
Know Your Prospective Customers
This is number one on your list for a good reason. Make sure your start-up team whether it is just you as the founder or others as well know your prospective customers intimately. Regardless of how good you think your start-up is, if you can’t identify customers clearly, understand their motivations, desires and DNA; your company will have a hard time getting off the ground. When you know your customers, you can develop a plan that focuses on creating an incredible customer experience at every touch point. Whether you focus on social media, mobile, face-to-face, or any other medium, all of them matter and are highly relevant touch points that need specifically crafted messaging to reach your prospective customer.
Part of knowing your customers is also knowing exactly what you offer to them and how that can become a competitive advantage in the market. Simply put, are you solving customer problems and making life easier for them or is your product just another option in the market? Conduct competitive research and find out what the opportunities are for your company to create distinct separation. That will become a valuable differentiator for your company to launch successfully. You may have to do this year after year, but it will be well worth the time and effort.
My dad once told me, “work hard to keep your reputation squeaky clean, and it will serve you well.” As a young man, I remembered that and carried it with me into my career. As a young business owner, your personal reputation is also tied to your business reputation. Make sure to align yourself with credible people and partner with the same type of businesses. It only takes one slip-up in the reputation department and soon your company image and your start-up business reputation will be in the toilet. Once this happens, it is extremely difficult to repair. Stay clear of the ugly side of business and your reputation will stay clean as well.
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