So you have a product idea that you think fits a need in the market. Whether it’s business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B), your product is the reason you created a startup in the first place.
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The Field Of Dreams Delusion
But how do you know that your business will be a success?
You can’t just “Field of Dreams” the business. In the 1980s, a movie with Kevin Costner titled “Field of Dreams” was about an Iowa corn farmer that kept having dreams about a baseball field where all the stars of baseball’s history and lore would play.
The character played by Costner built the field with the idea that if he made it, they would come.
While a nice story, the “Field of Dreams” concept isn’t realistic, especially regarding a business, too many people believe that clients will come flocking if they simply build a website or launch a business.
It doesn’t work that way, sorry.
Steps To Give Your Startup The Best Chance For Success
The success and failure of a startup are dependent on a few factors, some of which are in your control and some that aren’t.
However, most successful startups share a few common things, from well-thought launches to learning on the go, increasing exposure, and future lead generation.
Prepare Your Launch
As a startup, getting your product and services out in the market is the first step. Don’t fall under the Field of Dreams delusion. You can’t just launch and expect a business, but you also can’t fall under the paralysis by analysis trap either.
The paralysis by analysis trap is when you overthink every aspect of your product.
Perfection is the enemy of the good, and waiting until the product is exactly what you envision will slow your brand growth and stunt your sales.
Think of it this way, if a musician waited until every aspect of a song was perfect, the song would never be released. There will always be slightly off notes, sound levels too loud or soft, and lyrics that need a little refining. If the focus is on perfection, you’ve already lost the game.
Plan For Growth
Growth in your business is something you don’t want to just stumble into and be unprepared to adapt and grow. You want to plan on how you can grow, areas you may need to cut back, and know how to quickly pivot toward what is gaining momentum and what seems to be anchoring down your organization.
Know Your Strengths
If you’re a SaaS company selling software, moving into hardware sales probably isn’t your strong suit. Similarly, as the top search engine in the world, Google doesn’t sell guitars. It may be fun, but it is practical for what they do well.
Apply Your Resources
Do it if you have the personnel or other assets that you can apply toward your launch and growth. Whether it’s money, time, or labor, misappropriating resources can severely hinder a startup.
Second Guess Your Hypotheses
Second-guessing all your presumptions is the best way to find holes in your business. Analyzing data on what works and doesn’t will help you reallocate your resources for a more significant impact.
Get Better Brand Exposure
Getting your brand recognized and your potential customers aware of your offerings doesn’t have to be through traditional advertising. Unfortunately, traditional advertising is often expensive, and there’s no real way to analyze sales from that type of exposure.
Instead, consider more guerilla-style marketing that has a higher return. Social media, press releases, pop-up sales, and collaborative efforts are good examples.
An example of free brand exposure is the use of press releases.
Utilizing the power of a good press release will increase your brand awareness, drive potential customers and traffic in your direction, and allow you to build a public narrative.
Of course, to do it correctly requires a great communications team, which is one cost too many for many startups. However, utilizing a press release distribution service can be cost-effective if that’s the case.
Increase Lead Generation Strategies
Too many startups don’t do a good job planning for growth and forget to look at future growth.
Just as you begin to gain some traction and sales is not the time to sit on your laurels. Instead, you need to constantly look at lead generation strategies that build off what you are already doing well.
Once you launch your startup, developing a long-term growth strategy that helps you adapt to various business factors and market forces and continue to strategize your long-term growth is crucial.