Tag Archives: Startup Marketing

How to Create a Social Media Profile For Your Business

How to Create a Social Media Profile For Your Business

As a startup or small business owner, you have to be smart with the resources you have.

Oftentimes, traditional marketing doesn’t exactly fall within your budget. That’s why social media is a great alternative in generating the results you want to achieve.

It’s not only low-cost, but it also gives you direct exposure to current and prospective customers

So, you’ve formed your business and want to start marketing through social media. Now what?

Here are a couple tips to think about when creating your profile:

Start with a Social Media Strategy

Even before selecting which channels you’ll use, you need a detailed strategy that will keep your marketing efforts on track. The first step is to figure out how you want to portray your brand. For best results, align your social media approach with your company culture and make sure it addresses your business goals and audience needs. Always strive to establish your brand’s own identity on social media so that your company can stand out among its competitors.

Choose the Right Social Networks

There are many different social media platforms to choose from today – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram – and depending on your strategy, you should be able to determine which ones are right for your startup. Look specifically at the target age group of your audience, the location of your business and the nature of your services when making the decision. One last tip: keep social media profiles limited to a couple of networking platforms. This way, you can easily monitor them, keep them up-to-date and interact with your followers more closely.

Build a Community

For long-term growth and success, the best thing you can do is build an online community of supporters who give your startup additional exposure and promote brand awareness. You can do this simply through personal interaction, relationship development and customer satisfaction. In general, customers greatly appreciate companies that put in effort to engage with their followers and connect with their audience.

Listen Instead of Talking

The biggest mistake you can make on social media is not listening to your followers. When used correctly, social media platforms allow you to garner valuable feedback. Respond to comments, mentions and feedback even if they’re negative. Social listening is an excellent tactic to monitor what people are saying about your brand.

Experiment

Sure, going the traditional route in terms of strategy is great, but every now and then, it’s great to think outside the box – as long as what you’re doing doesn’t compromise your brand’s integrity. Being creative and innovative will generate new ideas and develop the mindset you’ll need to resolve any problems later on.

Evaluate your social media strategy regularly

Startup companies can get overwhelmed by the fast pace and growth, but it’s important to take a step back every now and then to measure and analyze your results. Tracking performance data, such as growth, engagement and sharing, is the best way to identify which tactics are working and which ones aren’t. Things change with time and social media is no different. Therefore, it’s important to assess your startup’s social media business plan regularly to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your profiles.

A Few Last Words

Social media takes time and energy, so don’t be disappointed if the results you want don’t automatically unfold. Be patient and devote the appropriate amount of work into each account. With time, your profile will reap the benefits of company visibility and audience engagement, which eventually leads to paying customers and investors.

If you have a question about social media for your Startup or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

Who Top Startup Founders & Entrepreneurs Follow on Instagram

Who Top Startup Founders & Entrepreneurs Follow on Instagram

We all need inspiration in our life, even successful Startup Founders & Entrepreneurs turn to visual content giant Instagram, for daily encouragement or perhaps a welcomed distraction.

The Startup Garage Team complied a list highlighting a handful of standout accounts they follow on Instagram, and what their personal photo posting style reveals.

Tony Hsieh @Downtowntony

Better know as the CEO of Delivering Happiness at Zappos.com

Follows 102 accounts on Instagram



His personal highlights include:


@Lifeisbeautifual An electric annual a music, art, food, festival in downtown Las Vegas
@Seniorstylebible An 81yr old retired Playboy bunny’s now style blogger
@Natgeo or the long tail version & legend National Geographic
@Tyrabanks professional Smizer Tyra Banks
@Ivankatrump the daughter of The Donald

Tony’s personal posting style is a fun mix of landscapes, art, dogs, with fun photo captions. That being said he hasn’t posted since 12/28/15. We hope to see more from Tony in 2016.

Biz Stone @BizStone

The american entrepreneur best know as the co-founder of Twitter.

Follows 59 accounts on Instagram

Personal Highlights include:

@therock or Dwayne Douglas Johnson outside the wrestling ring

@kevin Kevin Systrom the Ceo & Co-Founder of Instagram

@gregyaitanes Greg Yaianes emmy award winning director of the TV show Grey’s Anatomy

@Sacca Chris Sacca Silicon Valley venture investor, invested in Uber

@Zuck Mark Zuckerberg founder of Facebook

Biz’s personal posting style is family centric, he’s definitely a family man and loves using the early bird filter. He posts in the range of once a week.

Kevin Systrom @kevin

The godfather or Co-founder of Instagram
follows 619 Instagramers

Personal Highlights include:

@modernoutdoors Modern Outdoors visually storyteller thru exploration

@zachking Zach King is risen to Vine superstardom thru is fun 6 second videos

@Adele Adele chart breaking English singer and songer writer

@victoriabeckham aka Posh Spice

@Domperignonoffical Dom Perignon prestigious champagne

Kevin’s personal posting style includes almost daily posts. He loves his selfies with the interesting and the famous, plus he’s clearly a foodie & cocktail enthusiast.

Sheryl Sandberg @sherylsandberg

CEO of Facebook
follows 1670 Instagram accounts
Personal Highlights include:

@johnlegend John Legend R&B song writer and singer

@goodmorningamerica Good Morning America top headlines live from Time Square
@starwars Star Wars, May the force be with you
@sheplusplus She++ is a Stanford based community for female techies
@benparr Ben Parr author of “Captivology:The Science of Captivating People’s Attention”

Sheryl’s personal post are a mix of global humanity and feminism, with some carefully sprinkled photos of her life outside of activism and Facebook.

Elon Musk @elonmusk

Tesla Motors founder
follows 13 accounts on Instagram
Personal Highlights include:
@nasa exploring the planet and space
@norakirkpatrick an american actress seen in “The Office”
@talulahrm Talulah Riley an english actress seen in “Pride and Prejudice”
@adeo Adeo Ressi CEO of Founder Institute

Elon’s personal posts are best described as coffee, cars, and space, he’s posts are rare and he tends to go on post sprees of similar images.

Ashton Kutcher @Aplusk

TV star turned tech investor
follows 105 Instagram accounts
Personal Highlights include:
@Lauraprepon Laura Prepon better known as Alex from Orange is The New Black
@ddlovato pop singer & songwriter Demi Lovato
@Garyvee Gary Vaynerchuk digital media mastermind
@taylor swift Taylor Swift pop star singer and songwriter
@pk514 PK Creedon NFL Publicist

Aston’s personal style are inquisitive selfies, scenery, and cowboy boots.

Lori Griener @Lorigreinershark

As seen on QVC and Sharktank
follows 34 Instagram accounts
Personal Highlights include:
@kindofwild cute pet videos
@mindykaling Mindy Kaling comedian and star of “The Mindy Project”
@clean_and_delicious Dani Spies Health & Weight Loss Coach
@shanedawson Shane Dawson Youtube celebrity
@kyrenian Altug Galip travel photographer and adventurer

Lori’s personal style similar to Where’s Waldo and in this instance where’s Lori..see her here see her there, where’s Lori today? Along with some splashes of inspirational quotes.

Have your Entrepreneur Instagram questions answered, but still have questions about raising capital for your Startup, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

14 Key Insights From The Lean Entrepreneur Author Brant Cooper

14 Key Insights From The Lean Entrepreneur Author Brant Cooper

The Startup Grind San Diego hosts monthly fireside chats, featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors.

The Startup Garage Team had the pleasure of attending Dec 10th event featuring San Diego Startup pioneer Brant Cooper.

Brant is the author of The Lean Entrepreneur, which supports organizations in jump-starting their innovation practices. He travels the globe helping to teach and educate entrepreneurs and intraprenuers,
through the simple objective of empowering individuals to make the change they want to see in the world.

We found Brant to be humble, entertaining, and very inspiring.

The TSG team couldn’t help but share 14 Key Insights we picked up from his talk.

San Diego Startup Community Verse Silicon Valley

The comparison needs to stop. We’re not Silicon Valley, we’re never going to be Silicon Valley. We don’t want to be Silicon Valley or we would be living in Silicon Valley.

Women Entrepreneurs

We’re one generation away worldwide from woman dominating entrepreneurship.

Women Entrepreneurs
are now economically empowered to start their own businesses.

Large Enterprise & Startups

Help Larger Enterprise by teaching entrepreneur skills. Make large enterprises value creation machines, so that they can give back new value to customers, as opposed to just being focused on wealth.

The Transformation to Value Creation Machines

It’s fun to be in a startup, but you can start being this way in a large organization too by being more entrepreneurial, closer to their customer, faster, and more agile.

College and Entrepreneurship

The real unicorn is someone who drops out of high school and hits it big.

Incubators and Accelerators – Mentorship

The biggest difficulty around the world aside from Silicon Valley and maybe NYC is the mentors, finding quality mentors that really know how to do startup mentoring is really hard.

Most Eco-systems are pulling people from large businesses, their heart is in the right place, and they can give great advice on a particular industry, but when it comes to founders issues, entrepreneurism, specific technologies, a lot of mentors don’t know what a startup is all about.

Entrepreneurship Best Practices

Top Ten Things Entrepreneurs Don’t Do…Read a Top Ten List.
The thing that’s overlooked the most is hustle.
It is the relentlessly pursue part that is actually going to make your idea a success.

We’re in a Customer Centric World

The rise of UX & Design.
The productivity gains we’re going to find are on the end user side.
You’ve build a satisfied customer experience, now you need to surpass the threshold and build passion, not with your product.

Crowdfunding a Book

It’s a great way to get a marketing budget, while helping build a community around the value proposition of the book. Be cautious, taking money from people that aren’t in your market segment is always a big no no, and actually dangerous.

Lean Principles

The idea around lean is the elimination of waste. Don’t waste your time, money, resources, creativity, inspiration in building products nobody wants.

Emerging Industries in SD

There’s a lot of people that think an eco-system can choose what industry to develop. Rather An eco-systems gets chosen, industries are chosen based upon who exits.

Entrepreneur Complaints

Entrepreneurs no matter where they are alway complain over a lack of money.
You can build your startup here (SD) and not have to move if you build out your business model.
You can complain about a lack of seed money, but if you build a successful business model you can raise money, bottom line.

Government and Startups

There’s a lot of mythology around the government money and innovation. The government even in the US has funded in some way almost all innovation we have ever done.

Startup Marketing

You should be able to see some organic growth that shows that there’s some buzz around the product, without spending any money on marketing.
Too quickly we’re into building the product and all the features, then now I need a marketing budget, and I need to spend a bunch of money on marketing in order to create a buzz.
Rather, the product better start the buzz, marketing is for amplifying the buzz the product creates, not for creating it’s own buzz.

Watch the complete interview here>>
Brant Cooper at Startup Grind San Diego

If you have a question about your raising capital for your Startup or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

How To Measure and Achieve Product/Market Fit

TSG_ProductMarket from The Startup Garage

How To Measure and Achieve Product/Market Fit

Product/Market Fit is a term that was coined to define the process of creating a product that resonates
with a specific target market(s).

Taking this definition a step further, Product/Market Fit is proving sufficient demand within a target market segment to justify the spending of capital (human and financial) in order to begin scaling the company.

The definition of Product/Market Fit is fairly straight forward, achieving it is far more abstract.

How do you know when you’ve achieved Product/Market Fit?

When do you transition from a bootstrapped startup focusing all your resources on product development to an accelerated startup that is ready to begin scaling?

Answering these questions correctly can be the make or break for any young company.
Most startups don’t get second chances to scale the business, so timing is everything.
As a result, it is crucial to start measuring Product/Market Fit as early as possibly, to measure it often, and to continually fine-tune your product until you’ve gotten it right before you consider scaling.

Measuring Product/Market Fit is a bit of an art and a science. On the one hand, you can feel when Product/Market Fit is or isn’t happening.

Answering some of the following questions can help you assess the Product/Market Fit Feeling

– Are you getting new customers with little to no marketing strictly through word of mouth?

– Does your sales cycle take too long?

– Are your conversion rates above/below industry standard?

– Are you getting exciting press reviews and interviews?

– Are you struggling with holding sufficient inventory?

– Do you need additional sales and customer support staff to satisfy new customers?

On the other hand, you can use data from customer surveys as a way to measure Product/Market Fit.
Essentially, you are gathering information that will allow you to gauge how much value your customers are getting from the product and how disappointed they would be without having access to your product.

If half of your customers or more could live without your product then it is a safe bet that you haven’t achieved Product/Market Fit (disclaimer: this benchmark will vary from industry to industry based on average churn rates, customer lifetime, customer lifetime value, cost to acquire new customers, etc).

Achieving Product/Market Fit

Once you’ve achieved Product/Market Fit, you are ready to begin scaling the business. In order to scale,
you need to implement a business model that allows you to acquire customers at a profit while still
delivering on the customer benefits and value that got you here in the first place. Continue to test and
tweak your business model until you’ve developed a well-optimized and scalable customer acquisition
process.

Then, you are ready to pour gasoline (sales and marketing dollars) on the fire (a startup with
proven Product/Market Fit and business model).

Taking the time to fine-tune your product until you’ve achieved Product/Market Fit will greatly improve
your likelihood of strong conversion rates and successfully scaling the business. It will also allow you to
reach scale with less capital (giving up far less equity in the meantime).

If you have a question about your Startup business idea or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

Tweets. Hearts & Pivots: 5 Startup Business Lessons To Learn From Twitter

5 Startup Business Lessons To Learn From Twitter from The Startup Garage

Tweets. Hearts & Pivots: 5 Startup Business Lessons To Learn From Twitter

As Twitter shares plunge 13% and user growth & revenue pale in comparison to other social networks.

Investors, shareholders, and tweeters alike fear the legendary tech startup is doomed. #TwitterTurmoil

Founded in 2006 by by turning “moments of panic into moments of inspiration”
Twitter is no stranger to the art of the pivot and is taking fast deliberate actionable steps to ensure a successful future.

5 Key Business Lessons To Learn From Twitter

1. Embrace change.


“Expect the unexpected. And whenever possible, be the unexpected.”

Jack Dorsey 
knows when it’s time to hold to true to traditional strategy, and when it’s time to evolve. Twitter doesn’t fear change it leverages it as a discovery tool. Actively re-evaluating what’s working, what may have been overlooked, and to re-imagine what’s possible.

2. Value Consumer Habits.


A product only as valuable as the the User Experience. 
Over 300 million people use Twitter on a monthly basis, however over a billion people have tried Twitter and decided it’s not for them.

Recognizing there’s the potential to appeal to an additional 700million people, Twitter continues to simplify the platform to enhance the user experiences.

Twitter closely studies their customers’ broader behaviors around the use of their products and services.

Here are examples of careful listening and watching:

  • More Visual Pizzaz – Twitter Feed Looks More Like Your Facebook Feed

  • While you were away feature– Recap of tweets you may have missed that have high user engagement
  • Moments– lets users quickly find the best of what’s happening on Twitter at any given time.

  • Hearts replaces Stars– “The heart is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. It is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.”
  • Polls -people can weigh in on all the topics they care about.
  • Unlock 140 Characters– still undetermined, there are talks of Twitter tweaking it’s character limitation limit beyond 140 characters.


3. Leverage Multiple Product Streams.


Twitter doesn’t rely on one product stream, like most successful Startups, their business model includes and integrates a variety of products/platforms.

Apps like Vine and Periscope are social media moguls individually, however their integration with in Twitter is the startup “Secret Sauce” and perhaps the most crucial ingredient to growth.

4. Never Stop Focusing on Funding.


1.16 Billion dollars in 8 funding rounds later Twitter, knows that seeking and raising capital is a constant battle. There’s not a mysterious funding plateau a startup reaches where investors and investments no longer matter, even for Unicorns.

There’s always a song and dance for funding, with investors scrupulously looking for the highest potential return on investment, with little risk.





5. Choose a CEO that is both a leader and a visionary.

Twitter announced that it was bringing back its co-founder, Jack Dorsey, as permanent CEO. Jack is a lead product visionary at the core, and aims for his products to help society work more efficiently and humanely.

“My role as an observer and as a technologist is to show everything that’s happening in the world in real time and get us to that data immediately, so we can change our lives even faster, with better knowledge.”


People invest in people, a good leader is someone who guides people and empowers it’s members to make big decisions. If I have to make a decision,” Jack says, “we have an organizational failure.”

Whether or not the 5 business lessons above will save Twitter, only time will tell.
It’s a critical time in the history for one of the most mainstream media platforms of our time.


Twitter was born out of a Pivot in 2006 …will it Thrive on a Pivot in 2015?

The 12 Best Startup Accounts To Follow On Twitter

The 12 Best Startup Accounts To Follow On Twitter

The Startup Garage team scoured Tweeter to bring you 12 diverse Startup resources full of rich content, active engagement, and follower traction worth following.

1.Funders and Founders@FundersFounders 19.7k followers

Are you a visual learner? @FundersFounders easily explains Startup Entrepreneurship visually through simple, fun, informative infographics that will help you thrive as an Entrepreneur.

2. Tech Cocktail @TechCocktail
51.9k followers

An online hub that brings the tech & startup ecosystems together on and offline.
Covering Startup news, how to’s, and upcoming events.

3. CB Insights @CBinsights
12k followers

A Venture Capital Database with detailed research reports, that helps track the world’s most promising private companies, their investors, acquires and the industries they compete. 
Helping entrepreneurs make smarter, faster, wiser business decisions.

4.Seed Sumo @SeedSumo
5,300k followers

A Superhuman Startup accelerator based out of Texas. @SeedSumo delivers a wide variety of worthy tweets, trends, and mentorship.

5. Startup Digest @StartupDigest
66.7k followers

Locally grown fresh Startup events in your area and around the world sent directly to your inbox. Designed to keep you in the Startup know.

6. Mashable – Startups @mashstartups
100k followers

Digital Culture news at your fingertips. An essential Startup resource for inspiration and fun, curated by a staff of rad contributors, who have set out to empower others.

7. 500 Startups @500Startups
354k followers

“Meet our badass, global family of startup founders, mentors, and investors” need I say more.
This startup accelerated was founded by Paypal and Google alums and lives and breaths Silicon Valley.

8.Derek Andersen @DerekjAndersen
13.3k followers

The founder of @StartupGrind (another resource to take notice of) As he grinds and hustles through the Startup community. *SideNote: He recently turned up his Instagram game introducing StartupGrinder, for a “behind the scenes” perspective.

9. Forbes Woman @ForbesWoman 294k followers

Success Tools and Tweets for today’s ambitiously entrepreneurial women. Tweeting through the lens of the world’s most interesting woman.

10. Startup Quote @startupquote 34.7k followers

Well you guessed it… Quotes that only an entrepreneur would love & other innovative wisdom to ponder. *Side Note at the time of writing this article @Startupquote has been on Twitter hiatus since May 18th 2014. Technically bouncing them off our list, but still worth referencing in times of need.

11. AlleyWatch @AlleyWatch
10.9k followers

A platformed designed to foster the Startup community. Providing invaluable information for every state of the Startup lifecycle, from the dreamer to the serial entrepreneur.

12. Product Hunt @ProductHunt 85.6k followers

Products that are set to disrupt the market in some shape or fashion. Be warned browsing these tweets may leave your brain swirling in a sea of ideas and innovation.

Be sure to check out “28 Essential Hashtags To Use For Your Startup Business”

28 Essential Hashtags To Use For Your Startup Business

28 Essential Hashtags To Use For Your Startup Business

Hashtags or the #symbol were originally created as a way to categorize messages, making it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content.

Hashtags ultimately help connect your Startup Business with an audience that shares similar interests, views, and insights.

When used routinely along with captivating relevant content, hashtags have the power to unleash tremendous value for your social network.

The hashtag list below includes hashtags that are in the “sweet spot” for growing your sphere of influence on both Twitter and Instagram.

These are hashtags that have been used over 2,000 times but less than 10,000. Therefore, they’re well known hashtags, yet not overly trending at this time. This sweet spot will allow for making it more likely your Startup’s content won’t get lost in the noise.

Funding: Hashtags relevant to raising capital for your Startup.

    #PrivateEquity
    #GetFunded
    #VentureCapital
    #Bootstrapping

Life: Hashtags relevant to the day to day working of Startups.

    
#TechStartup
    #StartupGrind
    #StartupBusiness
    #StartupCompany
    #StartupQuotes
    #StartupProblems
    #LeanStartup

Entrepreneurship: Hashtags relevant to being a Startup Entrepreneur.

    #EntrepreneursOfInstagram
    #Entrepreneursmindset
    #HappyFounders
    #FemaleEntrepreneur
    #WomeninTech

Business:Hashtags relevant to the business components of a Startup.

    #BusinessStartups
    #BusinessTips

Culture: Hashtags relevant to the culture and Startup environment.

    #SharingEconomy
    #TechnologyTuesday
    #InternetofThings
    #HustleHardWednesday
    #SharktankNation
    #TechnologyTuesday
    #WearableTech/#WearableTechnology

Trending: These are very popular and widely used Startup Hashtags.

They fall outside the scope of the “sweet spot” but are still worth leveraging.

    #Entrepreneurship
    #SiliconValley
    
#StartupWeekend
    #Startuplife

    #Innovative
    #SharkTank
    #Entrepreneur/ #Entrepreneurs
If you have a question about your Startup business idea or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

4 Reasons Why Startup Week San Diego Is Good For Your Life & Your Business

4 Reasons Why Startup Week San Diego Is From The Startup Garage

4 Reasons Why Startup Week San Diego Is Good For Your Life & Your Business

Celebrating and participating in local innovation has never been cooler for San Diegans, thanks to Startup Week San Diego.

Located in the heart of downtown SD June 14th-20th.

This action packed 6 day event is designed to be the premier catalyst for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurialism.

If you haven’t decided to attend, volunteer, or showcase at the event yet, here’s 4 solid reasons why doing so is good for your life and business.

1.Cutting Edge Information and Education Resource:

Have you ever wanted to be in the know, while helping to create the future? Welcome to the innovation and information highway. #SDSW is the ultimate platform to learn from leaders in Software as a Service (SaaS) including mobile tech, consumer internet, hardware, and defense technology.

Here’s a sneak peak of a few speaker’s topics you won’t find elsewhere:

    “$h!T Founders Don’t Talk About” speakers Mel Gordon Co-founder of TapHunter along with Bryan Hall Co-Founded his own engineering services company, and David Warren CEO of the mobile app LIA, share honest, raw, and insightful stories from the front lines as a Startup Founders.
    “How to Launch A Product on Kickstarter” crowdfunding your business has never been easier and in some cases more complicated. 3 San Diego Startups share with you their journey and the how to’s of launching and successfully getting funded on Kickstarter.

2. Explore & Enjoy San Diego Venues Like Never Before:

San Diego Startup Week doesn’t believe in stuffy conference rooms or returning to the same boring location day after day.

The roster of venues includes: the newly constructed $185 million library, the Broadway Pier which is located directly on the harbor, Mission Brewery where craft beer is their passion, and a handful of cool Startup incubators and accelerators where you’ll experience startup work culture firsthand.

If you’re ready for a real adventure we recommend the “Startup Crawl” on Weds June 17th from 7-9pm.
Groups will trek or crawl to various San Diego Startup and Tech companies for office tours, product showcases, and samplings of local craft beers.

3.Exceptional Networking Opportunities

You’ve heard it before “Your Network is your Net Worth” Startup week promises to infuse a community of thriving business and creative minds together with fun relationship building
activities.

The Startup Garage Team recommends showing off your stellar networking skills at Startup Week Launch Fest on Sunday June 14th from 3-6pm outside on the Broadway Pier, featuring food, live music, and even LED hula-hooping!

4. Great Way To Invest in your Education, Yourself, and San Diego Businesses

Whether you’re an SD local or visiting for your first time there’s no denying the entrepreneurial spirit is thriving with in this beach city. There’s never been a better time to invest in those things that matter most.

All access passes for the entire WEEK tickets are only $50 per person, and current students can attend free of charge. And if you find yourself wanting to assist, and gain a more behind the scenes perspective, sign up to get involved as a volunteer here>> Volunteer

Now that we’ve giving you our Top 4 for Reasons to check out #SDSW, we hope you have the opportunity to enjoy San Diego Startup Week and all it’s unique offerings.


The Startup Garage Team looks forward to hearing about your experience at #SDSW tag us in your social media posts #TheStartupGarage and share with us any tips or lessons you may have learned throughout the week. Enjoy!

Looking 3 Steps Ahead: What Comes After the Startup Ideation Phase

Looking 3 Steps Ahead: What Comes After the Startup Ideation Phase

What are the next steps after you come up with an idea for a new business?

After the ideation phase of a business, many teams loose focus. Fortunately, there is a tried and true blueprint that successful companies in all industries have followed in order to take a business entity from a spreadsheet into the real world.

Here are the three steps that all would-be Startup companies should consider after the initial visualization.

1 – How do you evaluate the current target market and market saturation? 

Identifying competition should be first on the list of any start up. This will help a company to more accurately define its own role in the marketplace, narrowing the sales funnel and eventually increasing the ROI of all marketing efforts. 

A high percentage of the first funds that you receive for your business idea will likely be earmarked for a highly detailed differentiated market analysis. Google Trends and the Google Keyword Tool are a great place to start, but the search should definitely not end there.

A startup company should consider geographic and demographic data from across the board in order to identify the audience that is making the current purchases of the products that it is considering selling.

More than 50% of businesses now include Facebook and Twitter commentary in their overall assessment of market saturation. If there are many comments about a product or industry trend, but most of the comments are negative, this means something much different than commentary that is overwhelmingly positive.

Researchers should be attuned to the fact that Facebook is prone to be much more negative than Twitter regardless of issue.

2 – How do you determine if your idea is profitable and scalable?

Profitability is a function of the perceived market value of your product, which can be approximated by a price/value industry matrix, minus the expenditures of your company per unit produced. With a volume that outpaces your fixed costs, you have a viable business structure, at least in theory.

Scalable ideas must incorporate variable costs such as taxes, marketing, promotion, distribution and government compliance into the equation. These kinds of calculations may require some professional assistance, but they should be determined before the initial start of production.

50% of businesses, and 60% of investors, want to see some sort of breakeven analysis in an initial business plan in order to help determine the overall viability of a would-be company. This should definitely be included; however, it should not be the end of the marketing analysis. Although it can be quite difficult to project profitability without a round of sales, every company should attempt to do this without exaggerating results, especially if multiple rounds of funding will be required to retain viability.

3 – How do you secure the flow of your marketing information to your customer?

One of the first things that an embryo company should consider is its niche in the marketplace. This is incredibly important in order to solidify the proper distribution of the marketing message. No matter how big or small a company, compliance with the current flow of information is critical. Business no longer runs the world of business – telecommunications does. This will only become more apparent as time goes on.

Currently, less than half of the Fortune 500 is mobile compliant by the standards of Google. 70% of those companies barely pass muster. 100% of these companies are spending millions in order to become fully compliant.

As of April 2015, any company that is not fully compliant by Google standards will begin to
lose visibility within the search engine, especially within the mobile search market. If this is a priority to a multibillion dollar company, this is a virtual death sentence to any high growth start up.

Guest Blogger Cameron Johnson is a business consultant and entrepreneur.
Over the course of his career he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international business conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media

Building Online Brand Presence as a Startup

How to Build Your Online Brand From The Startup Garage

Building Online Brand Presence as a Startup

Launching a new high growth startup is a way to build a business from the ground up.

Whether you are providing content, products or even services to potential customers.

Knowing how to build an online brand presence when getting a startup up and running is essential.

Especially when working in competitive fields and making a professional name and reputation for your brand.

Build a Creative Team

One of the most important factors to keep in mind when building an online presence for a startup company is the ability to cultivate a creative team to work with each day. Having a creative group of individuals who are dedicated to the vision you have for your startup helps with streamlining plans and moving forward in the right direction in any industry or field.

Get Engaged With Social Media

In order to ensure customer retention putting social media and social media marketing to use effectively is essential. Not only is it important to share updates on various platforms but it is also vital to communicate and get engaged with users who are also potential customers. Ask questions, request input and be sure to speak directly to those who want to know more about your startup to build a proper reputation while getting noticed in the industry you represent.

Use the Power of Influence

Using the power of influence both online and off is another way to spread the word regarding your startup business. When you have team members who engage with their online fans and followers it is much easier to share news, information and even product releases with hundreds and thousands of users simultaneously. Utilizing the power of influence is also a way to establish a professional reputation, helping others to gain trust in your business and brand, boosting sales and increasing generated revenue and profit.

Host Contests and Giveaways

One way to help build an online brand presence for a startup you are launching is to do so by hosting contests and giveaways. Giving away free branded merchandise and relevant gifts gives you the ability to spread your company’s name to promote loyalty and to keep customers coming back for more.

Using social media to host contests and giveaways is another way to build momentum for your brand with the use of sharing and spreading the word with other family members and friends of the current fans, followers and customer base you have. Giveaways and contests also showcase your dedication to delivering high-quality products and services to those who want to know more about your brand and business model, ultimately generating sales and additional income.

Consider Fundraisers and Crowdfunding

Getting a startup company off and running with success requires a bit of capital, which is not always easy to obtain based on your history as an entrepreneur and any experience you have in the field you represent.

Consider the option of launching an online fundraiser or working to create a crowdfunding campaign to spread the idea of your startup while gaining loyal fans and supporters of your business and its plan altogether.

Crowdfunding could be an option if you are not familiar with taking out business loans or seeking additional assistance from venture capitalists. Using a crowdfunding campaign is often free of charge and provides you with total control of the amount you need to raise and what the money invested is likely to be used for in order to continuously build the products you want to sell and share with the world. It also acts as a source for social validation. If consumers are unwilling to buy into your big idea then it may be a sign to rethink your business plan.

Get Creative with Press Releases

Any time you have a startup you want to promote gathering the interest of the media and press is stressful and at times, nearly impossible. Crafting creative press releases gives you the ability to appeal to local news, international news stations and even online blogs and communities who follow startups and products that are relevant to your own.

Understanding all aspects of building a brand presence for a startup is a way for you to get more out of the potential exposure required to continue experiencing success. With the use of the right tools, marketing and communication it has never been easier to garnish interest while attracting potential customers who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

Guest Blogger
Cameron Johnson is a business consultant and entrepreneur.
Over the course of his career he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international business conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.