Founding a startup is no easy business! They fail at a profoundly high rate in their first year, even for entrepreneurs who know what they’re doing. The only way to survive--and thrive--is to learn from the mistakes others have made...
Marketing is a crucial part of every successful startup, but marketing mistakes can also be the trap that sinks your business. Here are the five most common mistakes that startups make in the first year and how to you can turn their failure into your success.
1. Going In Big On Marketing Campaigns
You want to make a splash in the marketplace. Showcase your big idea to the world. Go viral. But spending the majority of your company’s budget on a marketing campaign is not a wise idea. You’ll end up running out of money--and running into the ground.
Don’t bet the house on a one-in-a-million marketing campaign. Instead, use your marketing budget to enhance your customer’s experience. Focus on keeping your customers happy and you’ll find your business growing steadily from referrals.
2. Focusing Too Much On Competitors
We all want to know what our competitors are up to, and keeping track of them is essential to stay one step ahead of the game. However, too much focus on your competitors can strangle your business with distraction.
Being overly focused on competitors saps time and energy away from your customers, explains Dorothy Cook, a Marketing Manager at Best Australian Writers. You won’t know whether your marketing strategy was a success because you’ll constantly be trying to change things.
3. Going In Blind With Blogging
Every startup needs a blog to get off the ground. But without a solid blogging plan, you could be bleeding money on fruitless endeavors and missing out on crucial capital from skeptical investors.
Before you launch, invest a serious amount of time in generating a blog plan. Your plan should detail your first three months of content, specify delivery dates, organize your content into categories, and prove that your content is relevant to your business.
4. Brand Perfectionism
Of course, we want our businesses to be perfect every step of the way. But hemming and hawing over branding decisions (large and small) can be debilitating to your startup’s growth.
For example, one of the worst decisions an entrepreneur can make is to change their company’s name after launch. Let me repeat, don’t change your name. It’s a huge waste of money and time. Your would-be loyal customers won’t be able to find you again, and you’ll have to rebrand everything, basically putting yourself back at square one.
5. Trying to Appeal To Everyone
We live in the age of targeted advertisements, but surprisingly one of the most common mistakes that startups make is advertising to absolutely everybody. This stretches your resources too thin, neutralizes your marketing impact, and causes your business to starve.
“Instead, decide on a target market that you want to aim for,” advises Daniel Hooks, a PR Manager at UK Top Writers. “Keep things targeted and precise, as you can branch out later when you have the resources.”
Many of the problems startups face are the result of not putting their customers first. Although it’s tempting to go all in on viral advertising or the perfect brand identity, what really matters is finding your ideal customers and keeping them satisfied. Be smart with your money and judicious with your time, and you’ll grow your business at the right speed.