from Linked IN 01 Dec 13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
80% of StartUps fail in first 18 months, according to the Forbes/ Bloomberg/ Business Insider. This is specially applicable to the Technology StartUps. Everything starts with a great idea ! Full of enthusiasm, months are spent to develop & translate this idea to a great product. Most of the times, Startups assume that they know that there is a real nerd, er, need in the market, but soon they find them running out of cash. “Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” –Michael Dell, Dell Chairman and CEO
Marketing Matters. One of the top-most reasons behind shocking failures is : “StartUps inability to have a proper Marketing system. This issue in the primary key to success, because a systematic approach to build Sales (& Cash Flow) can help to avoid facing financial disaster. In last 15 months, after working closely with StartUps and the growing businesses, here is my personal take on what happens :
1. The Reasons you started Your Business? A lot of money in shortest time possible? Freedom of time & creativity? Own boss with all authority? Less work ? I suggest you to think again, and find much more deeper reasons. These are mostly myths, but not the eMyth. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Best Reasons should be : The Deepest Passion for your idea & a real Need in the market place. And yes, you believe that you have right attitude & mindset to overcome all possible hurdles & failures. Can you use failures as part of “learning process.”? Can you keep your ego aside, and without hesitation or fear, reach out to mentors & expert and ask them for guidance when you need it?
2. Do you know your potential Customers and their Needs ? Nothing can be worse than trying to market your products/services without knowing your customers needs clearly. You may think that you have something amazing and world’s the best solutions. But does your market also think so? “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” –Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-Founder
Listen, most people invest to move from pain to comfort and they care damn if the product has 5 GHz processor or 20 GHz – as long they can see the difference. There is always a huge difference between “good to have” and “must have”. Is your product a “must have”?
3. What is the “real” Value you bring to the table ? Amid 50,000 ideas a year (growing every year), are any similar to what you are proposing. Can you clearly differentiate? Are you working on “perception” building to attract Customers? Do they really see that the Core Value of your proposition is really addressing their core pain area? If you don’t address this, you will land up into a totally different Core Zone that is a War-Zone : “$Price$”. Remember, there is always someone who can offer much lower prices. “User experience is everything. It always has been, but it’s under-valued & under-invested in. If you don’t know “user-centered” design, study it. Hire people who know it. Obsess over it. Live & breathe it. Get your whole company on board.” –Evan Williams, Co-Founder, Twitter
4. External Dependence. I observed in myself and in many entrepreneurs that we open too many fronts simultaneously, and then try to do everything on our own. Under pressure, crucial activities or projects are left incomplete, and then most do a major blunder. Hope that someone can take care of Sales & Marketing operations. We tend to depend upon some external help to fix this, becaue we don’t have the expertise. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” –Richard Branson
Having “Skin in the Game” is one of the first things which Venture Capitalists find out about the founders is their own and “relationships between founder & the employees”. Take help of experts to find out the skills required by you to win the game : Inter-personal Relationships, (+) Mindset, Networking, etc. Pair-up with an “accountability partner”. Once the gaps in your company’s expertise are identified, find one of the best Business Coach in your area, and don’t be afraid to ask anything. The returns are priceless.
5. Build your own Marketing approach from the beginning. Remember, many great Startups went Bankrupt, as they were hallucinated in their own world and thought that the technology was everything. They blew everything on development and by the time product was ready, they had nothing much left to market and invest in messaging. They missed budgeting for the “Lifeline”. Now, what is their a practical solution to the above? Is it possible for someone from a non-sales/marketing background to start planning, execute & systematically build sales system? The answer is Yes. Contact Mr Wiz4biz [5 Star Startup Services] or some other reputable service to help you – who’s done it before – and often – many times.
Comments: Do you have any Ideas that you could contribute?