4 ways to shake up your startup
Despite what you might read in thought leadership literature, there’s no surefire secret formula for new business success.
Because your company is unique, you’ll need to be agile and adaptable while charting your own path towards your goals.
But there are a few creative tactics which can differentiate you from the competition and drive results.
With that in mind, here are four ways to shake up your startup.
In 2019, everyone and their granny has a Facebook account. And used properly, social media can bring business benefits as well as being the preferred medium for sharing pictures of cute cats and having heated debates about who was the best movie Batman ever.
But before you dive in, remember that a well-designed website and SEO strategy might deliver more tangible results than investing time and money in social media – think search engine prominence, sales and footfall as opposed to brand presence and tribe-building.
Then choose your platform carefully so that you’re sure that the quality content you’ll post will actually reach your target clientele. Your digital marketing partner can advise further, but for instance, Facebook’s demographic is older now than it was a few years ago, while Instagram and Snapchat serve younger audiences and LinkedIn is a superior networking site for B2B businesses.
Whatever content you provide should be by turns informative, entertaining, engaging and genuinely useful – whether it’s delivered organically or via paid ads on your preferred platform. It’ll promote your products and services, but you can decide how to tailor your voice and tone to your followers and branding and whether it’s subtle or advertorial in the way it promotes your products and services.
Another key factor to consider is that some platforms will suit your brand positioning and preferred method of content delivery better than others. So if your products are best promoted via high-quality photos or graphics, platforms like Instagram or Pinterest may be beneficial, but if you want to start conversations and engage in discussions, Twitter may work better. Likewise, if videos are the best way to present your service, YouTube, LinkedIn or TikTok are your new best friends.
Whatever platform you choose, communicating with customers in the language they love while providing fresh and fulfilling content should always be your aim.
As well as being a fab forum for jobseekers, networking can also offer the opportunity to nurture new business relationships with other professionals who may become collaborators, so it’s hard to see how networking isn’t a win-win for all involved. You’re able to pool resources, expand your client base through referrals and connect with others with similar interests, so networking can help create a superb support network you never knew you needed.
By sharing knowledge and potentially pooling resources, networking can help you solve tricky problems that many startups face, talk through even the toughest of issues, andshare latest developments in your industry – all of which keeps you ahead of the curve.
What’s more, if you don’t have the time to network in person or simply find socialising for business slightly awkward, head over to LinkedIn for a networking experience that might suit you down to the ground. It’s now the biggest professional networks in the world, with 62% of business owners reporting that they use the platform and its simple segmentation according to industry sectors and seniority means that making the right connections is child’s play.
For traditional hardboiled business people, the concept of Charity partnerships is puzzling – when your only focus is the bottom line, working for free seems counterintuitive.
However, there are several advantages to working with a charity, that are cost effective and beneficial for your business.
Firstly, it helps connect your business with the local community quickly –this is especially useful for small business owners who looking to engage with those around them and build a brilliant reputation in their neighbourhoods.
But furthermore, as well as simply being ‘the right thing to do’, some pro bono work with charities which align with your declared corporate values proves to the public that you walk the walk as well as talking the talk – you’re genuinely the type of company you profess to be.
So put simply, if you’ve built your branding position around a social as well as commercial mission, charity collabs make commercial as well as ethical sense
And charitable work doesn’t mean throwing money at a cause – you can donate time and expert services as well as cash, it can boost employee morale and also benefit recruitment and retention, because potential employees as well as customers are paying increasing attention to business values and concepts like Corporate Social Responsibility
If you’ve been working in your field for a long time, you might think that the lion’s share of your learning is over – and that there’s little that a student intern can teach you.
But you’d be wrong – because despite their lack of professional experience, students bring a fresh perspective to any business and often come equipped with the latest cutting-edge technology and strategies garnered from tutors at trailblazing colleges and universities.
And apart from their academic expertise, if you’re marketing products and services to a younger clientele, who better than members of their generation to intimately understand their wants, needs, desires and conversational conventions?.
Advertising internships, apprenticeships, graduate schemes and work experience programmes is a great way to create an in-house employee training tailored to your business and their success is well documented. A NACE survey found that the retention rate for interns is 19.3% higher than the rate for hires with no internship experience at the one-year mark, so developing youthful talent is one of the best ways to futureproof your firm
In terms of long-term benefits, building a rapport with an educational institution also has the potential to introduce your company to thousands of potential customers in physical and digital campuses around the world and projects a reputation as a socially responsible and forward thinking organisation.
Finally, perhaps the most positive practical aspect of introducing a student scheme to your business is to help increase productivity during times when you’re under resourced and demands are high.interns can provide cover during seasonal surges or when you’re onboarding new clients and it’s a mutually-beneficial arrangement because the students you employ are boosting their CVs and enhancing their skillsets while you benefit from their hard graft.
Growing a new business is tricky – you’ve got to secure a firm foundation for the future by consolidating your early success and scaling up in a sensible and sustainable manner.
But the four tips above will help you shake up your startup so that it goes from strength to strength – integrate them in your strategy today.