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Career Change Entrepreneurship Personal development Start up

Five steps to a successful start up

You have a software application written and you are excited by the opportunity to start your own business. Launching it is not enough, to successfully secure sales you need know your market.

History has proved that marketing is the key to launching a successful business, you can have the best solution, but marketing wins. Once that stands out for me was SQL and Nested database. The latter is superior for scale, simplicity, yet SQL won the business. The alternative is a slow burn of referrals, which can work, but takes time.

So here are the steps:

Target market: Who are you selling to? What is their demographic? How do you get to the target audience(what do they read, what apps do they use)? Why are they buying?

Knowing how you reach your target audience is critical and knowing why they would buy your product?

How to?

1. Get a database of your target audience. There are many options to gaining access to a database:

  1. Utilise a company with same target audience: ie customer segmentation, industry segment and/ or regional. Set up a referral fee in exchange for using their database. If B2B business to Business then buy a list: Illion, Core logic, listing company Or: Building your own database, utilise the internet for research
  2. Dont proceed to step 1 without knowing who is your target audience. You will waste money and time, both precious.

2. Whats your message? Why are your target audience interested?

  1. Why use your product?
  2. Testimonials from exisiting customers
  3. Referrals. Will your customers refer to other customers
  4. Social media, connect with Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  5. PR; utilise a PR company in your sector, to get the message out their.
  6. Note: Educating a new market is not for the faint hearted, definitely for organisations with deep pockets. If people don’t get it and you are not making sales, relook at the offering and your target audience. Jeffrey Moors book “Crossing the Chasm” describes early adopters in his book. Basically you need to look for risk takers

3. Easy to buy from

  1. Once you have steps 1 and 2 nailed, can your target audience order your product simply and easily. If its too complicated, then you will not secure the business even if step 1 and 2 are executed well.
  2. How many prospects have abandoned the process in coming on board, as it is to complex.

4. Build a business plan and cash flow and take it out to your network to test the above. Is the target marker large enough? Sold some niche products in my time and one the target market in Australia was 400 companies, only 10% come to the market annually and have a 10 year lifespan. Even if you won 100% of 40 Companies is that enough revenue to deliver the profit you are looking for?

This is a great opportunity to tweak your plans before going ahead for real.

5. Press the button, register the company and execute your plans.

By angelalovegrove

Angela has over 20 Years International Business Leadership experience in Technology sector working across the Financial Services, Government, Telecommunications, Construction, Mining, Consumer products, Retail, Not for Profits, Manufacturing and Health

Angela has led the setting up of technology start ups including fund raising - Quofore Europe, Asia Pacific, Masterpack Europe, Tenuteq Europe, High growth leadership Quofore Asia, Salesforce.com Australia, nbnco Business and Transformation leadership at Telstra Business NSW Australia.

3 replies on “Five steps to a successful start up”

If you are targeting the business market, you can use google to find business in a particular sector, location or other criteria and add to a spreadsheet (Later can then merge with mail merge software for marketing ie mailchimp). Buying lists is far quicker, there are many companies out there corelogics, illion etc, the trick is if you purchase, you will need to be clear what you want, otherwise you pay for records that you can never use. Always ask for a sample first, based on criteria to see if it hits the mark.
If you are targeting individuals and also applies for business, then knowing which platforms they use ie instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, building up a following through posts and links to your website and product, is the most effective way of reaching your audience. You can also consider paid advertising through those channels.
There are other methods of reaching your potential customers such as “blitzing” where you leaflet drop in an area, can include billboards.
The most important thing is who is your audience? What do they read, whats the most effective way to connect with them. Hope this is helpful.

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