These 5 little changes will make a big difference in your startup. As a passionate startup founder, you need your business to make money fast so that you can get back the money you invested.
As the saying goes, “sometimes it’s the little things that matter”.
If you have a startup and have been running it for at least more than 3 months and you don’t feel like smashing your head against the wall or plucking out your hair, I need your sorcerer’s number. Especially if you’ve a young business which seems to be invisible to potential customers.
Don’t be discouraged by this however, sometimes we are misled to believe that startups offer overnight or short-term success by motivational speakers, misleading success stories and blogs until we are neck deep in obstacles.
Having your own business is rewarding, so don’t give up just yet. No one is truly immune to the rigorous whipping of a new startup, those that claim to be are probably lying to you.
The endless failing number of Google startups is a testimony to the fact that even having immense resources won’t make you immune to challenges.
So, what 5 little changes can you make to your startup and still make a big difference?
Since most of us don’t have a big budget or may not have a ton of experience with running a marketing campaign or startup, we must take advantage of simple yet effective methods that allow us to cheat and stay ahead of the game.
1. Start blogging.
As a young startup you must invest in blogging. I cannot emphasize this enough. Blogging is one of the easiest, low cost or even sometimes free ways for you to establish your brand reputation and attract customers.
You should always write about your startup’s journey, document and announce what you are releasing, your vision, stay ahead of the media with relevant press releases and share your experiences within your line of work on your website/blog.
These lessons or resources will attract people looking to learn from you and you can use this opportunity to link in your product or service as an easy solution to some of these problems.
A good blog post will also get people to demand what you have to offer. Your skillful expertise will further sell why you are better than everyone else and seal the deal.
2. Optimise your startup’s SEO.
Which brings us to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Usually the most overlooked aspect in marketing in traditional markets like Africa; SEO tells search engines like Google about you, what you do and how your startup ranks compared to other businesses like yours.
If you rank poorly or not at all, when people search for you in Google, they won’t be able to find you. And given trends today, people love to Google everything either to confirm it’s legit or when they are looking for someone or something to solve their problem.
This is where your blog comes in. If you have been writing a couple of blog posts that fit and offer a solution to the problem the user is facing, they will click on your blog post, learn about you and either share it with others or contact you which increases your reach and credibility.
Also indexing your site in Google search console and ensuring your posts and website are SEO ready by using SEO plugins like Rank Math SEO for a CMS like WordPress will improve your rank and give you a better chance to be seen altogether.
SEO is too broad a topic to be covered in this post, but you can find numerous posts about how to setup your business to appear online such as using Google Business Pages and configuring your website.
3. Listen to your customers.
The mistake most young startup founders make is that they create a product or service without their end users in mind. Which is in the beginning might be okay, because as you come up with your idea, you don’t know if it will be well received and work or not.
But that is not an excuse after the first launch or release. You should always have a system in place to observe, study, analyse and listen to your customers so you can know what they like about your product or service and what they would like changed.
This form of continuous adjustment and integration will help your startup go a long way. For instance, if you have an ecommerce website or app, it is good to understand how your customers are using the website, whether they are finding the signup process long or short, if it is easy for them to find the products they are looking for and what reviews they are leaving for you.
Believe me, psychologically, humans love to be heard or listened to since it is so rare. So, getting this feedback and responding as well as making changes will make you leave your competition miles away.
4. Build a community.
I’m sure you are surprised by this; most people tend to skip telling you to build a community yet it is probably going to be your startup’s strongest secret weapon.
A community will go a long way in helping you with the feedback we talked about above, they will provide insights you can listen to and adjust, as well as engagement with your content. Your first community members should be your friends and family!
The coolest thing about building and managing a community is that in the long run, it will reduce your marketing and retention costs. Your members will market your products or services for free and even help recruit and retain for you new members.
I know at one point you were wondering when I was going to talk about social media. You can use social media marketing while implementing any of the changes above.
I intentionally left it out because sometimes many young startups with small budgets dwell too much on it and they don’t get the results they need because they have turned a tool into the main strategy.
Social media advertisements have become expensive today and most social media networks have also made it hard for you to grow organically without paying for ads, so you have to get crafty to achieve success.
5. Vision and planning.
Before you even create your startup, you should always have a great vision and draw a plan on how you will start it, run it, fund it and the kind of people you want it to target.
Honestly, it should have been the first thing I talked about, but I wanted it to come last because usually founders already know this and are tired of constantly being reminded about it.
A good vision and well drafted plan could sell even the crappiest product or service. That is why you find ridiculous ideas making lots of money and you can’t believe it. Sometimes these people planned it to be that way and they stuck to their vision doesn’t mean you have to copy the same idea.
However, as you do this, don’t be too rigid to making a few changes to your idea and objectives all in the name of being a die-hard stubborn entrepreneur. Sometimes a little calculated change is good.
That’s about it, these 5 little changes should make a big difference in your startup when you implement them. I hope you have found them enriching and they help improve your business.
Please share with me your feedback and some of your experiences in the comments, you could inspire or help other readers.
If you also have questions, please ask and I will do my best to answer most of them. We can also continue the conversation on Twitter.
Have you ever been curious as to why fewer Africans share there business experiences and journey online? You might find this article useful.