5 Ways You Can Make Your Young Startup Stand Out

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By Anita Ginsburg

New startups are created every day across all industries. Consumers see companies come and go all the time. You need to differentiate your startup from others and from the major companies already in operation. Here are five ways you can make your young startup stand out amongst the competition.

Use Unorthodox Marketing
One way to stand out is to use unorthodox marketing methods to promote and brand your new startup. These are marketing ideas that are outside the box and innovative. You want to approach the problem of creating brand awareness and advertising your products in ways that have never been done before. Use community service, social media and special events to make this happen.

Have a Meaningful Social Media Presence
Many large companies today have a generic and boring presence online. Your new startup is small enough to have a meaningful social media presence. You want to create social media content that is genuinely interesting, useful or entertaining. Respond to social media posts from consumers. Having consumers perceive your startup as genuinely being a part of social media will set you apart from the competition.

Have Live Representatives Available At All Times
Consumers want to talk or message someone instantly when there are questions or problems. Too many large companies and startups today ignore this aspect of doing business. Use tools like online messaging software to connect to your customers easily and quickly. You should also make it easy for them to talk to someone on the phone during business hours, instead of requiring them to fill out forms or leave messages. This make a big difference in the long run.

Know and Target Your Primary Audience
Large companies need to appeal to the broadest audience possible making most marketing and advertising efforts feel stale or generic. Your startup can stand out by knowing and directly targeting your primary audience. Tailor your ads and marketing towards the market segments who want your product. This will allow your marketing to shine in an oversaturated field.

Enact Generous Customer Service Policies
A final way to stand out is to enact generous customer service policies. You want to be seen as providing exceptional service when there are problems such as defective, damaged or missing products in an order. Good customer service builds customer loyalty and trust that will eventually help your startup to succeed.

You cannot sit back and hope your startup catches on with consumers based on the products or services you are selling. You need to be aggressive about marketing your startup and providing the basic things other companies do not. These five tips will help your startup to stand out from your competitors.

Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO and often writes about business, finance, education and home. She graduated from Colorado State University in 2004. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

How to Promote Your Startup

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By Diana Smith

Marketing has undergone a lot of changes during the last decade and no longer do you have to spend loads of money in order to get your business noticed. There are many cheap ways to make sure people find out about your business. Startups need marketing just as much big companies do. So the moment you enter the market, you have to start thinking about business promotion. If you are out of ideas be sure to check out the following 5 things you can try out.

Social media marketing

Any method of connecting people can be of great value when it comes to business promotion. Social media has become an important part of our lives and there is no reason why it should not be used for this purposes as well. Create a Facebook, Twitter or Linkedln account for your company and get closer to the potential customers. Still, there are some rules you have to follow if you want to succeed in promoting your business. Do not overload your followers with ads for your business as you will be labeled as a “spammer” and most likely unfollowed by most of the people. A post per day or two is more than enough. If you want to get the most out of it, post between 7 and 10 p.m. as that is the part of the day when most of the people are online.

Buddy marketing

There are companies out there that deal in the similar line of business and want to promote their company as well. Think of some other business whose customers might also benefit from visiting your company. Contact them and try to reach the agreement that will benefit the both sides. You can for example give that company’s visit cards to your customers in favor they do the same thing to you. Or you can both put other company’s ad on the official website. This type of marketing is completely free and can be very useful. Your employees can always mention the other company to the customers and recommend them their products or services. Of course, the other company’s employees should do the same for you.

Customer relationships

Happy and satisfied customers will always be ready to recommend you to the people they know. This is in fact one of the most common ways people decide on which company they are going to turn to. So if you want to increase the number of customers, make sure you treat the current ones the best way possible. Obviously, you and your staff have to be polite with each customer and prepared to answer all of their questions. Remember that customers are not just numbers but real people and more personal approach will do the job. Send them Christmas cards or create special customer birthday program. The harder you try, bigger are the chances your customers will recommend you to the others.

Promotional material

Another great way to attract more customers is to give away promotional material. Promotional material is used in marketing ever since George Washington first used it as a part of his 1789 US presidential campaign. Many companies today use this way type of marketing as well. Pens, key chains and t-shirts are just some of the things you can give to your customers. Just make sure your logo and company’s name are visible. This is also a great conversation starter with potential customers. Your staff can give a piece of promotional material to a person in the store and then talk about your company. You can also consider giving your customers personalized water bottles with the logo of your company. It is a great way to make a strong first impression on potential customers.

Try all of these ways and your startup will definitely record some increases in sale. It is very important to start advertising the moment the company is open for business. Only that way it will be able to remain competitive in the market. Still, the most important thing is to make sure your products or services are quality as much as possible. Satisfied customers will always be ready to come back.

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to latest business technology and advertising. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new and low budget ways to promote business.

Entrepreneur Essentials: 5 Game Plans Every New Business Needs

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By Rachelle Wilber

A new business is only as good as its game plan. If you’re opening the doors to a new venture, you need to start with a solid foundation. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have some ideas that will help guide your future in business. That way, you’ll have a solid base on which to build from.

Business Professionals
If you’re starting a new business, you need to figure out exactly what kind of help you’ll need for your market when it comes to the professional front. Note that this isn’t staffing – that will come later. Instead, you want to consider the kind of professional help you’ll need to keep your business running. Make sure that you have the help of a good accountant and a good lawyer before you set your business plans in motion.  They can help you know the ins and outs of all the logistics and red tape that make up the business world.

A Solid Marketing Plan
A business can only be as successful as its reputation. Without a great marketing plan, your business’ potential growth is limited only to that which can be generated by word of mouth. Before you open your doors, make sure you have a solid plan in place for the first several months of marketing materials. Note that you do not need to know the precise content of your materials yet, but rather the general methods by which you can gain publicity in your area.

Equipment Needed
Most businesses involve some kind of physical structure where the business is housed. Therefore, you’ll need to plan for long-term equipment usage. For most businesses, that will mean hiring a professional to make sure that the wiring is installed correctly. Aside from electricity, your most important need will be water – and that means having a water heater installed as well. Don’t do this one yourself, but rather hire a professional to install your business’ water heater.  For instance, professionals, like those at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric keep their trucks stocked with extra heaters in case yours fails.  Having a good replacement for a broken water heater will help keep everything running smoothly at any business.

Staffing and Hiring
While some small businesses can run with a staff of one, this isn’t a growth mindset that you need to embrace. Instead, make a plan for who you will hire and for what reason. Chart out a reasonable plan such as when to hire new staff, how they will be organized, and how pay scales will be dealt with.

Goals for Growth
Finally, create a plan that has goals and growth in mind. What are you going to do when your business starts to generate a profit? What about when it outgrows its current location? Draft a plan for your expectations in six months, a year, five years, and ten years, including an exit plan if necessary.

Having a good collection of game plans can help any entrepreneur create a business that can stand up to the pressures of the real world. While every plan that exists can run into snags, great plans will give you great options. Always follow the plans above to maximize the efficacy of your business.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter:@RachelleWilber.