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How to prevent your start-up from falling victim to the grim reaper By Roy Osing

Got an idea you think can make you lots of money? Good. Chalk one up to you for coming up an innovative thought.

But the real challenge you have is to figure out how to monetize it. 

If you can’t get people to buy it, your idea is wasted.

Here are 6 steps to take to increase the chances of your start-up succeeding.

1. Define, in precise terms, how your new business idea is different than your competition. Ultimate success will be determined by staking a unique claim in the market. If your idea is the same as,or similar to something already out there, it will be invisible and will be ignored. It won’t attract attention and no one will buy.

2. Identify the potential customers   for your idea. Winning is all about targeting your idea to very specific groups of people and giving them a reason to buy from you. It’s NOT about flogging your idea to the masses and hoping it will stick to some of them. If you can’t define your potential customers, STOP.

3. Recruit people who have a strong marketing and customer service background. Ultimately, the success of your idea will depend on “go-to-market” effectiveness. Better have people on board who have experience in serving customers and providing value-based solutions to people. Technology and finance expertise are needed as well, but in a supportive role. People responsible for customers must be your anchor.

4. Test your idea with potential customers. It’s not about how excited you and your friends are about your idea,  it’s about what your potential customers think. Get them in a room and present your idea. Ask them to evaluate it. Does your idea excite them? Let them play with it. Do they think it satisfies a real need or desire they have? Do they think it’s different than other products out there? Would they buy it? At what price? Would they likely tell their fiends about it? 

5. Define the unique value created by your new product or service. Flogging product features is not a sustainable approach. Discover how you are satisfying a want or desire that your potential customers have. This will form the basis of your marketing efforts and your pitch to potential investors.

6. Avoid thinking that technology will sell itself. People don’t buy technology, they buy the benefits technology creates for them. Happiness. Joy. Pleasure. A solution to a problem. 

The odds are stacked against a start-up surviving; these 6 steps will help to thwart the grim reaper.

About Author

 Roy Osing (@royosing) is a former President and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience covering all the major business functions including business strategy, marketing, sales, customer service and people development. He is a blogger, content marketer, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead

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