So finally you have taken the plunge, quit your job and started your business! Congratulations! Welcome to the exciting club of entrepreneurs and start-ups. The initial euphoria of being own boss and founder of a start-up makes way to a truckload of questions, challenges and problems, which are part of this start-up journey. This article is not about solving all those questions or problems. Here we will see some common problems faced by start-ups, and ways to overcome them by preparing at the initial stage itself.

Challenge 01 – Convincing others about your start-up

Okay, you have a brilliant idea and a business plan. But how can you convince others? Others mean, your potential employees, investors, partners, suppliers, and all other stakeholders needed to grow your start-up into a successful business.

This is where a great story-telling presentation comes to the picture. Everyone knows that we need a great brand story. Something exciting. But it needs to be told in a different way to your audience, depending on whom you are telling this story. What your employees look for in your start-up story is not what an investor or client will be looking for. The story may be the same, but the way you present to each of these stakeholders should be in a way to build a connection for them.

Challenge 02 – Crowded Start-up Scene

Many a time, similar ideas are being pursued by a number of start-ups. Till the clear product differentiation kicks in, or large funding happens, it is difficult to stand out in the market. This is where your branding can help. Invest in good brand identity and strategy. Find a niche for your start-up’s positioning, get a unique and stunning identity developed, get the brand story right, and create some assets (visuals/ web/ communication materials etc) designed to suit your image.

03 – Have a CRM tool in place

Do not wait for the clients to come in for planning your CRM tool implementation. Have it in place before you even start your first marketing activity. Install it or subscribe to one of the many CRM tools in the market. Test it, get familiar with it. Build your sales-pipelines in it. Get communication templates and emails prepared and set up in the CRM. Once you are ready with your CRM setup, handling an enquiry or lead is much smoother. It will also give a professional outlook to your start-up, which can create a positive and deeper impact among your potential clients.

04 – Marketing

Allocate some budget for your marketing activities – online or offline. And spend it. It always pays off. Start with a small budget, utilize it fully, within the time-frame as per your marketing strategy, and analyse the results. Optimize the communication, target audience, channels etc, and do it again. Never take the foot off this pedal, and never get disheartened by low results in the initial stages. Any idea that didn’t work well is a great lesson in marketing.

05 – Get some real clients

A startup with a few real customers always has the potential to grow better than one with just a brilliant idea. Because getting vetted in the real market by a real purchase is trial-by-fire for any business. If a client is willing to part his or her hard earned money on your idea, it means the idea is workable. After delivering the product or your service to your first client, get their review and a testimonial. A review will help in improving your offering, and a testimonial (positive) will help you in getting more clients. Do it, repeat it.

Get these 5 fundamental things implemented in your start-up. They will surely help in making it a long way in this highly competitive market.

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Published by Umraz Rasaque

Umraz Rasaque is a serial entrepreneur, businessman and marketing veteran with an experience of 4 decades. As the co-founder of MediaJenie, he brings business intelligence and marketing strategy to different projects.

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