Starting a business is an exciting, yet challenging mission that requires a lot of time, money, and hard work to make it rise above your competitors. The hardest part of a start-up business is making it succeed. If you’ve just started up your very own business but you feel like you’re struggling, then here’s some powerful expert tips on how to drive your start-up towards a successful outcome. Let’s get started.
Best Methods To Improve Your Start-Up’s Success
1. Know Your Target Customers
For any business to succeed, especially a start-up, you need to know who your ideal customer is. The reason why many start-ups fail is because they don’t research their potential customer base before they invest in their business. By not knowing your target customer, you fall short of being able to directly target them with your marketing efforts. So how do you find out your ideal customer, you ask? The answer is customer segmentation.
Customer segmentation is the process of narrowing down a wide customer audience base until you’re left with who your ideal customer would be. The first step in completing this is by developing your main customer categories. These include
- Geographic Locations
Once your main categories are established you then begin to analyse and narrow down your potential target audience, as seen in the table below, by determining their traits.
Opinions and attitudes
|Frequency of behaviour
Consistency of behaviour
Readiness to change
Stages of change
Duration of behaviour
When you’ve deducted the traits of your target customer, you can then work on narrowing them down more until you have the identity of who you should target your marketing efforts towards.
|Wants to become a fashion designer
Loves to buy new clothes just released
Works in a high-end job that pays decent money
Wants outfits that mix and match well
|Loves to go clothes shopping every weekend
Enjoys going out to parties and socialising
Isn’t afraid to speak her mind
As seen above, by analysing and segmenting your ideal customer you’ll be able to improve your marketing efforts greatly so you can gain more interest from the right customer base. This will help your business thrive and succeed in a competitive world.
2. Use Criticism To Your Advantage
At some point, any start up business will receive criticism and some negative feedback, it’s all a part of the growing process. The difference between successful businesses and the ones that fail is that those who succeeded used criticism to their advantage. When you gain negative feedback, there’s a few things you should do. These include:
- Thank the person for the negative feedback and bringing the problem to your attention.
- Use this negative feedback to help improve this area of your business. Addressing these key areas will dramatically improve the way you conduct yourself as a business, and how efficient you are when selling your products or services to your customers.
- If possible, ask the same customer to try again with the process that caused the negative feedback in the first place. This will allow you to see whether there’s more issues with this area of your business.
Don’t take negative feedback as a personal hit. All businesses will have negativity at some point in their years of operation. Instead use it to your advantage as a way to grow your business into a powerful enterprise.
Many start-up businesses don’t have a long-term strategy in place when they begin their business. This can be a problem when trying to achieve success in a short amount of time because you don’t have a solid foundation to work from. When building your long-term business strategy, here’s a few things to think of:
- Decide on where you would like to be in 5 to 10 years. Do you want to be selling overseas, opening another business in another location, or earning big dollars from your company?
- Keep your profits in perspective. This means estimate your spending and your possible financial growth over the next 5-10 years.
- Look for possible partnerships that can help excel your business forward to a higher growth margin.
- Look into the team and staff you need to hire long term if your business expands. Account for this within your long-term spending and financial growth margin.
- Look for other ways you can grow the business; improve services, add more products to sell etc.
- Analyse the best marketing efforts that would target your ideal customer the best; TV advertising, online marketing, social media marketing etc.
- Analyse your competitors. Are you able to give customers in your industry something they can’t?
By really thinking about the future, how you can expand your business growth, and developing a long-term strategy as your foundation, you’ll be able to really drive your business towards success.
Owning and running a start-up business isn’t an easy task to begin with. However, by utilising all the advice you’re given you can achieve the unachievable if you put your mind towards it. So, have you started a business? Are you going to implement these tips?
About the Author
Steven McMeechan is a strategic marketing and communications specialist with over twenty years’ experience in senior marketing management roles across a range of industries including Information Technology and Financial Services. He works for Capstone Financial Planning and lives in Melbourne, Australia.