There are 101 things to consider for day one of your venture, but for me day one is all about what truly makes a startup fly – sales and marketing.
Get out of the building with gusto and passion and shout to the world.
Fortune favours the brave, don’t worry about what not’s done, a startup is an experiment in proving a market for your proposition, so the more engagement with prospective customers the better.
With that in mind, here are my four tips to make it happen on day one of your startup.
1. Have a decent website and drive traffic
Invest time and effort in crafting a great website for day one. Prospective customers are going to check you out, and first impressions count.
Having built a great website, you need to drive traffic. Ensure that it is search engine optimised, and invest in Google Adwords. Have a content strategy for producing high-quality original content to make the site interesting, and ensure your site is optimised for mobile devices.
Make the navigation bars prominent and that it’s easy for site visitors to contact you or buy your product. It’s always worth having a ‘get in touch’ sign up function to collect potential customer contact data. Also, have a smart social media plan to drive traffic to your site.
2. Craft your elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a concise, compelling introduction to you and your business that answers the question of prospective customers: ‘Why should I buy from you?’ It captures the essence of what you’re about in a quick and easy to understand way. Here are a few tips for developing and delivering a great pitch:
- Show your passion
- Pitch the problem you are solving, but keep it to 60 seconds in length
- Avoid using jargon and convey why your offering is unique
- Invite participation by the listener to create engagement and dialogue
Be positive and enthusiastic in your delivery, again first impressions count, and remember that practice makes perfect, so prepare, prepare, prepare.
3. Get comfortable with pitching
Your ability to communicate effectively is critical to landing customers. Many startup founders have no prior experience with pitching or public speaking, and lack confidence. You must strive to overcome this fear. Watch some You Tube videos of great entrepreneurs, such as Steve Jobs, for tips and develop your own style.
You also need to attend startup events and network, set a target of one a week from the outset. You’ll meet like-minded founders and potential customers, if you chose the right events.
4. Hone your sales plan and selling skills
For your venture to succeed, you must become a great salesperson. You need a sales strategy and plan to identify your target customers, and then relentless execution.
It’s important to be positive, trustworthy, and to learn how to listen. Even if you are not naturally an extrovert, you need to show confidence, follow up, and ask for the sale. A startup success isn’t about the product, it’s about the customer, so a ‘Find-Win-Keep’ strategy executed is key from day one.
- Ian Brookes is the co-author of the book ’From the factory floor – we build tech companies’