Consider your target market. If the demographics revolve around youths, then the young are often more suited to marketing and designing the product. Even if the target market isn't that youthful, millennials are still valuable for their tendency to stay in touch with the latest trends.
Find and remember your motivations
One of the most important aspects of your life as an entrepreneur involves your motivations. If you always have them in the back of your mind, you'll find the energy to keep going on, even when things look rough.
One of the most dangerous things you face as an entrepreneur is forgetting why you're doing this. The moment you lose sight of the reason you founded the start-up is the moment you start slowing down. Instead of a passion project, it becomes a grind. Growth becomes a secondary goal instead of a primary one, and you just want to get the day to end.
Practice the pitch
You're going to deliver a lot of presentations as an entrepreneur. You're going to give pitches, motivate your employees, and inspire partners with your presentations. Some of them are impromptu, some are planned ahead – all are practiced. Off-the-cuff speeches may work, but they won't have the same effectiveness as one that is planned and practiced.
Many investors and potential partners will rate you on the strength of your presentation, and these are the same people who'll help your start-up grow. If you can't convince them when you make your practiced pitch, you'll have trouble getting the funding and help required to grow your business.
Endorsements come for quality products
Part of your marketing strategy may involve endorsements, which is a great idea. Endorsements allow influencers to lend their reputation to your product, which can result in increased visibility and growth. Problems begin when you do things backwards and try to get endorsements before developing a strong product.
You can pay for endorsements, but they won't have the same weight or effectiveness as one that comes naturally. Besides, you're not just targeting celebrities. The average consumer's opinion matters, possibly more so to some people and you'll only get positive reviews by giving them a positive experience. Make a great product and the endorsements will come.
Tell a story
An important part of any growth strategy involves standing out not just from the competition, but from the noise of Internet denizens. Anyone can post anything they want, which just adds to the static. A great way for entrepreneurs to make their product stand out is to tell a story. Now the consumer isn't just thinking about how the product can help them, but how the product came to be.
Stories are inherently more memorable. If you can structure the story in a reasonably logical manner, people will remember it and your product. Talk to your marketing team and make sure that the product or start-up's story is there.
If you don't have a growth strategy, you'll never make it as an entrepreneur. Getting it off the ground is important, but you must remember that your journey doesn't end there. Tell the story of your product and make it memorable. Focus on the quality of the product so endorsements come and visibility shoots up. Practice your pitch until you've got it down perfectly. Do all these things and your start-up won't just live – it'll grow.
This article was originally submitted for Accelerate SME on 25 January 2016
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