As a fully fledged start-up business, with effectively no history, a business’ main focus should zero in on making itself known and ultimately creating a build-up of demand before doors actually open.
It's also essential to consider that first impressions count, and in a competitive market, you often have one chance to impress, and one chance alone.
This means that however you go about your initial marketing push, you need to plan and execute it as well as you can, leaving as few stones unturned as possible.
Start-up specialist Renée Warren acknowledges that while starting a business is “exhilarating”, the “build it and they will come” theory doesn’t hold much weight.
“You have to be sure every effort, no matter how small, is well-planned and flawlessly executed,” she writes on the Kissmetrics website. “And to make it even more difficult, the traditional marketing strategies don’t always work.”
At the end of the day, says Warren, it all comes down to how much you can afford to spend on marketing.
“More importantly, carefully plan how you intend to divide that budget,” she says.
“Just be sure you have the logistics settled before you start spending (or you might just lose your hat).”
Matt Byrom says that “if you’re thinking of launching a new business, then you probably don’t want to hear that 90% of all start-ups fail”.
“But there it is in black and white. Your business may not survive,” he says in an article on the Startups UK website.
Byrom's opinion is that while you’ll undoubtedly have the “passion, determination and guts that every entrepreneur needs to begin a new business adventure”... “if you want your start-up to survive then you also need to be equipped with the right tools to succeed”.
He says social media (for example) is “the best way to connect with your audience on a personal level and show off the human side of your brand”.
“You may not have to sign up to every social site out there, simply find out the places that your audience likes to hang and go there.”
PR and media relations guru Blair Nicole says while marketing a startup is a whole different animal than marketing a traditional business or corporation, there's also “no need to reinvent the wheel”.
“Learning from other startup’s marketing challenges AND solutions can help you avoid going through them yourself,” he says on the Social Media Today website.
“Instead of scouring your competitors’ websites and social media pages to figure out what they’re doing that’s so special so you can mimic it, pay attention to what they’re NOT saying or doing instead.”
“Your unique selling proposition always lies in what you have on offer that your competitors don’t. Or if you can’t offer something different, at least communicate what you have in a different way.”