Competing with established brands is an uphill task for many startups. I respond to tons of inboxes from various people who seek to know how to survive this crucial stage. Established businesses already have definite distribution channels, superior marketing channels, loyal followers and low cost of production. It does not, however, mean that you should lose hope or vision of running your dream business. The following are crucial tips that I advise entrepreneurs to follow to survive the startup stage.
Prepare a solid plan
Most businesses fail because their owners fail to plan accordingly. I always advise people to lay down a business plan that communicates the processes, strengths and weaknesses and goals of the organization. Your plan should attract potential investors by using tangible market data and analysis. You should also convince the financiers that your business is likely to repay the loans they advance to you. You should have financial projections that show what you expect semi-annually and in the long-term.
Sometimes business owners stay in comfort zone and are not ready to explore new opportunities. Think about opening new branches in areas that your competitors do not have access. A global business has a larger bargaining power compared to a local venture when it comes to selling. You can read more on how to sell your business fast and get what it is worth.
Listen to your customers
Most of the big companies listen to groups rather than individual customers. It thus becomes very hard to interact with customers on a personal basis. As a small business, you can capitalize on this and take each customer seriously. Encourage customers to comment on your social media platforms and blog if you own one. Clients can provide you with excellent ideas that are likely to improve the overall business processes. You can also offer customized products which are likely to appeal to your customers.
Join an incubator
Such a setting can help you save on rent while still enjoying mentorship and coaching. Some universities, research organizations and established companies can offer you a chance to start your business and move to the next level. Some of these organizations can help you with cash investment and consulting services.
Surviving the startup stage requires proper planning, listening to customers, thinking globally and being creative. A start-up can as well compete with ventures who command a large market share through the above techniques.