Start-ups can become big if they stay in business and keep on innovating. Here we discuss staying in business part, given that there is an offering as good as competitor or better.
After you are ready with your offering and setting up a showcase (website, video or any other form of presentation) you get on with customer interface. In this case either customer comes to you or you go to her.
First impression matters: These days website is at the core of customer interface so make sure you clearly communicate what it is that you do on your website; who are the people involved and if they bring any relevant experience on-board; and way/s to reach you.
Balance by being brief and not saying too little or too much whether it is through your website, phone call or introductory email.
Communicate: This begins when you first interact with your (potential) customers. Tell the truth about what and when you are going to deliver and how it will benefit the customer. Going forward if there is any delay share that. Be consistent in your communication. This saves your customers from unexpected surprises. Tell them how you are going to keep in touch with them.
Let’s do business
Black and white: Record all your dealings in writing – sign MOUs, contracts. This is your safeguard against future. New world, new rules; honor the word but put things on paper or email — meeting agendas, terms of association. Sign documents whenever required.
Charge Upfront: Make sure that you are paid first. This is not be used against your consumers but to safeguard your interest. Win-win is always better. Entrepreneurs who have been in the game for a while will tell you that following for payments is an energy sucker and may seriously mar one’s chances of success.
Shoot for 100% advance, if not charge 50% advance first and rest based on delivery milestones. For off the shelf products and bundled services 100% advance should not be a problem.
Deliver Quality: Set yourself some parameters on which to measure your own products or services; because unless you measure you cannot improve. If you are not satisfied then how will your customers be?
Goals: It is a no-brainer. Set some goals for yourself to give your efforts direction and sense of purpose. Small first, big later – when you start with less you are not overwhelmed. For all reasons set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) goals and stay on track.
Show-off: In real sense, write a blog, put white-papers, eBooks online or create a video; it gives potential clients to take a peek in your brain
Stay ahead of the curve: Take time to learn. Do not always follow others. It is good at times to learn what others are doing, see what is working for them and implement the same.
Building a business is not easy; but that should not stop you from building one. Hope the ideas above help in some form. Are you already on to your start-up or planning on doing one in future?
If you have already built a successful business then share what worked for you in comments and help fellow readers.
Let us all grow.