When You’re The New Start Up In Town
Don’t ever forget you’re the “new guy” when you’re a start up. What that means is that you can’t treat your shiny new business as if it were an established company with a big client base, a known brand in the market, and products or services that are understood and delivered in a certain way. It just doesn’t work. And if you think about that for a minute it starts to make sense. The folks coming to your door (whether that happens to be your website or a bricks and mortar outlet) are likely going to engage with you because you’re the “new guy.” They’ll buy from you for different reasons than they would the market leaders as well. That’s because their expectation is you can fix a pain point with either; a cheaper option (be careful with that one), a more personalised or engaging offer, or you can give them something that your competitors either can’t or won’t do. In fact, it had better be at least one of those things or that shiny new start up of yours won’t be around long. And your customers are going to expect there will be a risk in doing business with you, particularly over the long-term. Newbies don’t survive long in this big bad world, so you need to make clear to them why you’re going to be the exception. That said, perhaps your greatest lifeline on the journey to corporate market mainstay, IPO or both is going to be your start up story. That’s right. Great startups have great stories. They talk about how the business was built on the basis of resolving a pain that they either felt themselves or recognised in the market, and how they’ve since suffered the slings and arrows of start up turbulence in order to bring that solution to everyone who needs it. But how many start ups actually tell that tale with passion? Don’t ever forget you’re the new guy and the story that brought you to where you are now. It could make or break your business.
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