By Mike Chidzey, founder of events and digital marketing agency John Cabot,
As a start-up brand, it can be hard knowing what to do when it comes to launching your company to the world. Some might do it with professional help and others might not. In a bid to stop history repeating itself, here are seven of the most common mistakes made by start-ups and how to avoid them.
1 Targeting the wrong audience:
If you don’t know your target audience, it can be easy for your company to go down the drain before it has even started. Some companies won’t put the effort in to really delve deep into finding out their audience’s demographics, interests and needs through market research. If you target the wrong people you are more than likely setting yourself up to fail. If you look into who you competitors are, or run surveys, it might be easier to build up a customer profile to fit your brand or product, then you will know who to target and who to avoid.
2 Lacking awareness of new markets to tap into:
Industries are forever changing and it may be hard to keep on top of, but you need to make sure that when you launch that you are keeping up with the times. There are always new and emerging markets to tap into and potentially new audiences to target – if not, consider going about disrupting the market that’s already well built. When customers see you are changing with the times, the interest will stay and you won’t be lagging behind trying to keep up. Small changes, little and often will also help you in the long-run.
3 Forgetting to budget:
A lot of start-ups don’t have a lot of money as it is and if you are not budgeting properly and your money runs out then you are pretty screwed. Make sure you are putting your money where it needs to be and not putting too much into one area. Spreading it out evenly will mean everywhere is getting the little bit of love it deserves and slowly but surely your business will grow as a whole. Make sure you know how much money you have, plan where it needs to be and leave a bit left over in your ‘just in case’ money pot.
4 Unable to manage expectations:
It can be hard not to get over excited when launching a new company or product. You love what you do and you want everyone to love it just as much as you do; but that’s not always the case – especially with unknown brands and new products. You have to understand that launching a business can be a slow burner and having high expectations so early on might lead to a bigger fall sooner than you think. Don’t be disheartened if you are not seeing the interest or sales you initially expected. It can be hard for consumers to trust a new brand, but the gradual process of building brand reputation and a loyal customer base will mean your company will have a better staying power.
5 Launching at the wrong time of year:
Many companies can make the mistake of not knowing when exactly is the best time to launch, and if you launch at the wrong time of year then it could really affect the company as a whole. If your product is seasonal, then make sure to plan your launch ahead of the right month – but not too close to the date as it will be too late by then. If you also launch your product too early without everything in place and ready to go then you won’t be making a good impression and finding and keeping those initial customers may be difficult.
6 Setting the price too high or too low:
Sometimes, new brands might over price their products because they think they are worth the money, or even under price their product in a bid to garner interest and undercut the competition. However, consumers aren’t necessarily going to want to pay an excessive amount for a product they don’t know, or will worry that a cheap product – compared to the competition – might not be up to the same standard. Consider offering deals or free samples to customers so they can try before they buy, or give them the chance to test your product out if it’s a more high end, expensive product; you’ll find that they may just will keep coming back for more.
7 Having the wrong team of people:
It’s important to have the best team onboard to help with the launch of a brand, product or service; having the wrong team of people can really jeopardise the launch of a start-up business. It’s important to find a team of like-minded people that believe in the brand or product as much as you. You don’t want things done half-heartedly; you want to have a team on board that want the company to be as successful as you do, and believe in the product/service as much as you do. This will not only be clear to you but the outside world and potential customers too.