Surviving Your Startup

As stewards of small business, we are always trying to provide our clients and potential clients with solid information to help with not only surviving your startup, but also GROWING your business. There are some basic questions and processes that we use to help our clients do that.

Much of what we do comes down to helping people and we feel very fortunate to be in the position we are. It only makes sense to pass this information on to educate all of the potential small business owners out there on how to survive their initial launch and convert their ideas and dreams to a tangible, money making business.

Here is some Q and A for you to put yourself through and see if you might need to change your perspective on the importance of your digital marketing strategy:

Do you need startup marketing services?

This question is a tough one for many fledgling businesses. Because, they know they need to do something for their company to get on the map but they don’t know what it is exactly. Many times their initial response is “I know I need marketing, but I am just trying to run my business and I don’t have time for that.”

As a start up or growing business, it is a huge mistake to underestimate the need to have a properly branded company that is executing well on its offering to its specific market as these elements are crucial to your company’s success.

As a startup/small business, are you focused on expanding your digital presence and influence?

Most business owners will immediately answer yes to this question. They like to believe that their idea, and the way they are presenting it, is having a digital impact. However, the reality is that most start ups and small business owners do not understand the digital arena and the technology cost and support that it takes to get through it.

Business owners want to believe in the power of web marketing but they have seen little to no conversion in their current state so they do not have a proper value equation for it. The factors to consider are social media, search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, and understanding how to convert customers for your particular brand.

Are you attempting to build your brand without a marketing budget?

This is where the conversation always becomes tough regarding startup marketing services. We small business owners know that we should have budgets for our business. But often the reality is that most of the time we are so consumed with the day to day operations we have very little time or resources to dedicate to the marketing and promotion of our company and services.

However, if you are not making an active effort to promote your company through all of the channels possible to you, then you will not grow. We like to advise our clients to look at marketing as an employee (hopefully us) that you pay to enrich your brand. As a result, your day to day hustle decreases and you get to start focusing on the other parts of your GROWTH model.

Do you say… “I don’t know how much I should spend on startup marketing services.”

Inherently, the time and costs associated with creating and executing a branding, marketing, or development plan for a startup business is generally very misunderstood. We like to equate it to your business being a movie.

As a business owner you know that there are lots of things that have to occur in order to produce your movie, but as the director, your job is to look at the finished product. What you see on the big screen depends on what you put into developing and growing that space. The greatest movies and businesses require many, many moving parts and talents and you as a single small business owner cannot do it on your own.

So if you want to have a high evaluation of your business by your potential clients then you need to spend the money to have it made properly. The value comes when your client is sold before you have even pitched them because their overall experience with the business presence and digital authority has pre-sold them. Think about that for a minute.

So, how much should you budget for design and marketing?

In this age of technology, your digital presence can make or break your company. Obviously every companies spend is different and we always like to help consult our clients on where they should put their money. That being said, if you are starting a business that you want to honestly grow, your marketing and development spend should equal roughly 25% of your income. 

People get by on spending little to nothing for a janky website and marketing plan, but that is all they do…get by. We are talking about GROWTH and all the math we have seen in our time in this arena points to being judicious but dedicated in securing and maintaining that digital presence and identity.

A brand identity creation, for example, develops how your customers and community view your company, and it takes a knowledgeable and experienced company to project how your customers will respond. A digital presence strategy usually takes many hours of coding and integration and many times a company’s website can be the real driver in business income.

Unless you are part of that creation or development process, it becomes hard to understand how much time and effort actually goes into the process. Purge Marketing works hard to be very transparent about all time and cost and mold that into something that makes sense for our clients, and we’re backed by a team of extremely experienced designers, developers, and strategists.

The budget question becomes one that forces business owners to define their business and we have come up with questions you can ask yourself to help define yours:

1. WHAT IS YOUR INDUSTRY?

Different industries have various requirements and success strategies. For example, you may want to start small and grow your brand organically and through local channels, until you have the budget for paid advertising.

If you are growing an online retail store, you will want to put more funds into paid online ads to digitally expand your reach. Are you able to capitalize on government funding for a sustainable product? Perhaps those funds can help you grow your company.

2. ARE YOU STARTING FROM SCRATCH OR DO YOU ALREADY HAVE A BRAND AND CLIENT BASE?

If you dabble in design and have your image solidified, but have no idea how to take your business to the next level, you may need more development and technology support.

Alternatively, if you have nothing but an idea, your business will need an identity, a website, social media, and the technology structure to utilize tools to launch your new brand.

3. WHO IS YOUR TARGET MARKET AND WHAT WOULD THEY SPEND ON YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE?

Are you selling to stay-at-home mom’s on a limited budget? Retired senior citizens on social security? Business executives who make over six figures per year?

Are your customers technically challenged or the technology savvy youths of today who live their lives seemingly through APPS?

Knowing who you’re selling to will help you set a price for your product/service and determine the best method for reaching your customers.

4. HOW MUCH DEVELOPMENT/TECHNOLOGY HELP DO YOU NEED?

Are you going to need extra support to setup your phone, computer, tablet, workstations, etc. and training on how to best run your business, or are you technology savvy and able to conquer social media like a boss? It is important to be able to efficiently use the tools that are available to you.

If you have concerns, it may be wise to go through basic technology training with the tools you’ll be using. Online or phone training is a great tool for single users, or an expert visit to train your office team may be in order.

5. DO YOU HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN AND ARE YOU ABLE TO EXECUTE IT?

Social media is here to stay. Most companies in today’s economy need to have some kind of presence in the social media world. Social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest ,and Instagram help your company’s digital presence and authority.

It is important to either hire social media help or get the training you need to promote your own business. We have worked with socialmemultimedia.com for many years and have seen great success for our clients.

Remember, social media is here to stay. Most companies in today’s economy need to have some kind of presence in the social media world. Social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest ,and Instagram help your company’s digital presence and authority. It is important to either hire social media help or get the training you need to promote your own business. We have worked with socialmemultimedia.com for many years and have seen great success for our clients.

6. DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE AND EMAIL THAT IS SECURE AND RELIABLE?

A strong and reliable company website, whether it offers eCommerce or is purely informational, is crucial to any company today. When requesting investments or relaying your company is trustworthy. The first thing most people ask is “Do you have a website?” The ability for you to generate leads from your website and be reliably delivered to your business is something that you cannot get wrong.

In the end, the question is not about how much money should you spend on your digital presence. The question is more about how much money you are leaving behind by not having the right pieces in your equation.

Purge Marketing can help guide your business and determine an effective course of action through training, development, design, and marketing consulting. Because, surviving your startup is the most important thing you will ever do. We speak from experience!

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