My name is Eizu. And having been a part of over a 100 start ups in the last 10 years, I woke up thinking about basic non technical concepts that can help a start up rise above the bandwagon of start ups that might never make it out that phase, no BS, just key actions.
They are as follows:
-Document your thoughts: First into vision, then plan, then goals and daily To-Dos. The trick is, keeping to your everyday tasks and To Dos will actually lead you to that gigantic vision.
-Defining your central ideology is key. As you grow, it will mould your corporate culture. Definite your sets of core values (they’d help decide who to hire and who you shouldn’t, what you can do and what you shouldn’t).
-Being positive, passionate and excited about your start up journey.
-Defining your balance score card (in the parameters of finance, structure, experience and learning curve).
-Creating prominence on social media. This is just beyond posts and likes, but engagement techniques too.
-Define your sets of brand promises clearly
-Be very data conscious, collect, analyze and apply data, using it to track customer behaviour demography and psycho-graphy. Set benchmarks, spy on your bigger competitors and be ready to learn and apply what has worked for them.
-Go above your business’s MVP (Minimum Value Proposition), for example, a dry cleaner’s MVP is to produce, clean crispy and neatly ironed garment. But going above that MVP would be giving free tips on garment care, helping replace cut buttons or stitching torn parts at no cost.
-Go into strategic partnerships, with both the communities that house your target markets and vendor based partnership, especially those you will have to re-use over and over again. Say for example, if you’re a a start up dry cleaning outfit, perhaps have on vendors list, all alteration tailors close by. This is important, so that they can easily be contacted if a garment needs quick stitches, button change etc . When this is done at no cost, the client will notice.
-Have a marketing strategy and marketing operations that targets not just individuals but corporate and cluster groups: An example of this includes, say companies with over 50 staff. This way, we can pick up all of the clothes on a routine bases and at once, thus aiding economy of scale for efficient operations. Cluster groups may include residence associations, mini estates and service apartments, gyms, churches small hotels etc.
–Think big but start small: Start with a small yet diversified market. Take feedback, your success and failure loops to build and scale.
-Have a unique extra value away from the usual MVP (Minimum Value propositions), for example, imagine if we have a list of quotes cut out in a post card format and attached to our tags on the clothes like sticky note, with each slides in a package, or with a smiley, or even basic tips on clothes 101 as a your unique signature. The general ideology is to always blow the mind of your customer per delivery enough to make them refer you. For a start-up with a lean budget, bootstrap marketing is key. This means that Word of Mouth marketing is still the most effective form of advertising, so mechanism has to be devised for this. An example is a simple referral form shared amongst your most loyal customers, and maybe a discount incentive for each referral.
Further ahead; we will derive our competitive advantage from creating a brand off quality, customer experience, faster turnaround of cycle time, and attention to the slightest detail synonymous with a unique customer care service enveloped in excellence.
For a start up, remember you are inexperienced, young and growing, this is a disadvantage. But there is an advantage in every disadvantage. For example, because you have a smaller client base, you can zoom in, have more time for them and even give personalized services that bigger competitors cannot give. So you can draw from the age-old tradition of going above and beyond what is expected every time and all the time from clients.
Have a great start up journey ahead as I and my team looks forward to working with you.
Strategy. Business StartUps and Corporate Restructuring Consulting
Uwaoma Eizu is the lead strategist at Hexavia! He is a graduate of Mathematics with two MBAs and over a decade of experience working with startups and big businesses. His core is in building startups and in corporate restructuring. He is also a certified member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria and the Project Management Institute, USA. By the side, he writes weekly for the Business Day newspaper.
Related article https://www.hbc.org.ng/2016/01/19/why-startups-and-businesses-fail/