Category Archives: Starting Up

How to Create a Marketing Plan for Your Startup

This is the final post in a four part series on how to create a marketing plan for your startup. We have looked at the 5 questions that you need to answer before you start marketing, the 5 factors that influence customers, and 3 popular types of marketing strategies. Now let’s look at what a basic marketing plan should include. You’ll also find a link to a template to get you started.

Part 4:  Want a Successful Marketing Plan? Be Sure to Include These 4 Elements

Once you have done all the necessary research, described your customers, competition, product and market, you have all the information you need to create a marketing plan that will implement your marketing strategy.

Be sure to write down your marketing plan—just like you did your strategy. It will help you stay focused on your goals, maintain a schedule, stay on budget and work consistently to promote your marketing strategy.

Whatever plan you prepare should include the following elements: Continue reading

How to Create a Marketing Plan for Your Startup

This is the third of a four part series on how to create a marketing plan for your startup. We have looked at the 5 questions you must answer before you start marketing and the 5 factors that you use to influence your customers. Now let’s look at three marketing strategies.

Part 3:  Choose the Right Marketing Strategy

Once you have established your goals, researched your customers and competition, and identified your marketing mix, it’s time to step back and create your overall marketing strategy. Think of this as your master plan for marketing success. It is the big picture view of how you will reach your marketing goals. Once you begin to list the ways you will make this plan a reality, you have stepped beyond strategy and begun to formulate the tactics you will use to implement it.

There are dozens of different strategies. Here are 3 of the most common: Continue reading

How to Create a Marketing Plan for Your Startup

This is the second of a four part series on how you can create a marketing plan for your startup. The first blog listed 5 questions that you need to answer before you start marketing. Now it is time to look at 5 factors that you control and use to influence your customers.

Part 2:  5 Ways to Influence Your Customers’ Perception

5 factors affect your customers’ perception of your product or service and influence their decision to buy. Commonly known as the 5 Ps or marketing mix, these are the elements you must understand before selecting your marketing strategy and tactics.

  1. Product:  What are you selling? Describe the features that influence a customer to buy your product or service. Think about what it does, how it looks and how it is packaged. What problem does it solve? What need does it fulfill? How does it make your customer feel? For example, when you sell cosmetics, you are also selling beauty. When you sell organic food, you are also selling health.

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How to Create a Marketing Plan for Your Startup

This is the first of a four part series about creating marketing plans for your startup. You will need to gather information, analyze what it means for your business, and then build a marketing plan that will target your ideal customer. A little planning will save you time and money and enable you to devise a consistent and compelling marketing message.

Part I:  5 Questions to Answer Before You Start Marketing

Most entrepreneurs are passionate about their products and services. They know what their customers need but they struggle with how to get the word out in an efficient and persuasive manner. Entrepreneurs often undertake the marketing job themselves. Their passion can make them effective sales people but when it comes to marketing they are not sure where to start.

No matter how small your business is, you need a marketing plan. Continue reading

Are You a Startup Struggling to Find New Customers?

Use these 4 Effective Ways to Generate Leads

 

If you are a startup, one of your top priorities is finding customers. To be successful you will want to combine traditional methods with an online presence. Here are four avenues for you to pursue. Each can help you establish your brand, discover leads, and increase conversion.

  1. Face to Face Networking. Nothing takes the place of face to face meetings. Make sure you go prepared:
  • Set some reasonable goals for yourself. Maybe you want to have 2 or 3 good conversations that could lead to new business or referrals. Or you may want to collect 2 or 3 business cards for follow up. You don’t have to meet everyone at the event. A few meaningful conversations are more valuable than a quick greeting, an exchange of cards, and moving on to the next target. Quality is definitely better than quantity.

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How Startups can SCORE Free Expert Business Advice and Tools

Starting a business requires not only a great product or service, but also a working knowledge of the nuts and bolts of running a business. If you are part of a small startup, chances are your wearing multiple hats. In addition to knowing how to make your product, you need to know how to run and grow a business. That covers everything from business strategy to budgets and finance to marketing and sales.

Where can a startup get the advice and tools needed to compete? Where can they find free templates and personal mentoring? The answer is SCORE. Continue reading

5 Ways Incubators Increase a Startup’s Chance of Success

Statistics about startup failures are always sobering. Depending on who is doing the measuring and the length of time studied, failure rates range from 65% to 80%. But there is hope. Data indicates that incubators greatly increase the success rate for startups during the first five years. For instance, the National Business Incubation Association found that startups that were part of an incubator had an 87% success rate. Compare that to a 44% success rate for the average startup. Continue reading

Starting Up–Just Do It!

For many entrepreneurs, getting started is the hardest thing to do. Days, weeks, months can be spent planning and preparing to start a business. There is always another box to check before you are “ready to launch.” Everything seems essential. You just have to write and rewrite your business plan, perfect your product or service, learn more about your customers’ needs and wants, identify the best marketing platforms–and the list goes on and on. Continue reading