Why do only 10% of Startups Succeed?

Statistics show that around 90% of all startups fail, but what we can’t understand from this fact is why it happens so often? Another thing we can’t learn from such cold statistics, but experience has proven it time and time again, is that many startups fail even before they start working.

This, however, doesn’t mean that people should be put off and give up on the idea before they have even registered their company. On the contrary, this should send a message to all those interested that they need to stay focused, work hard and be realistic about their expectations. So, what are the characteristics of those startups that have made it?

Right product or service

Your offer may be of excellent quality, but if people don’t need it, you won’t be able to survive as an entrepreneur. As a matter of fact, most owners of failed startups list “lack of market need for their product” as the main reason for their failure.

This means that you have to be spot on when it comes to what you’re going to offer. It as to be unique and different, in a good way, from what your competitors are offering. In order to be sure there’s demand for your product or service, it is necessary to conduct market research, so that you don’t rely simply on your gut feeling.

Being involved in everything

A startup doesn’t really allow roles to be very clearly divided, since things tend to be pretty organic and responsibilities often overlap. That’s why all entrepreneurs need to pay attention to absolutely everything that’s going on. They don’t have the luxury to ignore anything, believing that someone else will take care of it.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that each task is equally urgent and important, which is why you need to be able to prioritize well. If you allow various less significant tasks to distract you from what’s really important, you won’t be able to focus on the things that really matter to your business.

Ready for fast growth

Depending on the line of business you’re in, you might face a rapid growth, which you have to respond to appropriately. Contrary to popular belief, fast growth is sustainable. It is also exactly what entrepreneurs and investors dream about and a sign that you’ve made it.

Startups should be looking at a double-digit growth rate after several months of operation. Otherwise, they’ll never be able to grow enough to reach the point when they can be considered a well-established business. Finally, startups sometimes run out of financial resources exactly because they haven’t grown fast enough. So, those companies that have made it wanted and achieved a fast growth in the early phase.

A capable team

Since there are different types of problems startups are facing, it’s always a good idea to have a versatile team of people to respond to all challenges, from the owner to a professional virtual receptionist. The versatility we’re talking about here refers more to a mindset, rather than a skillset.

Teams have to be ready to adjust their plans, change products, take new approaches or even start all over again. A good team can take a blow and recover and, most importantly, learn from their mistakes.

Aggressive marketing

Successful startups use aggressive and appropriate marketing methods to attract attention and inform people about the offer. In order to have an efficient campaign, you need to exactly who you are going to target and how you’re going to do that. That means you should be aware of the demographics, age and gender of your target groups and their shopping habits.

Using social media has become a must and all successful startups have exploited them quite extensively and efficiently. Those who have failed to embrace this and many other modern trends simply missed out on an opportunity to capitalize on some very efficient channels through which many new customers can be attracted.

Conclusion

If you want your startup to be among the 10% that make it, you should most definitely pay attention to these and many other things. Remember that most business endeavors fail because they either offer something not many people need or because they don’t bring any added value to their offer. Both of these issues stem from the period before the company is registered, which means you need to do your homework and research the market.

Needless to say, you need a lot of courage and flexibility to adapt your plans, but if you play your cards right, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing experience of witnessing your startup grow and a financial compensation for all your effort and troubles.

 

13872754_216673402067420_8351045990919298170_n
Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog

5 Ways to Market Your Business Online

With technology only improving, businesses and consumers are becoming closer than ever before. Social media is more prevalent in society than in the past, and small businesses everywhere are embracing the new ways to market their services using online tools to help promote further customer reach. Here is a list of 5 ways to help market your business online:

onlinemarketing1

  • Facebook

Facebook is a great way of advertising and raising awareness of your product. By creating a page for a business and adding its location you are opening up the possibility of having customers digitally check themselves into your venue. Customers are then able to engage and review a businesses services and share this with their social network. It is important to remember to reply to comments to continue to build the rapport between business and consumer. Facebook also offers paid advertising and marketing campaigns through their business portal

  • Twitter

Twitter is another way of attracting customers, although it does take longer to build a large network on Twitter. The key to a successful Twitter is to always engage in relevant posts, follow any relevant profiles and be smart while still being funny. Engagements are what build your followers on Twitter. If you’re worried about having the time of running your social networks, organisations out there to provide social media help to develop a content marketing strategy that will help build your online growth.

  • Website

Having a website allows you a stronger online presence, and gives businesses the opportunity to display a list of the services available to customers. A website is also a great way of sharing the products, events, sales and opening times. Services such as WordPress are simple website builders. For a low cost it is possible to buy your own domain from these sites, with the option of an email address attached.

  • Emails

In the modern world email is the best form of contact for most customers. Whether you sign up for a free email service or get one through a website, email is a great way of responding to customers enquiries in a professional manner. Customers respond positively to speedy responses from businesses. Through having a registered email address assigned to your business, you can provide subscription services directly to customers, providing them with the option of being notified of sales or further events.

  • Coupons Vouchers

Everyone loves to think they’re getting a good deal. Sharing coupon vouchers through your social platforms will drive business and grow the customer base. New companies that have provided new customer discounts or free delivery have been successful in entering the market in major cities across the globe. Through having a campaign offering free services or VIP sales to clients, for things such as signing up to your email subscription service, discounts on their birthdays, free delivery or new customer discounts, consumers are urged to try a product for the first time.

It is important to not to put all your eggs within one basket, and be able to see the broader picture. One method of marketing may work better for you than another, however the important thing to remember is that all this does not have to be done alone. Consulting with services that provide provide social media help can alleviate some of the stress that can be added when struggling between traditional face to face services and online services allowing the balance to be achieved within the business.

 

 

 

 

Avoid Unhealthy Communication Breakdowns at Your Practice

communication_cansA workplace wouldn’t be a workplace without a few communication breakdowns every now and then.

In most situations, interpersonal drama between coworkers results in a few headaches at best or the loss of a sale, client, or vendor at worst.

The stakes may seem high but in the grand scheme of things, they’re not.

But this doesn’t apply to medical practices. The stakes can be life and death which is exactly why communication is such an important part of the business.

A study conducted in the 1990s found that as many as 98,000 patients died in hospitals because of poor communication.

Another alarming statistic is the fact that 85% of medical malpractice is from communication failures.

With lives at stake, it’s vital that you tend to communication breakdowns at your practice and follow some of these tips:

Foster a Social Atmosphere

Going back to the regular workplace example, it’s not uncommon for coworkers to not know each other very well.

While not knowing someone’s name may lead to a few awkward interactions, the consequences of not getting to know your coworkers in a medical setting can be far more serious.

Your entire nursing crew doesn’t need to be best friends, but your practice should foster an atmosphere where people do take the time to get to know each other.

The better people are acquainted, the better they can interpret that individual’s personal communication quirks and way of working.

Furthermore, you can help foster an environment that prioritizes positivity and gratitude.

Simple things like a “thank you” can help people feel heard and respected especially in the high stress environment of a medical practice.

Embrace the Morning Meeting

As the article, “5 Surprising Ways to Fix Communication Breakdowns at Your Practice” explains, morning meetings are a great way for everyone in your practice to get on the same page.

They don’t need to be long, nor should they be.

But an effective daily meeting can help you communicate what’s working, what’s not, and how your team can work more effectively together.

De-stigmatize Criticism

coachingNobody is perfect, even the highly educated and trained people that make up a medical practice.

One of the most important ways you can get ahead of communication breakdowns is by creating an environment where critique is expected and necessary. This will help prevent people from getting defensive or avoiding situations all together.

De-stigmatizing criticism is important because often times the hierarchies in a medical practice create a system where people are afraid to ask their superiors questions they fear are too “obvious.”

Studies have found that these specific types of communication breakdowns are responsible for medical mishaps.

By making it “okay” for nurses and interns to not know everything, you’re helping avoid worst-case scenarios.

Communication is an integral part of any successful workplace or business. But because of the high stakes of the medical field, it’s even more important for your practice.

By holding meetings and encouraging socializing and transparency, you can keep your communication healthy.

About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including communication and small business.

Set Your eCommerce Site on Fire

ecommerceHave you set your eCommerce site up for success? If you’re running an eCommerce site, naturally you want to maximize your sales and see your success grow year on year.

But with Business News Daily estimating that less than half of online stores are generating more than $25,000 a year, you might be wondering how you can do just that.

So, how can you really set your eCommerce site on fire?

Put Your Customers First

Make this the focus of your site and everything else will follow. Everything you do should be about your customers and their wants and needs.

Take for example your checkout process. Customers want to find and buy the products they love easily. A streamlined and user friendly checkout process will help with that. Add an extra boost of goodwill with free shipping so your customers don’t get hit by an extra fee after choosing their items.

How about expedited shipping, order tracking, or the ability to sign-in so that customers can save shopping carts or remember previous purchases?

The easier you can make browsing and buying for your customers, the greater your chances of success.

Make it Mobile Friendly

Your customers are on mobile these days, so you need to be too. Your eCommerce site needs to display clearly on any mobile phone or tablet. If browsing your site is difficult, your visitors will click away and find a site that is easy to browse. That’s why being mobile-friendly is vitally important.

The same applies when it comes to your checkout process. Your customers want to choose and add items, then pay for them, quickly and easily regardless of which device they’re using. If your checkout is slow to load or difficult to navigate while mobile; you risk losing a sale.

Merchandise Properly

Merchandising, the art of displaying your products for sale, isn’t just the province of brick and mortar stores. As an online store owner, you owe it to your business to give some thought about how your products will be displayed when customers are browsing.

As the article “Million Dollar Merchandising” says, ordering your products alphabetically or by price can seem logical, but might not be the best call for your ecommerce site.

Instead, think about merchandising your products in the way that best appeals to your visitors’ likes and interests.

This could be by:

  • Using data from previous visits to suggest products;
  • Grouping products in categories that are a natural fit;
  • Remembering customers’ previous purchases.

When you have an Ecommerce store instead of a brick and mortar store, you can arrange your shop slightly differently to best match each unique shopper, so take advantage of that.

Get Social

Social media is a vital tool for any business, and your eCommerce store is no exception. You can use social media to grow a following and build up a good relationship with your customers.

Your aim isn’t necessarily to sell-sell-sell, but instead to start a conversation and place your brand firmly in your customers’ minds. Make use of great content and shareable posts to keep customers interested in your store.

Social media also gives you the chance to connect with customers in order to solve their problems or answer any questions, giving your customer service a boost.

Another way to get social with your store is to include reviews and testimonials in your shop. Not only does that give your customers a chance to see what others are saying about the products they want to purchase, it encourages them to engage with you.

Keep these top tips in mind so you can increase your eCommerce success.

You’ll see your sales grow and your customer engagement increase.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on a range of topics including social media, SEO that works, and how to boost your ecommerce success.

Make It a Winning Summer of Marketing

Summer is nearly upon us, which means it’s time to think about your summer marketing campaigns.

summer_marketingWhatever business you’re in, you can make the most of summer with seasonal offers, themed promotions, or even simply targeting some summer hot spots for extra business.

However you tackle it, summer brings plenty of marketing opportunities, so just what can you do to make the most of them?

Embrace a Summer Theme

Bring a summer theme into your marketing to make it topical for your customers and encourage them to buy from you; exactly how you do this will depend on your business.

Clothes retailers or restaurants, for example, can easily run summer promotions, but any kind of business can add a summer slant to their marketing. Run a summer-themed promotion or add a summery feel to your marketing materials.

Sporting events or summer celebrations such as Independence Day can give you something to hang your marketing hat on, tapping into your customers’ interests.

Host a Summer Giveaway

Giveaways are a great way to build a connection with your customers.

If you have a physical premises, something as simple as handing out hot drinks or standing on the sidewalk with a misting spray will help your customers stay cool in the summer heat.

If you don’t have customers at your premises, or you work mostly online, consider running a summer sweepstakes, or even sending out free gifts such as flip flops.

Make the Most of Mobile

As the article “How to Use Text Messages to Boost Your Summer Marketing Efforts” points out, mobile is a great tool for letting your customers know about seasonal promotions.

Mobile is relevant year-round, but in the summer months when people are out and about or on vacation more often, mobile gives you a way to get in touch.

Entice your customers with interesting text messages giving them the head’s up about the summer offers you know they’ll love.

Hold a Summer Event

Summer is a time for barbecues, relaxing on the beach or in the park after work, and enjoying a cool drink when the day is done.

Tap into this mood by hosting a summer event.

Choose a venue with outside space (and an indoors area in case the weather doesn’t hold), put on some summery food and beverages, and encourage your customers to get to know your business.

This can also work for online businesses, provided you choose a locale with plenty of potential customers.

Target Summer Hot Spots

As the temperatures increase, certain spots such as beaches, parks and tourist attractions see a spike in popularity. Make the most of this with banners, posters or brochures positioned at strategic locations.

If you happen to be near a popular spot, set out an A frame, or even offer your summer promotional items in person if you can spare the staff.

Get Social

Social media is a great tool for your summer marketing.

A lot of social media is accessed on mobile devices, making it a good choice for connecting with customers who are out and about enjoying the sun.

By creating interesting and shareable content such as giveaways, promotions, summer themed content or asking your customers some questions, you can generate interest, likes, and shares.

If you want to create a winning summer of marketing, it’s time to turn up the heat on your summer marketing efforts.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including branding, inbound marketing, seasonal promotions and social media.

Is Your Marketing Picking Up Speed?

Whether you work as a full-time marketer or run your own business, your marketing efforts should always be a top priority. If they’re not, you are likely watching money fly out the window.

sales

With that being said, some marketers and/or business owners fail to push quickly enough on their marketing efforts, leaving them in the dust when it comes to staying up to speed with the competition.

From marketing auto insurance to healthcare needs to real estate and beyond, you should always stop and review your marketing strategy from time to time. In doing so, you can see where you may be falling behind and where you need to pick up some speed in order to stay out in front of competitors.

Covers Your Bases

Before you set out on your next marketing initiative, take some time to review you game-plan and see where you may be lagging.

Your marketing strategy should include the following:

  • Focus – First and foremost, all your marketing campaigns must have a focus. Whether you are marketing insurance policies, wills, products and services to improve healthcare for senior citizens or just about anything else, you need to focus. Use this resource and that resource to get a handle first on your demographics. If you’re marketing auto insurance to families, those without teenagers of the legal driving age are not going to be worth a great deal of your time now. Maybe down the road they will, but now the focus should be on families with kids in college, especially those who are likely to drive (students living a notable distance from home etc.). If you are marketing wills, you are likely not going to have much success with anyone under the age of 40 or so. Also keep in mind that consumers in their later teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc. tend to be more active on social media (see more below) than older individuals;
  • Socialize – If you are failing to use social media in your marketing campaigns, you are once again putting yourself behind the eight ball. Marketing via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. will put you and your brand in front of countless more eyes. The key here is to socialize without becoming a nuisance. Along with being socially active in answering consumer marketing questions and solving consumer issues where possible, you need to leave them with a call to action (see more below). Lastly, make sure ALL your social media platforms have contact information so consumers can follow up with you when necessary;
  • Action – Last but certainly not least, make sure you leave consumers with a call to action in all your marketing campaigns. Not doing so leaves your marketing efforts rather up in the air; you may or may not hear back from those you pitch. Be sure to show consumers why it is to their benefit to do business with you, make available enticing offers that are all but too good to turn down, and certainly make the process easy. If you leave consumers with a messy contact scenario (bad links, confusing information etc.), don’t hold your breath waiting to hear from them.

With 2015 off and running, will your marketing efforts pick up speed this year or leave you in the dust of your competition?

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as marketing and technology.

10 Tips for Social Business

socialSocial media has become an integral part of business, which is why companies are using social media to its optimum so that they can get the cutting edge advantage.

If you want to thrive in social business you need to employ the tools used by your customers and try to engage with them on an even footing. There are ten simple tips that you can follow to ensure that your social media efforts are bringing you the results you want.

Keep your goals in mind

Before you start planning you strategies for your social business, you need to assess your goals, which will definitely vary and be based on the needs of every organization. From demographics, location and interests to targets like boosting sales and brand awareness; there are different factors that you need to bear in mind.

Find out about your target audience

There are many who use Twitter because they have been advised to, while others are on Facebook because it seems like an easy to use medium. But these reasons alone will not bring you the results you expect and you will have to try and mix and match your efforts on different platforms to make them count. At the end of the day, you have to reach out to your target audience on the platform they might use and that’s something you will have to focus on in 2015.

Consider your content

In the New Year your emphasis should also be on your content strategy. Curated content like the one you share will definitely have its merits in 2015. You need to site the original source and make sure the content is relevant. Your own original content in the form of pictures, videos and of course, written information will be extremely valuable. The generated content from fans and followers about their experiences with your brand can then be added to good effect.

Updating websites and social media profiles

Never dismiss the way that your social media and website has to be constantly updated.You need to review the content often to ensure that it represents exactly who you are. Today, users look for businesses online and that’s where the first connection is made. That’s why your first impression has got to be spot on and if you have the budgets, you are better off hiring a website consultant to do the job for you.

Chart out your network

There are new platforms that are making their presence felt in the social media world. Hence it’s important to pick the ones that can drive your business communication in the best possible way. It’s considered a good idea to create a network of niche and popular platforms that have their benefits. Besides the popular mediums like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you can also rely on upcoming platforms and a few localized ones to make sure you are making your mark with your target audience.

Listen and offer solutions

One of the benefits of being a social business is that you have an opportunity to engage with customers and boost your quality, support and speed too. It’s important to listen to what your customers want and offer them service accordingly. Based on reports it’s seen that 36% of companies with social tools have higher customer service ratings.

Contests and giveaways

Contests and giveaways are a brilliant way of garnering the desired attention on social media. They ensure that your social media page becomes more likeable and you will manage to boost sales and enhance fan engagement too. Moreover you will encourage more customers to sign up on your email list. Hence running contests or giveaways on a regular basis definitely make sense for your business.

Improve customer relationships

Customer Relationship Management apps are worth their weight in gold for small businesses that can retain customers, get an insight into sales and also tap into a new customer base. From storing client contacts to handling customer interactions, scheduling client contact and tracking campaigns; there is a lot you can do with these apps. You can get the most out of these apps when you use them in tandem with cloud based systems including email and accounting software.

Avoid forcing it

In 2014, few brands got themselves into inconvenience by unseemly utilization of hashtags. It’s considered a good practice to refrain from using hashtags, posting comments or sending out a tweet on social media only to get a mention for your brand. It can be quite off-putting to your clients. If your hashtag is not relevant to your customers there’s no reason to use it. It shows if it’s not genuine, and will make the wrong impression on your behalf as it will seem like you are trying too hard for attention.

Security

Social media should be treated like any other technology element of your business. They are channels that should be protected, and that’s why you are better off creating permission levels for your profiles. It will ensure that no erroneous or inappropriate message is sent out on your behalf, thus ruining its reputation.

Author bio:

I’m Ramya, a freelance web designer/writer based in India.  I have an experience of about 8 years in content writing and have worked for top blogs and websites. I’m generally an extrovert; I like photography, anthropology and traveling to different countries to learn the culture and living of the local inhabitants to do travelogues.

Contact: Ramya

E-mail id: ramyaraju896@gmail.com

Website:  http://www.colorcharacter.com/uk/color-character-blog