BREAKING INTO THE MARKET AS A STARTUP IN 2019 IS NOT AS HARD AS IT SEEMS
I kind of feel most entrepreneurs especially those with startup reading this now are raising their eyebrows at me with the expression “You say whattt…?” *LOL* Hold on guys, hear me out first.
I’m aware being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint hearted, and it is definitely not for people who are afraid to fail. It takes years of hard work, consistency, determination, no recognition, and long hours to become successful.
With millennials’ growing aspirations to “become a CEO and work for themselves”, starting up a business remains one entrepreneurial trend that is here to stay for a long time. Mind you, statistics has it that 80% of businesses crash within the first four years of startup. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Breaking into the market doesn’t have to be a herculean task.
What you should know about Startup
With my few years of building and running businesses, and also working with a couple of startup founders and CEOs on their business strategies, these are insights I’ve learned over my years of experience – it can help you in your own startup journey.
The first rule is to make something people want. Business is all about creating a proposition that people are willing to pay for. Your startup business has to be a proposition that’s deeply relevant to people’s lives. Until you learn the heart of the matter for your consumer, you wouldn’t break into the intense market.
The second rule is brand positioning. What perception do you want to create in the mind of consumers? Where do you want to be? This boils down to understanding your market. Who is your user? Is the person a shopper? An influencer? An initiator or a decider? When are they likely to use your product? Where are they using your product? What other products are they using? You have to think of what matters to these people and find a gap in which you can position your startup and provide a service that addresses it.
The third rule? The right relationship is everything. As a startup entrepreneur, you probably don’t have everything figured out, so partner with someone in the industry who knows what they are doing. When you are stuck, this person with experience will show you the way and connect you to those people you need to be talking to in the industry.
Last rule but not the least, in marketing your products to consumers, learn to sell the benefits to them. Consumers want to know the value of what you’re selling, so you have to appeal to that from an emotional standpoint.
Remember you can’t break into the market overnight, you will definitely hit a brick wall, but you have to get up and be consistent, be determined, be patient, and persevere. Goodluck!
Oke Umurhohwo is the Marketing Communications Manager, (West Africa), for itel Mobile, a leading mobile phone brand in Africa.