Amidst this wave of entrepreneurship in and around Seattle, a few things are getting left off the checklist. While we appreciate the booming tech industry and culture of startups in the Emerald City, we can’t help but notice a few crash and burn prematurely and avoidably. There’s no accounting for resolve and determination, but being bullheaded and confident can only get you so far. In order to truly make your great idea a reality, you need three key components:
1. Create a Strong, Unified Brand
People need to immediately see and understand what your company is and what it represents. If you look at Apple, for instance, all you need is one look at their logo to know everything about it: strong, sleek, sophisticated, and modern. These adjectives breathe into every aspect of the company, from the products they sell to the look and feel of their website. Everything is consistent, even down to the choice of lighting in their physical stores. Sit down with your team or partners and define what your brand is. If you don’t know where to turn, there are plenty of agencies ready to pick up the phone and help. Trust us, it’ll be well worth the effort when you have to explain “Who are you?” to an investor or customer.
2. Invest in Smart, Lean Digital Marketing
Not everyone can afford a $20,000 per month retainer to a big marketing agency, and that’s totally understandable. However, if you don’t have an expert digital marketing team or individual specialist in place to manage your digital presence and ensure you’re getting customer leads online, you’ve already failed. Your website should be the centerpiece of your business, whether you’re a boutique coffee shop or a vast e-commerce chain. Delivering a clear, informative, and consistent message to your potential customers is the only way to thrive in the digital economy.
3. Ensure Flexibility for the Future
We’ve seen companies like Uber, Amazon, and Airbnb completely change the way we live in the span of a decade. Which entrenched industry is next for a serious change is anybody’s guess, but one thing is clear: no one is safe. Just like Esty changed boutiques, Uber changed transportation, and Kickstarter changed funding, if your company isn’t ready for serious competition in the digital space, there’s no room for you in the market. That being said, having a plan in place and knowing your business will be flexible enough to weather the storm during changing tides isn’t just a warm, fuzzy feeling – it’s a bedrock for the future of your company.
Are you about to start a business or do you have a few tries under your belt? Tell us – what’s worked for you? How would you do things differently the next time around? Let us know in the comments below!
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