“If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.” Elon Musk
Every booming industry till date was once a start-up! With more start-ups at launch, it has now become mandatory to define the characteristics of success when planning to launch a start-up business.
Business experts who have more than a decade of experience believe that success largely depends on the trust, respect and the accessibility you have on people. The start of any business is quite the same; it all starts with brilliant business ideas and the drive to make it happen. Processing and validating the idea must take some time, considering you will run it across people for opinions and support. Once you receive thumbs up it’s a signal for spending quality time on drafting a business plan.
Marketing is the necessary step you take to gain transactions. If you are new to business then it is suggested to conduct a research on marketing strategies. Now, we all want our business to skyrocket and we are all aiming for success. Thus, the question that arises here is how to make start-ups successful? What is the key ingredient that is required to boost start-ups? Now, to get this recipe right is insanely difficult, so to meet the business projections of the start-ups use the exotic spice called “Networking”
Know Your Buckets
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”- Steve Jobs
Know your unit of data first because here we are talking about building a great network for a start-up. Think of measures to fill your key units because depending on this bucket you will teach the multiple units that are targeted. It is on basis of these different units or buckets that you will identify their unique roles in the start-up’s lifecycle. These buckets are definitely not the only source, but these are the ones answering the critical concerns you may have. The important bucket includes knowing key contacts as potential customers, partners, and investors and each of their roles in your community.
- Potential customers – Target potential customers in the early stages, as they are in fact the reliable sources providing an understanding with solutions for the company’s need. They are the important decision makers of start-up companies, so it is of immense importance to connect to them and they will most likely know the other ideal customers. Target audiences are the early adopters who will test and try your products. Thus, they are responsible for passing away the word of mouth. So, be prepared to make them your champions for spreading the network.
- Business Partners– When you tie up with a company, ensure that they secure the wealth of knowledge about your business. Only if they are aware about the business they can assist you in providing secondary revenue opportunities and also help in dealing with customer problems. It is important to partner with a company who can make key introductions as the company grows.
- Investors – Investors are looking forward to invest in business that is handled with great deal of care and persistent effort. We’ve never heard any investor put his money in a reckless or neglected business. Keep your business profitable, as that is the only way to prove to your investors and keep them from pulling out of your business. Maintain a healthy relationship with your investors, as they can give you guidance and of course introduce you to build a strong network.
- Media – Isn’t it quite natural these days to catch the attention of media who easily promote impressive businesses or people. Well as easy as it may seem, you cannot really grab that opportunity unless there is strong networking. The more you mingle and interact with others and introduce business on right outlets, you are walking towards recognition and growth. Making contacts and advertising your start-up via a reliable source promises good recognition. Remember getting attention can make it or break it, so lookout for journalists and media professionals before launching yourself in the market.
To build a successful business stay clear of unrealistic expectations. Research has shown that familiarity breeds likability and appeal. Trust cannot be built in a day, which also means that you will be spending a decent amount of time to build a community or network. It is far from an overnight activity, but rather a lifelong commitment to your own success and happiness.
Do the Fieldwork
“The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.”- John Hancock
Ask people for opinions and insights, especially if you are new to an industry. A good fieldwork will be your guide to learning the pros and cons of the business. It is also very important to keep tabs on other companies who own similar business.
One of the best ways to review your product is by discussing it with people. Conduct meetings or talk over a cup of coffee, while encouraging people to talk about their thoughts and opinions of your product. Not only will this exercise provide you with honest reviews, but it will also lead people to invest into your relationship.
In terms of business, the more you are seen putting in efforts; the more people are bound to like you. When you find someone responsible, feel free to ask them if they would like to assist you in any ways. This is quite the method to get people engaged and build a strong network.
Here is a little trick when you meet someone; no matter if the meet is of smaller duration still make it a point to ask two questions. Firstly, ask them why they chose to meet you. If you are wondering why ask this question, then we must tell you, it is to logically reinforce the idea that you are worthy of their time.
Secondly, do not forget your motive to spread your network, which is why you must ask for recommendations. Start by thanking them for their valuable time and ask if they have connections with influencers in their network who will be interested to connect with you. This is basically how you get in touch with people offline. Grasp this, the importance of networking calls for connecting with people offline and online as both are impactful means to expand your start-up.
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”- Michael LeBoeuf
Provide value because it is an exchange of value when you are networking. When sentimentally put, you are exchanging your trust and time with someone hoping for a better outcome and profitable experience. Better seek the value you are providing in exchange of your interactions.
If you are new to business, do not set yourself thinking that you do not possess the traditional things such as expertise, money or access. While you might not possess the traditional aspects you might definitely possess the quality of valuing another human being. Understand the requirement of the other and fulfill their need – you see that is the key to their value.
Consider Event-To-Event Relationships
“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” – Wade Boggs
As a start-up, you have the chance to meet and maintain significant one-on-one relationships with everybody. On the other hand, when the community starts growing it will become difficult to maintain such close relationships. Of course, you can’t just move on and start networking with new people while forgetting the old ones, especially not when it comes to business.
Old associates are the strong roots of start-ups, so it is recommended that you start implying an event-to-event relationship. As a growing community you can afford to invest in meeting a larger number of people which will allow you to focus on everyone without eliminating the old or new ones. This method waters the seed of your relationship and helps it reach fruition.
Ideally, you can invite people to your event and maybe at times consider hosting events for those who are critical to your start-up’s success. As someone who’s networking game is strong you will be considered as a significantly connected hub of the industry.
When seen as a successful entrepreneur, you are to develop deeper relationships with larger number of people. Meanwhile, there also comes an opportunity of expansion in form of getting access to other industry professionals and your community.
“Honest communication is built on truth and integrity and upon respect of the one for the other.” – Benjamin E. Mays
Communication is the key to success which is why they say that to be a leader you need to be an efficient speaker. To communicate clearly with your clients, always be careful of what you are asking from people and what they are getting in return. Transparency is the key that one must offer to be an influential communicator.
Keep no room for grey areas, especially when you get access to an extensive network of influential and interesting people. Try multiple approach methods to ensure that your communication meets to a point of clarity. There is a vast diversity which we are trying to reach out to even as a start-up. So to network with people from different backgrounds, status and cultures you will need to interpret your communication differently.
To build an effective networking strategy for start-ups, it might take a significant amount of energy and effort. We hope that the following insights will not only accelerate your success, but increase the strength of your relationships.
Use the following tips to accelerate your network. Right from the beginning, work with a solid content strategy. Focus on the marketing tool and your ability to distribute it across channels and you can easily ace this with good marketing. Learn to forge relationships with the people who matter most or you’ll have a difficult time scaling up your start-up. Deliver a great product, back it up with a marvellous story and fire it with solid networking strategy to get your business the exposure that it needs to thrive.
Lewis Khan lives by the code of motivation which he believes comes from his pet dog Rocco! He feels too deeply for start-ups and the entrepreneurs who have set out to make a difference. He is currently associated with Northants Accounting and his life’s aim is to do his bid for start-up owners!