Month: November 2021
Marketing Your Ideas: A Must for Pre-Revenue Startups
When you’re first starting a business, marketing is probably the last thing on your mind as you’re searching for investors and developing your product or service model. However, a well-kept secret is that marketing is crucial at every stage of business, even for pre-revenue startups! While you likely won’t be ready to market to consumers, preparing informational materials for investors and potential partners is still considered marketing your business idea. To help you get into his mindset, these four marketing tips can show you how to grow your startup and reach your predefined goals while in the pre-revenue stage.
- Be ready to present to investors!
In today’s digital world, you never know when your product or service might be put in front of potential investors. Keeping this in mind, be sure to have informational materials detailing your business idea, structure, market analysis, and financial projections on hand to give to potential investors or partners. Make sure you have business cards printed for the founders and senior managers of your company, and have a few collateral materials printed or available virtually, like an executive summary, to detail your product or service offerings and financial projections for investors. This way, whether it’s a formal presentation, or a random encounter with a potential investor, you’re prepared to make your pitch with supporting materials.
- Make sure you have an informative, professional website.
A common misconception among pre-revenue companies is that because you may not be ready to drive consumer traffic to your website yet, you don’t need to have an online presence at all during that stage. This isn’t true! Having a website can be an enormous advantage for pre-revenue startups. Having a dedicated place that potential investors, funders, employees, partners, and office space owners can go to learn more about your business provides a professional touch while also creating an easy, streamlined experience for potential stakeholders. If you’re recruiting for funding, have a page dedicated to potential investors or funding organizations with all the information they’ll be looking for, like financial projections, market analysis reports, and product or service benefits. Be sure to use your website as a place to make your business come to life – don’t just talk about your product or service. Talk about the people behind the product, the problems that it can help your target market solve, how your offerings close gaps in the current industry, and what sets you apart from your competitors.
- Invest in market research.
While sometimes costly, market research may be the most valuable information you can come across during the pre-revenue stage. Even online surveys or small focus groups may give you a clearer picture of what your customers are looking for. Tailor the questions to the information you’re looking for or how to best serve your potential audience. For example, if you’ve already identified a market for your product, talk to those audience members to determine any gaps that may exist in the current market landscape and how your product can solve these problems. You can also take this opportunity to learn more about how to reach your audience by asking how they consume media and what channels are important to them. This way, when you are ready to go to market, you’re equipped to reach potential customers effectively!
- Utilize free resources!
There are plenty of free or low-cost marketing tools available to new businesses. Some popular brands include Canva for graphic design, WordPress for websites, MailChimp for email marketing, and various social media platforms for engaging with your audience. Budget for the large expenses that you can’t do yourself, or are better done by a professional, and that will create a return on investment for your company; and give free tools a try to create marketing materials. You might be a pro!
Looking for more resources to start or grow your business? Visit unionriverinnovation.com to learn more about our programs for startups, including a business incubator program, business affiliate program, coworking spaces, free seminars, and more.