5 Musts of Every Serious Startup: Examples and Analysis

by Melissa Burns

5 Musts of Every Serious Startup: Examples and Analysis - Innovation ExcellenceStartups are the engine of innovation – or, at least, they are supposed to be so, when they are organized and carried out properly. Here are 5 recommendations that will help you and your startup make a difference.

1.      Knowledge of Customer Base, Their Habits and Needs

When you try to sell something, you should know who you sell to, ideally – you should be one of them. In this case, you may ask yourself: “Would I buy this?” and “How would I approach myself to sell it?” An excellent example is DODOcase – when the first iPad was announced, its founders immediately decided that they and all other Apple enthusiasts are going to need cases for this new toy and jumped the wagon with their handcrafted iPad cases which they sold right in queues in front of Apple stores on the day of release.

2.      White Hat Promotion

Black hat promotion techniques may show considerable short-term effects, but their efficiency is getting further and further diminished with each new Google update. They are associated with considerable reputational risks. Finally, white hat techniques just plain work better (albeit requiring greater investments of time and money). For example, consider CLVBoost, a well-known email marketing consultancy that originates from a single person using nothing but emails and high-quality content to create a $40K/month startup.

3.      Devoted Team

According to statistics, the majority of startups fall apart not because of financial problems, but because of tensions within the core team and inexperience of team members. According to the absolute majority of successful startup founders, like Uwe Horstmann, a co-founder of Project A Ventures, believe that correct staffing of the core team is much, much more important that how brilliant your original idea is and how devoted you are personally to bringing it to life.

4.      Consistent Brand Identity

When you just start out, you may think that branding is the last thing you should think about – after all, there are so many other issues to take care of, and they are much more urgent. Right?

Not exactly.

In today’s world, when there are so many companies offering similar services and products, consistent branding can take you a long way. Consider Dropbox – all its communications and platforms are accompanied with its easily recognizable logo, all brand designs follow the same stylistic and color palette, its email marketing follows the principle of pleasant personalized messaging. It probably isn’t the reason why it is so popular, but it certainly helps.

5.      Creative ‘About Us’ Page

In our day and age, there is probably no need to persuade a startup founder that his company should have a website. Unfortunately, many create their websites just to tick the box. Take ‘About Us’ pages, which are supposed to be a calling card of a company: 99% of them are virtually the same – mission statement in dry boring language, an inept attempt at a joke, a date of foundation. And then there is 1% who try to make it unusual and visually catching, like MOZ, for example.

Innovation is not only about what you do and try to achieve. It is about how you do it in even greater degree.

image credit: serviceinbound.com

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Melissa Burns is an education blogger, and a new teacher. She was studying in Columbia and those years inspired her to dedicate her life to teaching. She graduated from Iowa State University and is passionately interested in informatics, writing, and educational activism. She has already visited 38 countries and is planning to travel around the globe. Follow her @melissaburns and contact her at burns.melissaa@gmail.com

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