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7 mistakes startups make that costs them their growth
What are most startups searching for? Growth and Survival.
Although survival in the market is necessary for any startup, growth is even more important. Growth is now a powerful buzzword that you hear from every other startup. There are two types of growth, one that is scalable and the other which is un-scalable. Services in which manual labor is needed are hardly ever scalable whereas, online content and services are highly scalable.
A company is always begging for growth but what kills the companies is ignoring a crucial part of their business. Many companies do not give SEO part of their business much thought even blogs. Most issues can be fixed but some mistakes cost the startups the traffic they desperately need.
In this article, we will go through 7 mistakes startups make that costs them their growth.
Growth mistake 1 – No Plan for Content Marketing
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
We all know how important execution is but are mindless execution any use?
The first thing you should decide is the benefits you want to reap with content marketing and the goals and outcomes you expect from it.
Everywhere I see startups marketing with no strategy for their content. They start a blog because everyone has one and they do not want to be left behind. Most of the startups function and are motivated by what others do. They come to the standards of other companies but forget to set their own standards. They usually start talking about their company thinking their clients will come to them but that is not how it works.
In a strategy, you must define the following:
Who is your target audience?
What is their need?
The kind of content are you going to create for their needs?
What are the most used keywords for your audience?
When are you expecting the results to be delivered?
These questions are what startups answer to create their content marketing strategy.
However, SEO is an important part of content marketing. It is how most of your clients find you online and use keywords to search for you. Companies should integrate SEO with their content marketing.
2. Not Agile
Being agile helps you with achieving your vision but they must be changed as time progresses.
Strategic plans are always important as unforeseen situations occur. Market trends might change or aggressive competitors can come out of nowhere. You may need to change your path quickly from one point to the other because of this.
Startups must understand that change is constant.
3. Not focusing on audience needs
I have seen many startups not focusing on the needs of their audience but instead focusing on their product.
There is no success without understanding your audience’s needs.
The best way to discover your audience is through your writing. It is much more valuable and uses less cost. You can easily know who is interested in your services as the people who invested the most time are the most interested one of your clients.
Audience profiling is another way to have a detailed image of your audience. However, many startups only use it in the first few months and then forget about it. The profile is not made to be forgotten but to be used and updated when startups discover something new through months in business.
The discovery of your clients can bring solutions that you did not even know existed. The most important thing while discovering more about your audience is to tap into the ‘black box.’ This black box contains information about why the customer took this particular action along with the spending patterns. This can greatly help a startup know what led the customer into taking this particular action and use it for growth.
Saying yes to every other customer is another blunder that most growing startups make. Not saying no to every other request of a customer will put you at jeopardy of over-promising and under-delivering.
The company GreenPal made the same mistake. As the co-founder, Gene Caballero states: “One mistake we made when trying to scale, was to give our customers too much power when it came to dictating their schedule. We allowed homeowners the chance to add one-at-a-time appointments whenever they wanted and didn’t give them the ability to easily schedule either weekly or biweekly appointments. This is a logistical nightmare for the lawn care pros that used our platform.”
Not overcommitting and avoiding giving more power to customers will help you greatly scale your startup as you can set features according to your ability. Under-committing and over-delivering is always best when facing new clients.
5. Setting short term goals
Do you think your startup will be dead in two years?
If yes then why are you even doing it?
Many entrepreneurs sacrifice mid-term growth for short-term benefits. Most think that they will fail after some years and they actually do. The number 1 quality of an entrepreneur is to have confidence that they can operate for long. Business is always a marathon and not a sprint.
6. Poor SEO content
Many startups forget to focus on SEO content for their website. They think quantity matters. What they do not understand is that quality matters over quantity.
Your audience expects that you create promotional content for your product or service. While your blog is not an ad for your website or services you provide, it really helps as it attracts many new clients along with driving 30% of the traffic to your website.
7. Ignoring competitors SEO and strategy
Notice how your competitors are getting more traffic than you?
You need to understand what they are doing to get that kind of traffic.
You can always check which posts generated the most traffic for them and if all their content short or long. How their contents are formatted and what keywords are they using to get the most traffic.
Geoff Woo, CEO of Nootrobox says “Life is too short to learn from your own mistakes, so learn from other people’s mistakes by absorbing information from any and all high-fidelity sources,”
So I hope this article was informative enough to help you avoid disasters and failures in your startups.