It is a cutthroat time to start a business. According to GEM Global Report, a new startup company opens somewhere in the world every three seconds. With 100 million other new businesses to contend with, you need to make sure that yours will stand apart from the rest. Fortunately, you do not have to simply sit around hoping that your company’s greatness will be obvious to all who encounter it. Applying your focus to some specific areas will give you a better chance of building a successful establishment.
- Have a Unique Product
First things first—you have to be offering people something that they want, whether they knew they wanted it or not. It is unlikely, though not impossible, that you will be able to come up with a completely new type and category of product. Because of this, you will need to highlight the characteristics that make your product different from and better than similar ones that may already exist.
According to Jonah Berger of University of Pennsylvania’s business school, people like to use products that make them feel like they are part of a movement or members of an exclusive group. In order to tap into this innate preference, be sure to play up the aspects of your product that might be considered revolutionary or cutting-edge.
- Tell Your Story
Austerity and secrecy are not necessarily the keys to successful business these days. Almost everybody uses social media in some form, and social media has a funny way of making users feel like they have intimate knowledge about the people they follow. Companies can use this phenomenon to their advantage by providing customers with background information about their origins and practices.
For example, xy is completely upfront about its mission to change the way food is produced and consumed in this world. Through a series of videos on its YouTube channel, the company provides a thorough history lesson about how these goals were formulated, as well as insight into how they are being achieved. People who access this kind of information feel more personally invested in the companies that provide it, and are therefore much more likely to use the products and engage in word-of-mouth advertising.
- Flaunt Your Personality
While you are playing the social media game, take the opportunity to show off your personality. Company culture is an important aspect of keeping a business afloat, so if your company culture is solid, it is worth showing off. Whether your sense of humor is incredibly corny or you just can’t resist giving your sassy two-cents worth on the latest viral video, your customers will feel more connected to your company if you give them a taste of what makes you who you are. And while it should go without saying, remember to keep the personal content you share clean!
- Keep up Appearances
Even if you have the greatest invention of all time, no one will buy it if no one likes to look at it. People care about aesthetics, whether they want to admit to it or not. Looks are especially important for apps and websites, because they exist merely on screens and provide only visual and sometimes audial information. With this in mind, make sure that you invest time, energy, and money into creating products that appeal to the senses.
- Keep in Touch
In keeping with the theme of making your company feel accessible to your customers, you need to make sure that they have ways of getting in touch with you. In a world of automation frustration, businesses that can boast outstanding customer service have a significant advantage over their contemporaries. Do not just assume that you and your employees will be able to handle any issues that come up. Instead, take time to develop guidelines for how to interact with customers and handle conflicts.
Social media can once more be useful on this front because many customers prefer to leave feedback on company pages. Not only should you encourage your customers to leave comments and ask questions on your social media accounts, but you should also make a point of responding to them in a helpful manner. Customers are more likely to stick around if they enjoy the rapport they share with you.
Let Your Light Shine
Businesses need good timing and good luck to make it to the top. They also need clever and dedicated leaders. By doing what you can to highlight your startup’s inimitable attributes, you can stand a much better chance of ending up in the spotlight.