Marketing blog

The 3 Early Warning Signs Your Startup Is Failing

Is anyone else bored of the ‘90% of startups fail’ line being subtly directed at them?

It’s been haunting the majority of founders for decades now, but what’s more depressing is how relevant it is in today’s market.

But surely the most important factor is WHY are they failing?

Of course, there are multiple scenarios listed across social media which lead us to believe, it’s purely down to low sales and running out of cash, but how did the startup break down in the first place?

Let’s have a look at the top 3 EARLY warning signs.

You Have The WRONG Team

37% of founders surveyed admitted that their biggest challenge ( And possible downfall ) was trying to find the right team.

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The team simply makes or breaks a business. How well they can adapt, execute and innovate will be the sole reason to you staying afloat.

So how well is your team connected to each other? Committed to their goals? Is there a general buzz in the office?

When looking to build a team, we tend to interview possible candidates separately and avoid group activities, but SURELY a group activity would show how well a prospective team could work together? Do they gel? Are there too many Alphas causing friction?

Seriously consider inviting prospective candidates to a morning brainstorming session and be sure to take notes of possible team connections.

You Haven’t Defined Your Niche

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Targeting a large audience base in an overly saturated market which has ALREADY been dominated by global brands should be a warning for some……. hence us being brought back to the ‘90% of startups fail’.

So WHAT can you do about it?

According to recent insight by Inc, there are just 3 factors a startup should adhere to in order to succeed in a saturated space.

  • Challenge the status quo
  • Find an underserved audience
  • Identify profitable distribution channels

Startups that have been particularly successful in saturated markets tend to define their niche to a much smaller audience base.

This also helps to reduce marketing costs. 

I for one as a digital marketer, KNEW that the small business market is HEAVILY saturated with thousands of freelance marketers like me. I’m competing against marketers in the Philippines that can be hired for a fraction of the cost.

So what did I do? 

I started to focus purely on Small businesses in London, ones that may have been running for 5 years plus and are making a fairly adequate profit, but are stuck at the next hurdle. Expanding their brands reach further.

I also create content and started to notice a trend on sites like people per hour, that only wanted native English speakers, who can understand the UKs cultural tone.

I started to target these UK leads only.

Nobody Talks about you

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Unfortunately, it takes more than a few Facebook ads to really connect to your audience.

In fact, this process can be a time-consuming and punishing schedule but can lead to a high ratio of leads and customer retention.

You HAVE to start building a relationship online.

A good way to do this is to visit Quora and look for the questions concerning your sector. and then …

ANSWER THEM!

You can also turn your answers into a blog post.

Creating a business blog for my last client was the SOLE reason we increased our traffic so dramatically, and even doubled our preferred London audience base.

But WHAT content should you be posting?

Even though you may fight against it, endless self-promotion posts became some of our least viewed posts in our archive. What DID work was creating posts that will ASSIST your target base. For example;

A shop selling trainers may just promote their latest range of running shoes. But what about creating a post on ‘Why your running technique is costing you 10 minutes in every race?’

I know which one I would click if I was a running enthusiast.

So, do you need any assistance with accelerating the growth of your startup or small business? How about connecting to your audience base? Maybe you feel you need to completely review your audience base and look into a small niche market?

Then feel free to get in touch!