Why Would Anyone Want to Launch a Startup?
Launching a startup is not for the faint of heart. But you’ve decided to start a business and you’ve already seen the future: Your startup company is going to dominate the market, to drive competitors out of town, to redefine the client/customer relationship, and – you’ve decided to do it all by yourself.
Your vision for the future and tons of sweat equity will naturally create a profitable and lasting organization, right?
It Isn’t as Easy as You Thought
Launching a startup company is hard. Some of the key challenges that a startup may face are:
Lack of revenue or cash flow – in order to prepare for incoming orders, service calls, or manufacturing needs, startups tend to over-scale their businesses in the beginning. This can lead to severe capital drains and a dangerous cash flow position.
Little to no interest from the marketplace – You love your product or service, and it is probably a fantastic new idea, but who knows about it? What channels have you used to promote and increase awareness around your company?
Timing is wrong – So you’ve created the world’s best cold-weather gear and cannot wait to take the outdoor marketplace by storm. You need to get sales orders on the books and revenue up – and it is July. Timing is everything in business, and several startup companies have squandered the potential impact of a well-timed product launch.
Not understanding who your target audience or market is – Startup companies tend to fall into the trap of building items or creating services that they don’t actually use themselves. If you won’t use it, why would your consumer? A startup must seek the feedback of their potential market so they know for whom they will serve.
The Role of a PR Firm During This Critical Phase of the Business
Public Relations firms can provide a critical array of tools that can help a new business gain market share, attract positive press, and drive revenue. The role of the PR firm is to balance the relationship between the startup company and a variety of entities including media outlets and journalists, social media sites, and the general public.
PR firms have cultivated relationships with journalists in a variety of industries. PR firms do the heavy lifting when it comes to reaching out to journalists who cover a plethora of industries. PR firms can become a resource for stories and the startup business can be the focal point of these articles. Public relations firms can provide media training to leaders of startup businesses, which can help senior leadership of these companies deliver a message that keeps journalists interested.
Many leaders of businesses fall into the trap of trying to relate to a broad audience and, consequently, come across as generic and boring. It is important to have a vision and to deliver a message that is compelling. PR firms can help with this.
Writing Skills are Vital to Maintaining a Good Public Image
This isn’t about proper grammar and knowing the difference between a simile and a metaphor. This is about telling an engaging story. Public relations professionals know how to tell a good story, and that is what the public really wants to hear. Would Ford Motor Company be Ford without the story of Henry Ford? Or Virgin Atlantic without Richard Branson? Tell as a story and you’ll capture the attention of the market.
PR Firms Can Help With Social Media Integration
Public Relations firms can help a startup company with the intricacies of the social media realm. Social media integration and utilization is much more than setting up a Facebook account and posting random comments about your new business. Social media is a must-have component to any new business launch and PR firms help get the message out - directly to the consumer.
Hiring a PR Firm During the Startup Phase of Your Business
Startup companies must be conscious of expenses during the growth stages of their business, yet this isn’t the time in which to eliminate funding for valuable services such as PR help. A smaller company should secure the largest and most capable PR firm that they can afford, as the benefits of increased market awareness and brand identity will drive much needed revenue. When creating the operating budget for the new company, it is important to factor in PR expenses. These costs shouldn’t be considered as frivolous extras – rather, they should be a core cost of doing business. PR firms help grow businesses and should be a part of the business plan for any startup.