Start-up marketing or how to achieve a lot on a small budget

Perhaps you find yourself to be in the middle of an exciting formative phase or you are just about to get your start up off the ground. Perhaps you are working hard to expand your business and would like to make people more aware of you and your company. Regardless of which phase you and your start up are in, attracting customers on a small budget is not easy for a company in its infant stages.Obviously, you would prefer to be able to share your ideas and visions with the entire world. And this is exactly what we want to help you with by giving you the best tips and food for thought surrounding the topic of start-up marketing as you make your way to the top. Without good marketing, successful start-ups simply don't work and using a few tricks and original initiatives, you can achieve much more even on a smaller budget.

Use the materials available to you

A common problem for start-ups is the lack of budget.  Even if money is an issue, and expanding a young business can be tough, you should never forget that you can always fall back on valuable resources.  Your key resource is your passion for what you do - because all this feeling which burns ly inside you can also kindle a flame in others.  If you think about your team, you will probably find this passion and special talents in each and every individual. Be careful to make sure that each team member can make use of his or her strengths and ensure that an open communicative culture exists between members, so that the ideas and visions of each individual can be communicated and taken seriously. 

Discover the endless possibilities of the Internet

An attractive web presence is the basis for successful marketing in the digital world. It's not only important to have a clear and simple website where those interested in your start up can find information about it, but also to offer social media which has endless possibilities. The first step is to put yourself in the shoes of your target market and have a think about which communicational channels and content you should use to reach out to them. You will be amazed at how easy it is to contact the appropriate target market over the internet.

Furthermore, start-up founders are always pleased to hear that online marketing strategies have a very low-cost factor in comparison to offline advertising.  Don't forget about your team's talents and strengths. Your team members are sure to be only too happy to act as authentic brand ambassadors. Perhaps you even have a team member who enjoys writing, has a passion for blogging or does professional photography or filming? Perfect! Your colleagues will be thrilled to be involved in online marketing. 

Be where your customers are

Perhaps you have decided on regular Newsletter updates or social media marketing. Irrespective of which route you decide to take, involve your team and work together on it. That means: Keep your customers and those interested in the start-up, up to date and provide them with regular updates. We know that start up life is intense and that financial and temporal resources are often in short supply.  In this case, investing time will be well worth it in the long run.  That's why we recommend that you put aside some time to advertise your company in a targeted fashion and do some active business marketing. 

In a start-up, lots can change in the space of a day. So, you should also take this dynamic approach with your customers and fans. Give your social media fans a glimpse behind the scenes and tell them about any ground-breaking innovations which have taken place.  This is where tact is particularly important: on the one hand, your followers will thirst for updates and would like to know as much as possible about your start up.  On the other hand, during the expansion phase, there are always dynamic changes to be made and information which must be handled with a certain degree of sensitivity but must also be communicated to fans in a frank manner.  The most important thing is: Be yourself and be honest. Have a chat with the team as to how you can communicate potential challenges or pioneering changes to your customer or fan base.  Naturally, social media isn't just about information.  Just like in real life, fans will want to cheer you on and celebrate your successes with you.  When running an intense start up, you often forget to pause, take a deep breath and celebrate the milestones which have been achieved.  We hope that you can treat yourself and your team to a breather every now and then and celebrate your successes.  Another possibility would be to feed little titbits of information to fans or to let them experience an emotional moment by means of a photo or a video. 

Tip: Find your own personal combination of informative, emotive and entertaining updates.  Let sparks fly but be yourself.

Think big but grow sustainably

You need courage to think big. Founders need this courage to drive their business ahead.  Many start-ups want to change the world at the end of the day.  Hand on heart, this is a huge challenge but, at the same time, a necessary motivator.  But, don't worry, think big and don't lose yourself in your thoughts.  Exploit the visions and marketing goals which you have determined to the full.

Perhaps your start-up is currently focused on the regional market but does have the potential to become a global maverick.  Test out your own boundaries, marketing strategy and structures - and optimise these regularly.  Keep your eyes peeled as you wander through the world of business and exchange information about your start up with as many people as possible.  This way, partnerships can be established quickly and both parties benefit from these.  It doesn't matter if the partnership is with an international company, a small organisation or famous individuals.  Partnerships are a cost-effective way of marketing your business in a targeted fashion and present you with diverse opportunities. Be creative and have a think about how you can establish a partnership like this and which activities you could make progress on.
Although it is important to look ahead, we do however recommend that you focus on healthy, sustainable growth and stick to your budget and keep your target market's needs in mind during intensive growth phases. A healthy growth strategy goes hand in hand with finance.  For example, you could prioritise topics relating to growth and reach each finishing line step by step.

Ascertain goals and strategies but remain flexible

Naturally, start-ups require a marketing plan and strategic orientation.  What is important is to have a reasonable degree of flexibility as marketing strategy must be adaptable, above all, in such a young firm.  This way, you can save money too by reacting quickly to any possible changes.

Define your goals and establish from the beginning which aspects are important for reaching the goals which you have set.  The more you define what exactly it is that you want to achieve, the easier it will be to ascertain the success of your measures.  Analysing the measures implemented doesn't just allow you to recognise room for improvement but also shows you where you should allocate budget to.  Obviously, it's important to approach change dynamically in your young, growing business. 

Last but not least, there's only one thing left to say: Don't forget that it's a marathon and not a sprint when you build a start-up business.  You and your team will need stamina and a lot of puff - but you'll also have a lot of fun doing it. Because there's nothing better than realising a dream with the help of a fantastic team, right? We wish you all the best in reaching your goals and milestones.


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