One of the bigger challenges facing startups is dedicating a person or a team to digital marketing. Budgets are tight within many new companies, so often times the same person responsible for a bunch of other things also does digital marketing, and that is detrimental to the business. So my advice is for small businesses to prioritize digital marketing, and as part of that advice, I also think it’s super important that entrepreneurs choose SEO tools to help draw business. I personally love SpyFu, because it focuses on keywords in my industry, which is one of the most important aspects of SEO, but there are a lot of other good SEO tools out there, business owners just have to make sure they choose one that works for them.
Another challenge facing startups is making sure that their network has the highest-level of cyber security to guard against persistent intrusion. Hackers love startups, because a lot of these smaller companies skimp on security to save money. But here’s the thing. If your system is compromised, hackers will steal your clients’ credit card information as well as social security numbers and other sensitive data. One breach can destroy your entire business, so it’s important not to cut corners when it comes to protection against cyber crime.
One last – but certainly not least – challenge facing startups is not clearly identifying their target market. A lot of startups fail because company founders didn’t properly market their products to the right consumers, and so instead of realizing that mistake, they blame the failure on the lack of a market. But to paraphrase the great Steve Jobs, “It’s your job to create the market and convince that market why they need your products and services.” No one thought they needed a personal computer when Apple was founded, but Jobs convinced people that owning this device was essential, creating his own market by offering a distinct product that offered value. Small business owners must identify a market, research that market to discover its wants and needs, and then create distinct and valuable products and services that satisfy those wants and needs.