According to Forbes, “building a startup, especially the early stages, can feel like a roller coaster,” with never-ending paths leading towards vague or nonexistent milestones and eventually becoming part of already crowded marketplaces or similar or competing business ideas. Throughout this journey, an entrepreneur is going to experience everything good, bad, and ugly. Some of these experiences and interactions will be blessings in disguise and others the quite the opposite. Every stage of creating and establishing a startup business is aimed at helping it grow. This blog will talk about each stage of a startup business and how entrepreneurs can market their business to both their customers and employees.
Seed and Development Stage
Every startup idea starts with a problem that needs to be solved. During this phase, startup owners should gather opinions and ideas for the startup from a wide range of audiences. According to Forbes, “this stage is all about discovering customer pain points and needs” to come up with an idea for the startup. For customer experience, this entails startup creators diving into the minds of their customers rather than focusing on the initial ideas they had in mind for the product or service they wanted to create based on their own needs. In any industry, the target audience comes first. Startup owners need to ask themselves the basic questions:
- What is the demographic group we are targeting (e.g. age range, socioeconomic class, type of shopper or consumer, etc.)?
- What can we do to improve their experience?
- How can our product be different from any existing similar ones?
- How much would customers be willing to pay for this proposed product?
Such questions should help entrepreneurs understand the basic decisions and concerns customers will have regarding the startup’s products and services and the startup’s financial status as well. The financial status is part of the seed phase of the startup. Startups need funding. Ideally, the funding should come from external investors, fundraisers, and venture capitalists. However, some funding can also come from internal resources, such as friends and family.
On the other hand, regarding employee experience, the seed and development stage requires initial interviews and hiring. According to Business News Daily, “the employees you end up hiring should have the following qualities – flexibility, passion, and trustworthiness.” Any organization, including startup organizations, should be sure to double and triple-check candidate backgrounds, thus assuring them that they are hiring the right people to join their startup company. The answers you receive will help owners figure out their own needs and expectations in the next phase of startup creation. Every new employee they hire will have an impact on the startup. The main element to keep in mind while hiring is the startup company culture. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a startup company. Hours are bound to be extensive and more importantly, salaries need to be equitably distributed.
According to Indeed, “the growth stage indicates that the startup has a steady source of income and a loyal customer base.” Thanks to the rapid increase in cash flow, owners may be able to afford to hire more employees to manage the workload. At this point, the startup would have established a clear-cut marketing budget and a solid business model to follow. Entrepreneur Magazine highlights “the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs in this stage is dividing time between a whole new range of demands requiring their attention– managing increasing levels of revenue, attending to customers, dealing with the competition, accommodating an expanding workforce…etc.” This stage is the real test for entrepreneurs in terms of how they deal with overwhelming situations, such as demanding customers, losses, employee retention, and struggling profits.
The established stage is when the startup becomes a thriving business. This is when the startup starts to retain a loyal customer base and cash flow becomes more consistent. According to Indeed, “once a company reaches an established status, it may be easier for them to financial resources and human labor.” At the same time, entrepreneurs need to keep a watchful eye on the status of their business to avoid any trouble. Keeping up with the competition is even more important than before at this stage of the startup. Competitors try to be at least a couple of steps ahead. Ensuring the brand continues to deliver what’s been promised to customers and stable company culture for employees will help retain the status achieved.
Entrepreneur Magazine suggests that “during this stage, entrepreneurs may just feel like their business has a become a monotonous routine.” Owners can’t help but think to broaden their horizons and find something new to incorporate into their business. Entrepreneurs have the freedom to venture out and look for new profit options. For example, if the startup is a shoe company, they can have the option to sell accompanying accessories along with the shoes, such as belts, socks, and shoelaces. Similarly, if the startup is a device company, they can have the option to sell device accessories and similar versions of their original product. This is a great way for startups to reinvent their brand and its associated products and services so that new customers and employees can be intrigued by the variety at hand.
Exploring the Stages of a Startup with PxidaX
At the end of the day, a startup is a business that needs to interact with its customers and employees. Entrepreneurs never realize where the next inspiration could come from. Lucky for them, PxidaX is a great tool to start with. With a variety of product surveys, potential startup owners could pitch their ideas in the form of a survey to potential stakeholders to figure out how they can get started with creating their business. Sign up for a free trial today!