The startup world is full of businesses trying to “fake it until they make it” regardless of what industry they reside. The business world is full of judgment made on a variety of factors that help legitimize a startup. The lack of a business card for the founder or an executive of a startup screams “company that is not well organized or ready to launch”. While this might not be fair to assess, this is an example of something that a startup can be judged on. The staples of faking it until you make it are below, along with best practices to do so.
A Great Company Name
Creating a great company name can help the startup name stick in the minds of potential customers. A great name can also help a business stand out from the rest of their competitors in their business’ niche. Overthinking the name or creating a name that is difficult to remember should be avoided. Take a look online to see if the proposed name has a website available or a form of the name of the company available. A URL that does not match the company name can lead to confused customers trying to find the business.
A Professional Website
A startup with a professional website looks far more legitimate than a startup lacking a site or having a subpar website. The website needs to have a variety of things in order to help the business of the startup. First, the website needs to define its primary functions as a website can be a versatile weapon for a business of any size. Once these functions have been defined, the site can be designed. For a startup that sells medical equipment online, the site would need fast response times as well as a secure checkout process. A massage-based business might put contact information at the top as well as a digital appointment booking section, as setting appointments and giving clients the business location are the primary functions for this type of business.
Social Media Presence
Social media promotion and engagement by a startup is imperative. This can help the business create a social following as well as help with name recognition in a particular niche. Do not spam social media feeds with constant ads, though, as this can lead to losing followers and lead to a poor brand name. Customer service via social media can also be accomplished as many people flock to their favorite platform to voice displeasure or support for the company.
Always Dress The Part
Dressing the part can help a startup look much more established than it actually might be. Showing up representing a startup underdressed will not send the right message. Most companies working with a startup just want to know the startup has processes in place and a manageable workflow before entering a business relationship.
Part-Time Office Space
A startup can be run effectively from a person’s home and remotely for many new businesses. When clients come into town or a customer needs to be pitched, doing this from a residential home does not instill confidence in the prospect. Virtual office space is the answer as this includes a live receptionist as well as the ability to rent out meeting rooms and individual offices when need be. Do not waste cash flow on an office that is too large and dries up cash flow.
Remain Confident Even In Rejection
The worst thing that a founder of a startup can do is to talk too much in the face of rejection. Remaining confident and calm in the face of rejection can save a sale for the future. Know the products and services that you provide are at a fair price and are of the highest quality. Knowing what is provided can and will help customers is a great place to pull confidence from.
Create Scalable Processes
Startups that might not be as busy as possible have time to create scalable processes that will not break if a large order comes in. Test these processes when things are slow to see where tweaks can be made to increase productivity. Figuring this out after signing a huge deal is a recipe for disaster. Workflow for startups to work effectively is imperative as every startup has goals for expanding.
Hire Versatile Employees
One aspect of a startup that can make it seem much more established is having versatile employees. A person that can do web development as well as marketing allows a company to offer much more without hiring too many people too quickly. A good hiring process and looking for those with various skills/successes in different areas can help immensely with a startup.
The above ways will help a startup fake it until they become a known company in the industry they work in. What are some ways that you think startups should try to fake it until they make it?Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.