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Students: Just Launched A Start-Up - Now What?

Posted by ENC on May 5, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Start-up.jpgSo you’re in college and just launched a start-up and you’re all excited to jump in and get started right? I understand the exuberance; I was there once myself. Let’s take a look at three things that can either help your business grow or prevent it from growing at all.

Know Your Prospective Customers

This is number one on your list for a good reason. Make sure your start-up team whether it is just you as the founder or others as well know your prospective customers intimately. Regardless of how good you think your start-up is, if you can’t identify customers clearly, understand their motivations, desires and DNA; your company will have a hard time getting off the ground and selling. When you know your customers, you can develop a plan that focuses on creating an incredible customer experience at every touch point – from first all the way through to conversion. Whether you focus on social media, mobile, email, face-to-face, or any other medium, all of them matter and are highly relevant touch points that need specifically crafted messaging to reach your prospective customer.

COLLEGE TIP: Depending on who your potential customers are, you may be able to use other students on campus to get real-life insight about whether your new business is viable or not.

Competitive Advantage

Part of knowing your customers is also knowing exactly what you offer to them and how that can become a competitive advantage in the market. Simply put, are you solving customer problems and making life easier for them or is your product just another option in the market? Conduct competitive research and find out what the opportunities are for your company to create distinct separation from other companies doing something similar. That will become a valuable differentiator for your company to launch successfully. You may have to do this year after year, but it will be well worth the time and effort.

COLLEGE TIP: Use your college research skills to conduct competitive online research. Don’t forget to document all facts and trends. 

Reputation

My dad once told me, “work hard to keep your reputation squeaky clean, and it will serve you well.” As a young man, I remembered that and carried it with me into my career. As a young business owner, your personal reputation is also tied to your business reputation. Make sure to align yourself with credible people and partner with the same type of businesses. It only takes one slip-up in the reputation department and soon your company image and your start-up business reputation will be in the toilet. Once this happens, it is extremely difficult to repair. Stay clear of the ugly side of business and your reputation will stay clean as well.

COLLEGE TIP: Make sure all of your social media posts and profiles are free of any content (photos, videos and text) that does not represent your company well. Personal social media content is completely searchable and will damage your startup’s reputation.

  

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Written by ENC

Located in Quincy, Massachusetts on Boston’s historic South Shore, Eastern Nazarene College is a distinctively Christian liberal arts college. ENC is committed to the teaching and mentoring of students in a nurturing, spiritually enriched, and academically supportive environment. Offering a full breadth of academic programs, ENC prepares students to lead and serve in a diverse world by integrating the best in education and the best in Christian faith.

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Topics: Internship and Job Opportunities, Boston and Quincy Opportunities, Business