Own a Startup? How to Succeed Past Three Years

New startup companies are created every day, many with a lot of potential. But even with an amazing product or service, nearly 90% of startups fail to survive.

This begs the question: what’s the key to helping your startup succeed past the first few years of launching your product?

Startups Require Product-Market Fit

First, you need to determine the right market for your startup. Don’t overlook critical aspects such as location, competitors, pricing, and the overall receptiveness towards your product or service. These and many other factors are taken into account to ensure you land the right target markets and achieve product-market fit.

Startups Need Customer Advocates

Next, your company needs to seek for customer advocates who can help you meet the needs of customers. If these people are found in the early stages of a startup, you won’t need to make a drastic change in operations in the future.

Happy customer advocates will help spread your brand and product through word-of-mouth and social media. These channels have a higher chance of converting leads into customers given the personal referrals — and they’re free!

To find your ideal customer advocates:

  • Create a list of markets for potential customers
  • Measure customer advocacy of your existing customers
  • Relentlessly seek feedback and iterate to satisfy your existing customers
  • Ask for referrals to market your product and services
  • Create your network to make finding customers easier
  • Advertise and show off your products and services
  • Team up with other business owners
  • Build a presence online
  • Spread the word on social media with your online platform

Remember, your first customers are always the most important. Once you’ve got them, treat them with respect and show you value them. Soon, you can turn them into your brand advocates and, with their help, attract a more significant customer pool.

Startups Must Utilize Customer Advocates for Customer Growth

Customers don’t just fall into your lap, especially in the startup stage. So how do you grow your customer base from here?

Customer growth is most effectively achieved by the employment of customer advocates who are then integrated into the startup company’s running setup. Their job is to study customers’ needs and wants. From there, they develop accessible avenues to aid your startup in satisfying its customers in a swift and cost-effective approach.

Startups Should Measure Customer Advocacy

One final tip is to measure your customer advocacy. This provides core insights into what’s applicable and offers opportunities for upgrades and optimization. It’s also vital for fostering loyalty and retaining your customers while effectively reducing costs.

While it seems difficult to quantify, you can accurately measure your customer advocacy by presenting customers with a survey to rate your products or services. Please note that the objective isn’t to obtain 100% approval, but to achieve a generally satisfied customer base. (No matter how hard you try, there will always be customers who aren’t happy with your products or services.)

Here are several tools you can implement to measure your company’s customer advocacy:

  • CSat Survey: This provides a customer satisfaction score (usually from 1-5) based on a single question from a specific experience. For example, “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received?”
  • Net Promoter Survey: This measures your customer experience by asking, “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?” Scores within 0-6 are considered unhappy; 7-8 are satisfied but easily swayed by competitors; and 9-10 are considered loyal enthusiasts.
  • Reviews: Written reviews can be given based on customer experiences and posted on your website, social feeds, and used in marketing. They’re helpful to foster positive experiences and make great marketing collateral.
Conclusion

Finding your ideal customer advocates and then measuring their satisfaction is critical to your startup company’s long-term *success. For questions about customer advocacy, please contact AbstractOps (the original source of this content) at hello@abstractops.com.

*Even the most successful company can fail from one month to the next if compliance measures aren’t in place and/or employees aren’t happy. For more information, please complete the form below and our team will be in touch with you shortly!







Cariann Lieske, SHRM-CP

Author Cariann Lieske, SHRM-CP

While Cariann used to run an office, she is now focusing her career on Human Resources. When she’s not helping others resolve their employment issues, Cariann can be found wedging her way through an obstacle race or chauffeuring her husband for another 50-miler.

More posts by Cariann Lieske, SHRM-CP