The common thread amongst startups regardless of where they’re located and in what vertical they play is the solo entrepreneur or partner team launching the business.
The characteristics of these professionals are obvious — extreme passion for their business, a need to earn credibility to attract investors, a desire to control every aspect of the company, and the need for expertise to fill the gaps they don’t have.
Soulati Media has been working with many startups of late in varying stages from early bootstrap and go-to-market to companies with healthy sales but no team in place to push the product.
As a practitioner offering a powerful blend of business-to-business social media marketing and public relations, the biggest gaping hole I see is when the business owner crosses the bridge from internal focus to external strategy.
So often the infrastructure consumes every waking moment, and what comes soon after is the realization the team hasn’t put wheels in motion to go to market with a solid plan, financing or time.
What can be a hazard for the team seeking expertise to launch is the extreme knowledge and need to keep control of most every aspect of deliverables. There are financial concerns, ramp up and speed to market.
Tips To Make Start Up Launch Smoother
From my perspective, often as the consultant joining the founding team or teaming with a solo business owner, here are suggestions to make the ride smoother:
- Determine the knowledge gaps on the original team
- Identify the breadth of expertise in the consultant you’re looking to hire
- Know that a seasoned public relations practitioner often brings business, marketing and strategy to the team
- Ensure the marketer you hire has the specialty knowledge needed to round out the team and lend new, valuable insight
- Discuss budget early on; if a practitioner is willing to bootstrap with the team until investors are on board, then that professional should be a strong candidate
As a case in point, I recently discussed an opportunity with a startup to work in a vertical market I’ve wanted to tap for awhile. The fledgling company, yet to be seeded, is funding its infrastructure with Bobby and Mary’s college fund. I agreed to bootstrap the budget because I knew it would be an entry point to my future learning and experience in that sector.
Not too many PR practitioners will go that route to make such an investment; would you in your space?