Did you know that four in ten small businesses don’t make it to the five-year mark? Although statistics vary from country to country and industry to industry, the overwhelming fact is that the odds are stacked against startups. Naturally, there are hundreds of reasons a new business can fail. Cashflow, poor management and a lack of vision can all turn a great idea into a failed company. While there aren’t any shortcuts to success, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of survival.
Identify a Box and Step Outside of It
One of the more interesting strategies savvy business owners have used over the years is thinking outside of the box. Despite being something of a cliched term, the notion of doing something different is one that can really help your business stand out and, in turn, build up a stable customer base. Before you can think outside of the box, you need to know what’s inside it. This requires an analysis of the market you’re entering, identifying who the leading companies are and picking out any apparent weaknesses.
Once you’ve done that, your job is to find a way to fill in the gaps. For example, in recent years, e-commerce has blossomed into a $2.3 trillion industry. As the number of people shopping online has increased, so too has the need for cheap, reliable delivery methods. A technique some retailers have used to step outside of the box is to reduce shipping costs and taxes. Online distributor TaxFreeSnus.com is not only shipping snus tax free from Andorra but providing transparent pricing. A common theme among online retailers, especially on eBay, is to add shipping costs to the price of a product and then charge extra fees on top. Going against this, Tax Free Snus displays a single price that covers all costs. Doing this not only bucks the current trend but it gives consumers more faith in the brand which, in turn, makes them more likely to use the service again. Another technique that can take your brand beyond the norm is to offer some sort of incentive. As noted by Inc.com, competitions are a great way to increase user engagement and attract customers to a new product.
An Incentive Can Inspire Consumers
A great example of using incentives is Marmite’s Gene Project. Trading off its long-established slogan “some people love it, some people hate it,” Marmite.co.uk gave people the chance to buy a DNA test kit and see whether they’re genetically predisposed to like Marmite. Despite edging towards the realms of pseudoscience, the offer of having your DNA tested generated a huge amount of interest. What’s more, it’s an idea that hadn’t be tried before in the food industry. The end result was a wave of user engagement and support from existing and new fans of the brand.