Our founders are technical and don't have experience in business development specially in Inbound lead generation and marketing.
we want to know more ideas from other entrepreneurs having service based start-up not product base i.e. similar to us.
anyone can suggest good business development strategy and lead generation though we are using LinkedIn for lead generation but these are outbound lead generation.
Do you have any investors? Getting investors' advice, connection and introductions is one way to go. Go to conferences where your potential users will be and just start networking. Can you hire a contract PR person to generate some press? That's another way to generate some inbound leads. It's hard to say without knowing more about the business besides service based. B2B I am assuming, which sector? I agree with Oscar, finding a co-founder who's business oriented is probably your best bet at this juncture.
Inbound couldn't be easier to learn. If you are willing to take two days, you can complete the Hubspot Inbound certification course for free and you'll learn and practice and be tested on all the inbound concepts. Alright, maybe it was quicker for me because I'm a marketer and familiar with foundational concepts, but really, inbound is an attitude, a formula, and extremely repeatable. And you should always be doing inbound from day one because it's slow and steady work.
I'm not sure how you define your version of business development. BizDev usually means partnerships far more than it means lead generation. Lead generation is straight-up marketing. LinkedIn is a channel, it's not a strategy. Social media would be a strategy. And then you still need tactics that you test and refine within each channel following your strategy.
Your strategy is not tactics. Your strategy describes a process, like try-before-you-buy. Of course I wouldn't expect you to know this if you're tech heavy and not business heavy in your core team. Marketing services is really not very different than marketing products. The proof comes from trust more than from touch, but you still use the same three elements of persuasion to drive a purchase decision: 1) personal benefit, 2) dramatic difference, and 3) reason to believe. I have spent half my career promoting services and half of it promoting products. The difference is the language focus, not in the communication skills themselves.
Steven, winging it is reckless. The reason you write a business plan isn't to follow your business plan to the letter. It is to test a concept in writing, document your research in a concise and reasonable manner that ensures another person helping you can understand the concept, identify areas of concern, and to document a budget for yourself. If you can't prove that it would work on paper, it certainly wouldn't work in real life. Paper costs you nothing, but winging it risks everything. The practice of writing a plan is to find most of the obvious mistakes before they cost you actual money.
As Dave points out and I would affirm, a business plan is a living document. It is as much for the owner to crystallize their thoughts as it is for an investor to examine. For the outsider, the plan is a demonstration of thought process. Do you NEED a plan, no. But without one, you risk a LOT more money than if you document clearly in a way that allows you to examine the proposed scenario for mistakes. A business plan should be revisited quarterly and adjustments made to bring it in line with developments.
Your plan, if done correctly, is NOT speculative, it is thoroughly researched, supported by data, and takes into consideration many of the risks that may arise, even the things you say will require you to "adapt and react." Your approach demonstrates the process of someone unwilling to research, plan for contingencies, and to prove they've made an effort to consider the risks in advance.
A business plan is not the sole basis of whether an outsider decides to invest. That has as much to do with character and intuition as it does the actual plan. The planning benefits both the entrepreneur and outsiders.
And if you truly have to throw your plan out the window once you launch the business, all it says is that you are a really crappy planner who doesn't do their research properly.
Anonymous - Before you go out and sign on customers, I recommend that you are clear that you are solving a problem worth solving and are building something that solves it in a way that your core customer finds useful. I have done 10 startups (2 IPOs and 7 acquisitions; 4 failures) over almost 30 years and I can tell you that too many founders believe that revenue and investment are signs of success. My advice is always to fall in love with the problem and the customer. Understand his/her struggles and how s/he is trying to make progress in his/her lives/roles as your initial and ongoing main outward-facing objective. I have a strong feeling that how you attract and acquire these and future customers will stem directly from that effort. I believe strongly that the insight gained from this effort is more powerful than any method or practice or business philosophy offered. Be curious, Be empathetic. Learn and then take action. Good luck!
You need both inbound and outbound marketing to growth your startup. Some channels work better than the other.
Most of startups don't have a lot of resources at their disposal, so it's very important to spend money wisely. The most effective is to study your competitors and see what they are doing. Basically you need to reverse engineer everything about their marketing campaigns, online ads, social, lead generation, communities, PR, etc.and find out what is working for them. Then apply the same strategy.
There are many competitor intelligence tools out their that you can use. Start small and scale when you need.
I’m coming from a service-based industry, as well. Have the founders follow these steps, you’d be surprised how helpful these simple tools are.
1. Create aLean Model Canvas: this will help to flesh out the details of your idea and poke holes in any weaknesses.
2. Validate your idea with some of your potential customers.
3. Build up the infrastructure of your organization if it turns out to be a great idea. If not, you’ll be able to modify the LMC to better suit your customers.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them on our site and our consultants will help you out for free. Once you establish the idea and want to start building a company, this is the format we’d recommend for that:
Organizational Structure In the organization I work for, we’ve built 4 departments. By focusing on building theCulture department first, we allow for a healthy and focused environment of team members who are willing to take the product to new levels. We do this through a planetary hierarchy as opposed to a top-down, typical organizational hierarchy. Planetary Hierarchies will generally facilitate collaboration and cross-training between departments. In layman’s terms, it will encourage team members to assist others in separate departments because theywant to. Then we created ourValuedepartment to establish the infrastructure needed to build our products. We emphasize value because we are a lean organization. TheInnovationdepartment was fashioned next because we live in a world that’s rapidly adjusting to technology (i.e. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, etc). If you build a company without a strong presence of innovation, you’re not thinking far enough ahead to maximize growth and ensure sustainability for your customer. Lastly, we buildOperationsbecause these roles and responsibilities will scale the business at every level. We incorporated the financial aspects of our company within the Operations department. In doing this, we are applying our focus on culture and delivering value to our customers. Financial gain is great but the most successful businesses focus on how to build the most value into their product. Our company runs autonomously and naturally adapts to growth through an Agile framework that envelopes each department and its team’s functions. Because of this approach, we are coining this format theAgile Autopoietic Model, or AAM.
Invenst.co - Our Vision is to create global community of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and investors that collaborate effectively in order to develop, build, fund and scale their businesses.
Steven, business plans are never a waste of time. That is like saying traveling without a map is a good idea. And anyone who ever creates one understands they are always evolving. You are going to answer far more questions with needed answers in a properly constructed business plan than you would with an outline. You have to believe what you have to believe, but I guarantee you if you come to me with one of your outlines, I will have many questions that you should be able to answer but probably have not even thought about. I have yet to review any outline put together by an entrepreneur that was thorough enough to take to investors or complete enough to avoid a plethera of potholes. No business plan may work for you, but you will be in the extreme minority if that is the case.
Good rebuttal Steve. You clearly are not a trial lawyer. I'm only kidding. Like I say, I agree with your sentiment that people can get caught up in the book smarts aspect of building a business, but we will have to agree to disagree that business plans are a waste of time or that winging it is not very risky and not sustainable. In the end people have to find out for themselves and we are both entitled to our opinions.
Hello! I have been into startup business for last 5 years. pppicasso.imbuedesk.com here is my profile. For things to work on marketing side. The best strategy I can suggest you is to give something for free (or live testing) to your customers at initial stage to know how much are they ready to take your product (new concept/leaving of competitive and choosing yours) , one of the easiest ways to reach to customers first is through doing a small 1-2 mins survey with them. Directly, or through email or social media. This way, you will generate leads and also know what type of things they are expecting in your market and from your product/service. It is always about "what our customers want" than "what we can give them." Putting these points in mind, it will be much easier for you to spread your business accordingly. Hope it was useful. Tried to give my generalized idea without knowing about your market, product/service, your customer segment, your geography and about your team size, team SWOT. Let me know further if you think this was any useful. Thank you.