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About the Episode
Are you looking to start or grow your own services based business? Well today’s guest talks about the strategies that he used when he first started in 2010 and how he differentiates his company now. Also, if you’ve ever wanted to write for a big publication such as Inc or Huffington Post to grow your brand, then listen to his tip on how you can get started.
Starting Your Own Service-Based Business
Paid marketing was the one strategy that guaranteed surefire instant feedback for Rahul. Though expensive (in 2010, a budget of $1000 to $1500 was the minimum amount a start up business required), it is worth every cent in terms of getting a developer psyched up as he handled inquiries and discussions during initial feedback.
Timely feedback is the one thing no startup can ignore and the only way to make sure that the developer gets it right away is through paid marketing. Word-of-mouth is good but if the client base is only 1-3 clients, this is still a long way from happening. It is best to concentrate on creating leverage in the network. Just tell everybody about what the business is all about. Blogs will work or write for a big publication.
Present Strategies for Service-based Businesses:
Rahul differentiates his company now by looking at it from two perspectives, namely:
As a website: Most websites do not quote prices because the aim is to be able to talk to a potential client and see just how much he will be willing to pay. Rahul has done away with this and quotes his price upfront. The downside of this is less number of leads. On the upside, clients are filtered and in the long run it gives more time for the appreneurs to concentrate on good leads. Most businesses do not want to make it on the strength of how much discounts they can give but on being able to provide a certain value to their customers.
Customer Experience: This is all about convincing a customer that he will have a good experience even before he has actually become a customer. This is where credibility comes in. A startup business cannot do this but once it has gained momentum and has established credibility, the wise businessman should bank on his own experiencesand share it with his clients. The learning experience of a now-successful-business is invaluable and a powerful tool to attract potential customers.
Growing Your Brand through Writing on Big Publications
Rahul gives insightful comments about writing on big publications. He points out that a 3rd party endorsement, especially from a big publication, will always carry weight. The all important credibility is implicit when read in the pages of a big publication. Big publications also give you more visibility as they already have an existing large audience. It is important to realize that the crux of the matter is not the publication but rather, it is the audience of the publication. The audience provides traction to any startup business. It is therefore important to be able to pinpoint the type of audience, the specific niches in the publication, the kind of content it carries and always to think “end customer” and gear the kind of value you can provide to this end user.
What is the hardest part of being an appreneur?
To stay persistent and to stay true to the goal. Pitfalls will come your way; you are going to fall down but you will only fail if you give up.
Book Recommendation: Predictably Irrational