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If you’re launching a startup, you no doubt have already worked out your product development strategy and sourced your initial funding. The following stages are where it can get tricky if you’re not prepared. Although it is no secret that the majority of startups don’t go on to become successful, billion-dollar enterprises, you may be surprised at how many have failed due to lack of planning. We’ve put together a list of five crucial moves you need to make if your startup is going to have a fighting chance. You owe it to yourself (and your investors) to start on the right foot, so read on below and take notes.

In a Good Space

If you’re serious about making the startup flourish, you need to have a conducive space in which to make it work. However, this location also needs to fit within your budget. By utilizing serviced offices in your area, you can have a fully-equipped workspace with none of the overheads or fixed contracts that usually come with them. Not only can these be outstanding, productive environments, but they can help present a professional impression that will inspire confidence in your employees and clients alike. It lends an air of sophistication to your brand that working out of the home cannot manage.

Digital Marketing

It doesn’t matter how good your product is; you won’t stand a chance if nobody knows about it. To make it work, you need to understand marketing techniques and learn how to use them. You need to know your SEO from your SEM and PPC and know precisely how to use them to establish your brand and build a customer base. If you have the budget to engage a reputable digital marketing agency, it’s a worthwhile investment. Alternatively, there are copious amounts of free resources online to help you learn the ropes, if you have the time for it.

Find Your Niche

To separate yourself from your competition and get your brand off the ground, you need to ensure that your product or service is the only one of its type. With no parallel competition, you need to emphasize what sets you apart and lean into the niche. Here’s where your digital marketing skills will come into use and lead the way to selling your business for you.

Hire Generalists, Not Specialists

Launching your startup, you’re going to need some help. It’s easy to overthink the process and start looking in the wrong places. Instead of hiring several experts who will each be aces in their one field, the best asset for a small business is to surround yourself with more “Jack of All Trade” sorts who can flexibly jump between roles in the office. Hybrid expertise generalists can help you cover all aspects of the business, and can be trained into newer roles as they develop.

Return Customers

There’s a reason why we’ve left this one to last. If you’ve already tackled the first four items of this list, you’re already well on the way to building that sorely needed customer base. This is the make or break moment where all your hard work will pay off. You need to make your customer service a priority, and make sure it doesn’t stop once the first purchase has been made. Existing customers are more likely to purchase more and be more open to upselling. Keeping in touch with your current customers and taking care of them will develop brand loyalty.

By following these steps, you’ll have more luck getting your brand off the ground and establishing your startup.