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Startup Tips From Bold Entrepreneurs: A Series of Interviews

Stories of wit and enduring grit like these provide startup tips from founders that took bold steps in the corporate world only to prove their mettle and carve a niche of their own, offering value-driven services and products for ultimate user experience. This interview series is conducted by Salesmate.io for the benefit of new entrepreneurs.

Startup Tips From Bold Entrepreneurs: A Series of Interviews

Name: Girija Nair, Designation: Co-Founder & CEO, Company: StartupMentor

Can you describe your startup in 3 words?

Co partners in growth.

How big is your addressable market and how did you determine that?

Directly proportional to startups registered, domains booked, shop act license issued.

What marketing tactic/campaign was most beneficial for your startup?

Organic digital marketing.

What was your worst marketing move you regret the most?

Short term paid digital ads never pays … That’s where I lost money … Organic i.e. SEO paid in a big way.

Now that you have come a long way what do you consider the 5 most important aspects of successful sales and conversion for any startup?

Good product/service, uncomplicated business model, passionate sales pitch with authentic data, timely service/product delivery and client engagement.

While working on endorsing your brand did you (or do you still) incorporated online marketing and sales tools. Can you please name 5 of your favorite ones?

Yes, I do. In fact, that is all I do. Article submissions, Fb group inclusions and posts, Quora answers with hyperlinks, LinkedIn connects and classified ads.

Any advice for newly startup owners?

Never start a startup with the intention of raising investments. Always look at breakeven and profit thereon, because, if you with your limited exposure and expectation, cannot reward yourself with returns, how are you going to do the same with investors.

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Name: Rares, Designation: Co-Founder & CEO, Company: Retargeting.Biz

Can you describe your startup in 3 words?

Amazing, Amazing, Amazing (for the idea, for the team and for the customers 🙂  )

How big is your addressable market and how did you determine that?

We are targeting SMB mostly, because huge websites like amazon or emag, they have the resources to develop artificial intelligence in their own back yard. So…we are targeting e-shops from 5k visits/month up to 5-10 mil/month. In this range we have around 2.5 mil shops. You can estimate by adding the numbers of shops on each e-commerce platform ( SaaS ) and adding another 30% for the custom build websites.

What marketing tactic/campaign was most beneficial for your startup?

Integration with e-commerce platforms and joint marketing for them and for us. And also the re-seller account, something like affiliate marketing.

What was your worst marketing move you regret the most?

Adwords on the US market where due to our generic name we compete with both Google and Facebook for Retargeting and other similar words. Ended up spending 20k USD for 400 clicks in one day.

Now that you have come a long way what do you consider the 5 most important aspects of successful sales and conversion for any startup?

They need to believe in their own idea, to push it further and further even if they fail at the beginning. This is first to fifth thing they need to consider. For example, V1 of our software never worked, but I believed so much in this idea that we pushed again for a new version, V2 that was actually an MVP. And it worked and performed. 3 months later we started developing V3, then V4 and now we are in the process of launching a new and improved version of the software, the 5th one.

Now imagine that every version is better that the previous one so this is the reason I say “amazing” 🙂

While working on endorsing your brand did you (or do you still) incorporated online marketing and sales tools. Can you please name 5 of your favorite ones?

  • Pipedrive CRM for sales
  • Kanban for project management and not only
  • Intercom for customer success and for marketing automation

Any advice for newly startup owners?

Keep on trying!

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Name: Jeffin Ani Johns, Designation: Co-Founder & CEO, Company: BrandKeeda ®

Can you describe your startup in 3 words?

We Co-Create Brands.

How big is your addressable market and how did you determine that?

Our addressable market is a billion dollar industry in India and we determined that through various secondary research methodologies.

What marketing tactic/campaign was most beneficial for your startup?

Referral programs.

What was your worst marketing move you regret the most?

Sponsorship for events.

Now that you have come a long way what do you consider the 5 most important aspects of successful sales and conversion for any startup?

  • Trust of customer
  • Content used for sales pitch
  • differentiation of product/ service
  • Price, delivery terms and payment terms
  • Follow-ups after the first pitch

While working on endorsing your brand did you (or do you still) incorporate online marketing and sales tools. Can you please name 5 of your favorite ones?

  • Facebook marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Text marketing
  • Whatsapp marketing
  • Online referral programs

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Name: Rahul, Designation: Co-Founder, Company: Growth Robotics

Can you describe your startup in 3 words?

Digital Catalyst for Growth.

How big is your addressable market and how did you determine that?

The SEO industry is worth $65 billion and is growing exponentially every year. It consists of anyone and everyone who is associated with SEO and the digital marketing industry (i.e. individual business owners, SEO experts, marketing consultants, agencies, web design experts etc). It’s a huge market.

RoboAuditor by Growth Robotics is our latest creation. The tool runs a comprehensive SEO audit of a site in just 60 seconds.

This tool gained quick popularity among SEO experts and marketing consultants. Part of it probably had to do with our experience as a company and part of it due to the fact that, over the years, we have learnt how to read and identify market needs.

For example; RoboAuditor creates white label SEO audit reports. Users can even publish the tool on their own sites to work as a lead magnet. We tried this with our own agency and got 127 leads in the first 30 days.

What marketing tactic/campaign was most beneficial for your startup?

  • Making the website SEO friendly
  • Reaching out to the right audience through different channels like social Media, emails etc.
  • Making the website conversion friendly. i.e. setting up the right journey to convert visitors to leads.

What was your worst marketing move that you regret the most?

We are a very young product (around 60 days to launch) so have tried several campaigns and the only one that we thought we should have done a little later is the Adwords campaign.

Now that you have come a long way what do you consider the 5 most important aspects of successful sales and conversion for any startup?

  • Get on to the web immediately. Make your business available online through a website and social channels.
  • Make your website SEO friendly. Conduct SEO audits regularly on your own and know what’s missing.
  • Be active on channels where your prospective customers hang out like Quora, Twitter, Facebook etc.
  • Make sure you setup your analytics right. Knowing what’s working and what’s not is very important.
  • Be disciplined and follow the 4 steps mentioned above rigorously.

While working on endorsing your brand did you (or do you still) incorporated online marketing and sales tools. Can you please name 5 of your favorite ones?

  • WordPress for website & blogging
  • Growth Robotics for Automatic SEO Audits
  • Google Analytics for tracking visitors
  • Lead Squared for marketing automation
  • Buffer for social media scheduling

Any advice for newly startup owners?

The growth is out there, you just have to get found online.

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Name: Brain, Designation: Co-Founder & CEO, Company: Salesmate

Can you describe your startup in 3 words?

Simple Sales Solution

How big is your addressable market and how did you determine that?

The CRM market is $36.5 billion dollars. Salesforce, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft own about 50% of the market. The rest is battled out between other affordable CRM solutions emerging in the market. This is determined by market research from Gartner the world’s leading research and advisory company.

What marketing tactic/campaign was most beneficial for your startup?

Content marketing and strategic partnerships.

What was your worst marketing move you regret the most?

We tried to hire outbound sales without a strategy. If you do not have a strategy in place to test and improve on, you will ultimately fail.

Now that you have come a long way what do you consider the 5 most important aspects of successful sales and conversion for any startup?

The most important things are: Focus, Organization, Pushing the Boundaries are important for finding new leads. When you have new leads, you need to build trust and have a timely follow-up.

While working on endorsing your brand did you (or do you still) incorporated online marketing and sales tools. Can you please name 5 of your favorite ones?

The tools we have used to grow our business are the following: Google Apps, Mailchimp, Active Campaign, SEMrush, and most importantly our own CRM Salesmate.

Any advice for newly startup owners?

Create segments of focus and just run with it. Email, call, and meet potential prospects in person. Document your findings, and you never know what might happen. You might make a new partnership or land a big client. Just take action!

Conclusion

Realizing their potential and finding avenues to build from the ground-up, these companies are inspiring and a legacy in the making. Their perseverance and value-driven service mindset is evident from these responses. With consistent focus on their clients’ business approach and teamwork, these startups inspire conviction – developing sustainable ecosystems.

With startup tips and stories like these – who wouldn’t want to dream big and achieve big.

Author Bio:

Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology, science and brain health. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place. Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1

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