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Five Fantastic Tips to Outdo Startup Competitors

Everyone and their uncles are founding startups these days. However, did you know that only three out of ten startups survive after gaining additional funding?

Want to be the proud founder of a successful startup?

Read on and discover five simple tips to be insanely successful and to beat down your competitors. These pointers require very little time, attention or money, and make a whole world of difference that your customers will notice.

Tip 1: Level-Up Your Public Speaking Skills.

We thoroughly agree with Martin Zwilling (CEO and founder of Startup Professionals, Inc.) when he said that running a startup while harboring a fear of speaking in public is simply preposterous. You’d be surprised to know that there ARE people who fear public speaking more than death.

So, why should you learn to be an awesome public speaker? Who would you be wowing with your public speaking skills? Why, practically the whole world, of course!

Think potential investors, press, and conference attendees as well as your customers – these are the people you want to address regularly and it just won’t do to stutter and stumble along like a newborn fawn.

One of the easiest ways to master public speaking is to think about the ever-important 3Ps, which are…

Passion: This is an easy aspect to dwell into. If you don’t have passion, you may as well close up shop and be a follower instead of an industry leader. Like they say, go big or go home. Let your passion shine through by using simple words to illustrate what you do best, but at the same time, do keep your voice composed to avoid having emotions interfere with the power of your words.

Purpose: Why are you here? What can you do for your audience? According to a renowned speaking coach, the best way to begin mastering public speaking is by sticking to a single objective for any presentation and articulating that purpose as clearly as you can in a single sentence. This purpose should be your starting point in producing and delivering relevant content decisions and context.

Poise: Being able to speak with poise is the same as speaking confidently. One of the easiest ways to do this is to:

  • Stand up straight. Make a habit of sitting up straight, even during meal times (remember what Mom said!), and you’ll find that this will help boost your speech volume.
  • Dress. Like. A. Boss. That said, you don’t need a $3,000 Giorgio Armani suit to look your best. Simply getting a haircut, wearing wrinkle-free clothes, and putting on a little makeup (if you’re a lady) can do wonders for your image.

Tip: you could learn an awful lot by studying these all-time best TED talks! When you are able to finally master speaking in public like a pro, you’d automatically find yourself miles ahead of your rivals!

Tip 2: Level-Up All Employees in Customer Service.

Yes, you read that right: ALL employees should be proficient in good customer service practices. Knowing how to hire the best customer support staff may not be the toughest task in the world, but to actually see to it that your startup team has adequate customer service skills can prove to be a valuable secret weapon.

Why is this so?

  • Your startup is not an island. To really propel yourself ahead of your competitors, you’ll need to share customer data, product or service insights, as well as support metrics across your organization in order to deliver fabulous customer service each and every day. And we ALL know just how important it is for startups to prioritize customer service.
  • Everyone has the chance to come in contact with customers, be it directly at work or indirectly in the streets. Equipping your staff with the right customer service know-how (everyone needs to at least know how to handle customers’ problems via social media) can greatly improve your chances of sticking to the top of your customers’ minds, and ultimately dethrone a competitor from the top spot.
  • Increase team productivity and empathy. Startup employees who are proficient in customer service are able to better understand vital issues faced by customers, and in turn solve those issues through product development.

Tip 3: Level-Up Your Reach: Think Global, Go Local.

One of the best foundations a startup could be built upon is to focus on impacting the world in a positive manner, even if it’s just on a small scale.

When you concentrate on bringing benefits to society around you, it results in you inspiring your employees, wowing your customers, and growing your bottom line.

Tip 4: Level-Up Saying NO.

That means putting your foot down and learning to decline things that may derail you from your true objective.

Of course, it’s hard to say NO to projects that would lead to extra money (VERY tempting for a startup in its infancy stage), but this is the right time to train yourself in the art of saying NO. If you do this early on, you’ll be able to effortlessly focus on the most important tasks on hand without being distracted.

Tip 5: Level-Up Your Failure.

In other words, don’t be afraid to fail… and fail FAST. Testing your ideas and pushing a product out to the masses ASAP can yield quick results, be they favorable or otherwise.

If your ideas and assumptions are less than optimal, adjust your thinking, then rinse and repeat. Doing so quickly (but still with some basic research and proper planning) can greatly accelerate your startup’s success. While competitors are stumbling about trying to find out what went wrong, you’d have already been there and done that.

Did I miss any tips? Add them in the comments below!

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