1) Damaged Online Reputations
Online reviews are critical to the success of your startup. With 85% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, you cannot afford to allow your online reputation to be damaged. Some startup owners are turning to online reputation management (ORM) as a means of controlling consumer feedback on review websites. In particular, ORM can help startups by promoting positive online reviews and burying negative search results.
2) Poor Cash Flow Management
Poor cash flow management is a problem that impacts organizations across all industries. Fortunately, avoiding this pitfall is as easy as hiring a virtual CFO who can implement cost-effective strategies of stimulating your cash flow. Here are a few ways that a virtual CFO can improve your cash flow:
- Developing strategies to incentivize customers for remitting cash payments at the point of sale
- Implementing an electronic payment system to expedite receipt of payments
- Evaluating inventory to identify slow-moving products and offer them at a discounted price
- Negotiating cost reductions and bulk pricing with key suppliers
- Providing valuable and objective leadership when startups need it the most
3) Changes in Preferred Communication Channels
Nearly gone are the days of face to face selling and negotiating. As the demand for an immediate response grows with millennials infiltrating the market, messaging and chatting continue to gain popularity as a means of selling and communicating with customers. In order to succeed in today’s marketplace, startup owners must master the art of promoting their products and services on a tiny mobile screen in a matter of seconds.
4) Employees are Becoming the Greatest Customer Influencers
The startup landscape has evolved swiftly over the past decade. Hiring top talent and keeping your employees engaged is more critical than ever because your employees are synonymous with your brand. Here are a few ways that you can gain an edge over competitors in 2018:
- Strive for transparency when communicating with employees.
- Involve employees in key workplace decisions through focus groups.
- Recognize employees for their contributions and loyalty.
5) A Lack of Useful Content can Hinder Your Growth
Fresh, useful content is playing an increasingly critical role in helping startups establish a strong online presence. In addition to helping your startup rank well with search engines, content that is fresh and helpful will help drive increased traffic to your website and establishes your startup as an industry authority. Failing to provide useful content, on the other hand, is a surefire way to give your competitors an edge. Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening by featuring regular blog posts, case studies, and photos on your website.
The Bottom Line
Startup founders should be observant, flexible, and willing to adapt to meet the needs of their customers. Most importantly, you should be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead in 2018. You can start planning today by managing your online reputation, creating helpful content for your customers, and seeking the guidance of an accomplished CFO who will boost your cash flow. By taking these steps, you will prime your business for growth and prosperity in 2018.