Entrepreneurialism is its own class of business, even being studied as a distinct subject. It’s no surprise then that entrepreneurialism comes with its own unique challenges, which requires a different mindset and approach than other business areas.
In my experience, having founded and lead multiple businesses in the last decade and now working with entrepreneurs, I’ve seen a distinct difference between the needs of entrepreneurs and larger more established brands, even beyond their marketing requirements.
There’s been much attention on innovation in Australia. Having released an Innovation Statement, the Turnbull Government is encouraging an ideas boom and favourable conditions for start-up businesses in Australia. Meanwhile, schools are increasingly moving to introduce specialised entrepreneurship programs. For example, Frankston High School in Victoria last July started a composite class of 21 grade 9 and 10 students to take them through the fundamental steps of entrepreneurship. There’s also an entrepreneur school opening in Sydney next year, a partnership between the universities, TAFE and state government.
A tailored business vision
However, as entrepreneurialism is gaining increased attention and popularity, so too should the focus on specialised solutions for their distinct challenges.
I often advise entrepreneurs to start their marketing from a digital foundation as it’s the most measurable tool. This helps create a tangible target to show potential investors, as well as ensuring your message is hyper-targeted to life stages and behaviours to help keep your budget palatable.
It’s really vital for entrepreneurs to create a vision for their business. This vision should be tailored specifically for their business and product, to reflect the distinct principles and values of their company and personal brand. Once this is established, a plan needs to be made to execute their vision.
Search for”entrepreneur” on The Online Dictionary and you’ll receive the following definition: “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit”. However, the true meaning, to me anyway, is someone who problem solves in a different stratosphere – where rules and limits don’t apply, who creates opportunity from disappointment, and who knows they are greater when they seek advice and opinions than when they are in isolation.
Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid of blue sky thinking and setting really audacious goals and this also translates to how you should market yourself. Being proactive, brave and thinking with an innovative, agile mindset is key when it comes to entrepreneurial marketing.
Competing with larger brands
While entrepreneurs do start small, their mindset is around rapid growth and inventing a new way of solving a problem, their passion and vision is contagious, so you know from the first conversation with them that they’re going to make an impact.
And as growth is the main goal, and marketing is the primary means for growth, it’s a match that needs to be carefully considered.
I always say there’s no need to be intimidated by the larger brands.
You can compete with your larger competitors with global budgets by turning your weaknesses into your strengths. By their very nature, start-up companies and second and third time entrepreneurs can be more flexible and make quicker decisions than their major competitors, which is a massive bonus.
About the author
Lauren Fried is the Founder/Managing Director of Pulse Collective, an award-winning Australian advertising agency. She is also a regular panellist on ABC’s Gruen TV show and was recently named as one of Australia’s 50 influential women entrepreneurs.