When Your Start-up Can’t Giddy-Up by Shanna Webb

2013-12-20 Shanna Webb pic1Recently I had a meeting with a client who has dreams of creating the next big dating website. As a new start-up business it really does have legs to stand on, and the concept is original.

The client was in need of a public relations expert who could develop a national campaign to promote the site and to gain more users.

I asked the client a series of qualifying questions such as “Who are your primary investors? What are your goals for this site? How do you intend to pay for this campaign?” And what I found out was pretty dismal – no money to pay for this campaign!

When a person decides to create a start-up they will have a “business baby.” It needs tremendous care, nurturing and love. But, more importantly just as a child will, it’s going to cost you money, and it’s going to teach you some hard lesson along the way. But you have to weather the storm and that isn’t easy.

One of the top reasons a start-up can’t GET up is the lack of money. Without cash a start-up will fail.  Many start-ups manage their budget incorrectly, and they fail to realize the importance of funding the marketing and public relations campaign. A PR expert does their homework before engaging with the client because PR is an exact science; that is what PR professionals are trained to do.

Clients tend to stand in their own way. Most try to micro-manage as opposed to letting everyone do their job like a well-oiled machine. One client I had would contact me 17 times a day through email or phone. The client became berating, irritating and oppressive. I fired the client leaving money owed to me behind, but it was all worth it. It turns out the client had two other PR agents before me and they both also fired the client. My recommendation is to a start-up CEO is to SHUT UP and move out of the way.

I believe you get what you pay for. Many start-up owners try to go the cheap route. They visit freelancing sites and aim for the lowest price, and in the end they get sub-standard work on the most important campaign of the life of their business. And at the end of the day they spend more money because they inevitably have to hire a public relations company, like mine, to get on track.

So here is my advice to a start-up owner. Before the birth of a “business baby,” you have to contemplate whether you want to have a kid. Do you have the internal fortitude to stick it out when situations are tough? Can you be your own be your own boss? Are you willing to except your failures and turn them into valuable lessons? If you can say “yes” to all these questions you are ready to have a baby.

Shanna Webb, is a scrappy business woman and CEO of Webb & Associates Public Relations. As a veteran of the USAF, Ms. Webb is tough and determined. She believes in taking risks and in her abilities as a smart, sassy scrappy chick to teach other woman how to become scrappy!!

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Posted in Author, Business Ownership, Career, Coaching, Life Experience and tagged , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Having “birthed” a dozen small businesses and startups, including several that are still surviving, and one that is thriving, I have to say I appreciate your perspective! Thanks for sharing your insights.

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