Tips for Startups Before Hiring a Digital Agency

Young and startup should ideally go hand in hand, but if we look at the legal definition of a startup then as per the law in India, it is defined as a company not older than 7 years and having revenue’s less than $3.5 million. Thus, there exists a further classification inside startups themselves. Some pundits use 4 stages, some extend to these stages to 7.

The 7 stages used to classify startups are:

  1. Ideation
  2. Conceptualization
  3. Execution
  4. Continuous improvement and Traction
  5. Scaling
  6. Establishing processes
  7. Exit(Optional)

We, as an agency are contacted by a lot of young, enthusiastic, energetic entrepreneurs who are in either of these phases and depending on it, we recommend different strategies for technology and digital marketing.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy

A lot of times we get queries regarding so called “social media packages”. One thing we need to make very clear is that as no 2 businesses are alike hence no 2 strategies are alike. There is a tangible difference in terms of the efforts required the KPIs and the results expected.

In this article, I would like to discuss the first three phases – ideation, conceptualization and execution.

This is time when you are taking a very serious decision around either going ahead with your idea (some of you might be leaving your jobs for this or putting in your hard-earned savings into this), therefore along with introspection, you should be setting short terms goals for yourself. With overall success rate of less than 2%, the startup route is going to be an extremely challenging one, and most of the startups or the founders fail during these phases.

So, what should you be doing?

Take a stab at it. No seriously, before you head to any agency, you need to take some initiatives from your end. We completely understand that there could be certain limitations in terms of your technology where you might need assistance from experts, but in terms of finding the market fit – you should start doing.

Why should I be doing this, is this not a digital agency’s job?

Ever heard of stealing candy from a baby! Let us be honest with you, if you are not familiar with your audience and leave that to the agency then you are at a huge loss (we know we are raising a few eyebrows within the industry), but keeping the customer at the center needs to be your most important goal at this point in this and no one knows your vision, your product or your service better than yourself.

Secondly, if you fail at your online marketing initiatives, you would know how challenging our task is and be more realistic in your expectations. The important takeaway here is find our customer, learn about your customer, fail – and fail fast.

We follow the same principal and keep our clients in the center. All our advice is for the benefit of the client. When a digital agency works with you, it takes on the role of being the face of the company. The company also absorbs your risks (reputation, financial to name a few). Hence, it is important for an agency to be completely aligned with the expectations and nature of the company they are dealing with.

In a nutshell, if you belong to the early stages of a startup, you should:

  1. Be frugal
  2. Do heavy lifting of the work load
  3. Talk to your users, take feedback – be selective in taking feedback, not all of your users are qualified enough to give you the correct feedback
  4. Be hard-skinned
  5. Learn to take NO for an answer
  6. Learn to say NO
  7. The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in war
  8. Only after figuring this puzzle contact a company to help you execute, improve traction and or scale.

Read an interesting case study about a client of ours, who was in stage 3/4. The client had gone through the grind and was confident of their product. From 27 sales a month, we are at 2,500+ sales a month (successful seed round and now moving towards series A).

Read Next: Reasons Why Most Startups Fail

Dhawal Sehgal