Plusnet Pioneers’ round-table on marketing and funding success for small businesses
There is no doubt that building a business from the ground up comes with a huge sense of accomplishment. However, some of the biggest, and perhaps most surprising, challenges that entrepreneurs face are in two key areas, funding and marketing.
Recently, startups.co.uk partnered with Plusnet for the Plusnet Pioneers campaign, hosting a roundtable discussion about what entrepreneurs can do to make customers and investors fall in love with their brand. Bringing together some of the UK’s top entrepreneurial talent, from a pension plan consolidation app to a on-demand dry cleaning service, founders shared their ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ for success in marketing and securing investor funding.
Our own co-founder and CEO, Riya Grover, was among the talent to be featured in the article, contributing her insights and experience from building and growing Feedr, a curated online marketplace of 100+ healthy and artisan food vendors supplying healthy meal programs to corporates in London. She highlighted the importance of creating brand presence as a marketplace. “We’re a marketplace, so we’re placing other people’s products. And a big consideration for us is how we get out own brand presence on the site.” Echoing the sentiment of other founders, Riya emphasised the importance of prioritising social media for effective marketing. “Another realisation I’ve had is just how much content you have to produce as a business. There’s so much to put out, whether it’s marketing campaigns or blog posts or website copy that needs working on – it’s something that we hired for much earlier than I would have anticipated.”
Other insights came from Ed Relf, co-founder of Laundrapp, who revealed the need for patience when evaluating marketing strategies, as your efforts won’t reap rewards immediately. “We wrapped five taxis with ads in Liverpool and saw no impact at all and therefore wrote the channel off. The reality is you probably need to do that for six months and at 10-times the scale for it to have an impact.” To overcome the challenge of securing funding, Jonathan Lister of PensionBee suggested setting fake deadlines with investors. “It does take a lot of courage to tell somebody who’s trying to give you money that they’ve only got two weeks left or you’re closing your funding round. But it works […] every single time, as soon as you tell investors they’re out of the game, they’re a lot more interested to get on board.”
For the full scope of the discussion, and contributions from other start-up founders, see theoriginal article.