How do you get started with content marketing?
How do you start with search engine optimization?
How do you optimize your facebook ads?
How do you do PR? Guest posts?
Can Quora/LinkedIn/Twitter help you with marketing?
What should your landing pages look like?
What should your pricing be?
An early stage entrepreneur is faced with a lot of questions, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. In this day and age where Google claims to have an answer to almost anything, you will come across countless articles on each of these topics if you are struggling with any one in particular. So lack of knowledge is not the problem we are faced with today. The problem is applying that knowledge in a way that’s most meaningful to your business, and in a way that drives the maximum impact for it.
While all businesses are indeed driven by the same core values, principles and fundamental rules, each business is unique in itself. It is unique because of the space it operates in, the product and business model it has, the audience it is targeting, the stage it is at, the capabilities its team has, the financial constraints, the available bandwidth. There are numerous such factors that influence what a business can do and will do, and it will very rarely be perfectly aligned with what a business should be doing. Most of the times entrepreneurs are bound by more than just one of these constraints and as a result, there is only so much they can do with one hand tied behind their backs.
How can we help?
That was the question we have been asking ourselves.
We can help you understand the different things you should be doing, but only you would be able to cherry-pick what you would be doing, because only you can see the full picture and are aware of your constraints - financial or otherwise.
So, the question became - what more can we do to help you with the process.
The thought process behind every single post has been to offer value to you - our audience, and as we were asking this question, the thought process remained the same. We wanted to empower you into making better decisions for your business, and do that with ease, and a fair degree of certainty considering your own current constraints.
The answer we came up with was a correlative approach. Examples and scenarios you would be able to relate to yourself. So, that is the approach this series - “In the hot seat” - is going to follow.
What is “In The Hot Seat”?
I have helped more than a few businesses with their strategy - both planning, and helping them execute and refine it. The approach has always been the same. I take a step back and imagine how I would be going about running the business if I was the one calling the shots and if I was the one trying to put one foot in front of the other on a tightrope a hundred feet above the ground, with maybe not even a safety net to depend upon.
While the founders running these businesses may sometimes have ideas of their own on what they need help with, a lot of times I have enough latitude to look at the broad spectrum of what their business could be doing.
This series would be doing the same.
Every month, starting September 01, 2021, we would be looking at one business, and we would talk about what we would be doing to grow ourselves if we were running that business. Irrespective of how small or big our pick for the month may be at the moment, we would always start with the assumption that it is Day 0 and we are starting from scratch. So, while our monthly pick would be in focus the whole time, we would actually be talking about the journey we would take ourselves if we were starting a similar (or same) business.
In each issue, we would consider different marketing channels and avenues, and we would give detailed rationale behind why we would be choosing, or discarding a particular avenue, or even putting a pin in it for the time being.
We would look at how we would go about hiring, when we would start hiring etc.
We would look at what our approach to pricing the product would be like, and what our sales processes would look like.
We would try to identify the low hanging fruits for the business, as well as the challenges we anticipate along the way.
All in all, we would like to have some fun while we strip down a business we would start, down to its basic building blocks.
Why are we following this approach?
That is what our intent is. We are hoping that some of the businesses we select, and the different aspects we discuss would help you draw parallels with your own business, and your current state/scenario. The hope is that this particular approach could help you arrive at the ‘lightbulb moment’ where you can see maybe a growth avenue you had been missing out on so far. And at the same time, help you streamline and refine the existing growth avenues you have in place.
What sort of businesses would we be selecting?
It would be fairly random, to be honest. We would like to go wide and cover businesses from different segments and with different product and business models. The idea is to cover a lot of ground with each month’s issue, highlight a different approach for different marketing channels based on the month’s pick, and explore a few previously untouched marketing avenues/approaches along the way.
Almost all the businesses we pick would be online businesses, and most of them could be SaaS businesses - though that second part is not a rule we think we would be married to.
We would, however, take audience feedback into consideration. So, if you would like us to cover a particular business, throw that contender in the hat (shoot us a DM on Twitter), and we would see if we can cover it in a future issue.
Even if we are to consider a suggested business for our immediate next issue, picks suggested after 15th of the month would be considered in the next to next issue. We would be finalising the business to be covered in any issue by the 15th of the previous month, so later entries would be considered for a later issue only.
Why the unusual name?
Entrepreneurship is hard, and we have a tremendous respect for entrepreneurs who are working tirelessly to add value to their consumers. It is incredibly hard to be in that position. The name is to be a constant reminder of that fact. While we dissect any particular business, the name is supposed to keep us aware of the fact that we are - at least for the time being, while we are writing the issue - in the hot seat, and we should be respectful of the fact. It is easy to criticise from the sidelines, and that won’t be our intent at any stage. Any disagreements we may end up having with how the actual business has been conducted would be a healthy disagreement, and we would cite our reasons behind those. While we would have loved not to criticise anyone’s hard work or business, if we started walking on egg shells, then the whole purpose of this series would be defeated.
So, you see. We would actually be in the hot seat in more ways than just one. The name just felt apt.
Want us to cover a business, and share how we would approach growing it? Let me know what business we should cover.
That’s it for today, see you tomorrow.
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