Start-ups and public relations outreach

India is seeing a new culture of start-ups recently. Entrepreneurship is booming and many start-ups with unique ideas, propositions, concepts, and plans are mushrooming across the country. While throwing adversities, Covid also seems to have infused some new energy and vigour among aspiring entrepreneurs to continuously explore and create new concepts of businesses.

While start-up culture has a hype built up around itself, it also presents its tough terrains to those who chose to walk the path. Founders of start-ups often begin with a great idea and decide to take the plunge. On the way, there are challenges many.

Some of the common challenges faced by the start-ups are resources crunch, human resources, lack of mentors, funding, competition, availability of time, etc. When you are starting up a business, you require a lot of resources, you need to invest in technology, people, and infrastructure. It doesn’t limit to this.

In most cases, start-up founders start businesses without mentors and that usually affects their venture and its growth. Having a mentor brings a great deal of difference, as you get insights about how to go about making a plan, and you get a know-how and industry expertise. You also get help in setting the right business goals and guidance on achieving them, and you get early warnings of the possible traps that you might be falling into when some experienced professional is mentoring your business.

The next common issue start-ups face is human resources. As you start a new business, you need to build a team and you must have the people with appropriate skillsets and the right attitude towards the business. Often, people join start-ups with great expectations of big and established companies or the start-ups that have made it big. Often, they forget that these famous ones also had at one point in time made a very humble beginning. Often, the team’s commitment at work, passion at work, and willingness to walk many extra miles at work is never in sync with that of the founders.

While setting up is one thing, the biggest challenge is to grow the venture, build capacities, increase sales, enhance market outreach, expand territories, and establish themselves as reputed ones. One has to constantly look at acquiring new customers and retaining the existing ones. Funding and managing the money, and the cash-flows are always of great concern.

Remaining focused on the product, and its development side, many start-ups often ignore the sales and marketing side of the business or look at it at a much later stage. Many start-ups miss out on the planning side and do not have clear roadmaps for themselves as there is no business plan in place.

All of this creates a gap and start-ups keep battling with issues of building trust among their customers, employees, vendors, business associates, investors, and other stakeholders. It affects their brand image, and that may severely impact their start-up ventures.

A substantial number of start-ups do not invest in brand building and image creation in their earlier times, which creates a lot of hurdles for them in the coming days. Their image carries with them, even if they have been doing good business in terms of revenues.

It would be apt for the start-ups to have a good business plan that envisages spends, even if they are small, on branding and image building exercise from day one. When you launch a start-up, you start building your brand from that day, you share your story from that very day and you must make sure to keep sharing more and more news in a sustained manner.

It doesn’t matter if you hire a full-service public relations agency, or an in-house resource, or maybe an external consultant who visits your office twice a week. It is a must to engage in branding and communications exercise from day one of launching your start-up as it will help mitigate most of your challenges and will create new openings for you!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Praveen Nagda
Praveen Nagda is the CEO of Peregrine Public Relations, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy firm delivering a pan-India reach to its clients. He also heads White Coffee, an independent events & celebrity engagement company.

Praveen has been closely associated with many national and international events related to cinema for children, art and culture. He has a well-rounded experience that cuts across all key sectors of PR & Corporate Communications.

He started his career with URJA Communications, an advertising agency specialising in technology brands, where he was instrumental in developing the PR division. Post this, he had a stint with Horizons Porter Novelli, a global public relations consultancy. Thereafter, he was heading the IT & Telecom division at Clea PR, a leading Indian public relations and communications company followed by a fairly long stint with Omnicom Group agencies viz. TBWA\India and Brodeur India.

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