Bure Valley Group is an investment introducer platform which links successful investors with exciting, innovative UK startups seeking funding. This content is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial or investment advice.
Investors and business owners alike are interested in how early-stage companies can grow their business. Below, our team at Bure Valley Group shares our experience in helping startups scale their operations and provide strong returns for their investors.
We hope you find this content useful. To find out more about our EIS and other investment opportunities, visit our portfolio page here. To enquire regarding our latest projects and funding (for investors and founders, respectively), you can reach us via:
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Quite simply, a startup business needs a marketing budget that can be invested in campaigns which raise awareness in the target market(s) – and attract customers. Admittedly, budgets are often constrained in the initial stages of a business’s life cycle. However, with a strong marketing strategy, startup founders can put a case to investors about how their advertising plan will reach the customer base and bring in sales. Here are some channels to consider:
- Search engine optimisation (SEO). This involves growing the startup’s website rankings in Google. This can be a great source of higher-quality traffic, but it takes time to build up. People also may not be searching for the startup’s product yet if it is a new idea.
- Paid ads. Here, the startup can advertise on Google Search, social media and other digital platforms to raise brand awareness, attract followers and gain sign-ups/sales. This works on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, so requires careful campaign management.
- Email marketing. If the startup has a decent email list of existing and/or potential customers, this can be a great way to send exclusive deals and offers. The challenge here is building the initial list, which may require using other channels (e.g. PPC).
#2 Passive income streams
Every pound invested into a startup – whether via debt or equity – must be deployed wisely by business owners. Investors often like to see money re-invested into the business. One way to do this is to develop passive income streams. This refers to products, services or infrastructure which does not take a long time to create and maintain, bringing in additional income. Ideas for these include selling advertising space on the startup’s website, offering an online course or e-book and renting out unused office space and equipment.
A startup could choose to acquire another business – or, be the target of an acquisition. Both options can be a powerful way to expand the customer base and combine the strengths of both companies. However, this can be a delicate route when it comes to investors’ interests, and an acquisition (or merger) is typically a complex process which only works when both parties have shared business goals, culture and ethos.
#4 New product launches
If a startup expects that its existing product(s) or service(s) may be reaching their full sales potential within the current target market, it may be time to start planning for new ones. This is partly why companies such as Apple release new smartphones every year or two. When the existing marketplace is already saturated and full of competition, the main way to continue the company’s expansion is to sell a slightly better, more expensive product to those who already bought from the company – as the older product starts to grow old.
Here, startups are often at an advantage since they may compete in a “blue ocean” market – i.e. less competition, and plenty of untapped customers yet to be reached with the product offering. However, if the company does succeed in growing its market share, there will likely eventually come a time when new products/services are required to keep gaining a profit from the market. Having a plan for this will help reassure all stakeholders – staff, investors and owners.
#5 New markets
For many startups, it makes sense to begin the business journey by focusing on dominating a single group of customers. However, as the company grows and is able to devote attention to the existing target market as well as others, it may be appropriate to start offering the product(s) or service(s) to more groups of customers.
This strategy can take multiple forms. For instance, perhaps the startup begins advertising its university software to US-based customers in addition to the original, UK-based customer base. Or, perhaps a line of beauty products first targeted towards women can now start to be targeted towards men – using some different messaging and/or branding (e.g. moisturisers). It could be that the startup can offer the same product(s) to a new marketplace. Or, perhaps an entirely new set of products need to be created – within the startup’s competences – to enter new markets, turn a profit and provide a strong return to investors.
Again, by having a plan at the outset about how the startup could expand its solutions into new, potential marketplaces in the future, founders can help attract investment and give the business a better chance of success due to greater nimbleness. If, for instance, in the future the original product does not work out with the first target market, the business has a better chance of surviving and growing if it can develop new ideas – maybe moving to new markets.
Interested in finding out more about the exciting startup projects we have on offer to investors here at Bure Valley Group? Get in touch today to start a conversation with our team and discuss some of the great investment memorandums we have available here:
+44 160 334 0827