Marketing any business in the early stages, is an uphill task. I have a check list I like to go through whenever I am working on, or starting a new project.

1. Niche Identification & Sizing: Regardless of how large or small your marketing budget is, having a one size fits all campaign, will not optimize your marketing dollars. It is critical that a startup select a niche where it has some sort of edge, or target customers that will provide it with a launch pad to venture into larger and more competitive niches. A fatal mistake that startup companies often make is, they attempt to market to everyone, and end up without any real traction.

2. Outline a Social Media Strategy: Regardless of what industry you are in, or what product/services you are marketing, it is imperative to create a strategy for your online presence and marketing. With greater tracking mechanisms in place in the online world, this becomes a highly quantifiable and cost effective space to spread awareness about your new business.

3. Minimum Viable Product: Set a date to get your product into your customer’s hands, and build your entire schedule around that date. This has to be a bare bones version of the product/service that you want to offer. The key factor being your need to get target market feedback as soon as possible.

4. Develop your Sales Funnel: Putting processes into place regarding your plan to identify, attract, pitch and close customers is critical. Without sales, a startup will eventually hit the deadpool. Have pre-defined processes in place to ensure you understand at which point problems arise in the sales process. This will allow you to iterate the process to result in an optimized funnel to ensure you the greatest number of conversions.

5. Develop a Strong Elevator Pitch: There will always be queries about the nature of your startup , what your unique value proposition is, and how you plan on making money. By creating a strong and consistent elevator pitch the entire teams vision is unified, and the outside world gets a consistent and strong understanding.

What are some of the things you have on your checklist when marketing your startup? Look forward to your comments and suggestions.