PR for Start Ups: What We’ve Learned about Start Up Secrets

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As the (business) world celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week, I’m pondering what makes an entrepreneur. Are you an entrepreneur whether you succeed or fail? Is it about the ideas, the attitude, or the profitable gain?

It’s a term associated with the famous self made men and women of our time – the Zuckerbergs, Jobs, Huffingtons and their UK counterparts – say Jones, Sugar, Meaden. It’s synonymous with both risk and reward. We tend not to think of those who’ve built up big businesses only to see them crash as true entrepreneurs; although the latest received wisdom is that you don’t know until you try. Mistakes are lessons learned – hopefully to be applied to that next venture.

As well as my own personal experience starting up a PR company in 2005 with George Blizzard and building it with the support of a great team around us, The PR Network has worked with loads of entrepreneurs. We’ve done the PR for kitchen table start-ups and Apprentice finalists to VC-backed multi-millionaires.

This month’s start up PR project has been to manage the PR launch of @blloonapp – a fab new app offering a huge catalogue of free books. The PR Network’s senior PR team has achieved great exposure for Blloon in TIME, TechCrunch, the Guardian, The Daily Mail and Gizmodo.

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We’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge of entrepreneurship in terms of what makes entrepreneurs tick, and what factors make for success. If you have an idea and want to set up a business, here are the Top 10 Start-Up Secrets:

1. There’s no such thing as perfection. Test and learn – get going with a concept, a little money in the bank and some interested customers
2. Take one step forward at a time – if you go in the wrong direction, just take a step back or sideways
3. Employ the best people you can, as soon as you can
4. Always pay people a little more than you think you can afford
5. Look bigger than you are – your website is your shop front. Be Selfridges!
6. Pay promptly – your suppliers will respect you and build your good name
7. Stipulate payment in advance where you can – play the start up card
8. This will help build a cash reserve to protect you during the troughs
9. There will be troughs. Ride them out, take note of when / why they occurred, and use to help predict patterns and shore up
10. There will be peaks! Enjoy them, treat yourself and the people around you who’ve helped make it happen

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The research we did last year for our client Zipcar produced the Smarter Business Blueprint, which is recommended reading for any start up looking to learn from those who’ve gone before. It includes input from companies such as Funding Circle, Central Working and Crunch. You can watch the videos here too.

We’re always happy to welcome more start-ups with fantastic products to our client stable. If you’re an entrepreneur with a strong idea and want to discuss how to get it out there, please do get in touch directors@theprnetwork.co.uk. We look forward to working with you!

Nicky @nickyimrie

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