Note from Editors:
Six years ago, Zach Cutler formed a PR firm with only $200 as starting capital. Now, it is a leading boutique PR firm in New York with more than 70 clients to its name, such as Gett, Kaltura, Taboola and Trivia Crack. He discussed 5 strategies on how to be successful #entrepreneurs.
by Zach Cutler
I graduated from college in the worst year for finding a job in recent history: 2009. I had one interview after another, and the one offer I did receive kept getting delayed. I needed to find a job fast or move back home to California from D.C.
Having always been entrepreneurial, and with a passion for #marketing, I decided to form a PR firm with only $200, and a whole lot of unknowns and risks. Six years later, Cutler PR is a leading boutique tech PR firm based in New York that has serviced over 70 clients including the likes of Trivia Crack, Kaltura, Taboola and Gett.
Don’t let a limited budget stand in the way of what could be a successful business and rewarding career. Here are five ways first-time entrepreneurs can bootstrap their way to #startup success. It will be incredibly difficult, but it can be done.
1. Utilize a personal network.
The most important step in turning an idea into an actual business is to build a customer or user base. For startup companies with no real footing within the industry, that can be particularly difficult. That being the case, entrepreneurs need to turn to their personal networks.
2. Be scrappy.
Running a startup requires entrepreneurs to be unbelievably scrappy. First-time business owners don’t always have the money or resources needed to perform certain tasks or hire consultants, freelancers or employees, which means they have to take matters into their own hands. Sometimes that means figuring things out on the fly or just winging it — doing what they can with what they have.
3. Seek advice.
First-time entrepreneurs should aim to learn from the failures and successes of people who have done what they’re trying to do. Why try to reinvent the wheel? Seek advice from people who have been there, done that.
4. Differentiate the offering.
Standing out in a sea of businesses boasting similar offerings can be difficult, which is why entrepreneurs need to strive to differentiate themselves and their products or services from the competition. How can entrepreneurs attract various #shareholders to a business with no reputation or track record?
5. Be creative (and competitive) with pricing.
One tried-and-true way to differentiate a new business from similar businesses is with pricing. For new business owners who are still trying to establish themselves within the industry, offering performance or quality-based pricing can be a huge incentive for clients or customers.
I was able to sign on clients in the beginning who never would have signed because I was willing to be innovative with my pricing model and structure it based on performance. In other words, they had very little to lose if I didn’t deliver results. As Cutler PR has grown spectacularly before my eyes, I’ve kept the barebones philosophy from the first days — that results, alongside awesome service, are what drive us.
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