For me, launching my SEO startup, search visibility tracker Nightwatch, was both fun and scary. Today — in 2018 — I’m really proud of all that we’ve accomplished so far, and it’s great that we’re able to provide a service that people enjoy.
But I won’t lie to you. Launching any tech startup is tough, and there’ll be lots of obstacles along the way. Here are 5 things I wish I knew before launching an SEO startup.
Find someone who can do what you can’t do — preferably as soon as possible
I don’t know what it is about startup founders who think they can do everything. I wouldn’t put it down to ego, but it’s definitely short-sighted — and wrong — to assume that we can do everything without much outside help.
Me? I had a background as a developer, so I was cool on that side of things. At the same time, developing an app is hard work and you need help. It’s very difficult to do it all by yourself.
Look, launching a startup requires immense dedication from you. There will be 17-hour days. There will be days where you skip lunch and dinner. And there will be days when you just want to quit because the burnout is real.
So, hire someone who can do something better than you can (this could be marketing, graphic design and so on). When it comes to hiring anyone remotely, make sure you follow the best hiring practices.
Forget the competition
I knew there was competition out there when I first launched my startup. But what I didn’t always get to grips with at first was that I should be ignoring the competition once I’d launched my startup.
Now, it’s totally okay to think about your competition when you’re planning your business and setting a pricing structure. But once you launch? Any thoughts of the competition and what they’re up to need to be banished.
How come? Because you need to shift focus from outsmarting the competition on to how you can best serve your customers.
Moreover, as Grant Cardone often likes to point out, you need to stop thinking about competing and start thinking about how you’re going to dominate.
There’s so much to do once you launch a startup, and your to-do list is endless. Once you launch, it’s time to forget about the competition. It’s a cliché but you’ve gotta do you.
The first idea might not be the right one
I’m not saying that Nightwatch missed the boat when it came to scaling. As a matter of fact, I like to think that we scaled at the right time.
However, I wasn’t necessarily prepared for how we scaled.
Before my current startup, I had launched another app that was a basic version of the app we launched later. At the time, I thought my first app was amazing — this was all we needed, and it was the “future.”
However, you have to constantly listen to feedback and see where the needle is moving. And you also need to keep a very close eye on the market.
Before long, we knew that we needed to scale in an epic way. So we redoubled our efforts, and presented an advanced version of an app that had a lot more features.
Getting help isn’t easy
Earlier, I mentioned the importance of delegating and hiring other people. But what I also learned was that getting help is actually kind of hard at times.
People are very good at saying they’re going to help you:
“Oh, that’s a GREAT idea, fab! Just DM me if you need anything.”
But when it comes to actually helping you? Don’t count on it is what I’d say. Instead, cover your bases by hiring professionals who can cover most roles so that you don’t need to rely on other helping hands.
Find ways to keep customers buying
The SEO world is very competitive. But it’s also constantly changing. One thing that I hadn’t planned for at first was how to turn a one-time customer into a loyal one.
Once we learned that multiple transactions and upgrades from the same customer are necessary, we started to think bigger.
These are 5 things I wish I knew before launching an SEO startup. Naturally, you’re free to make your own mistakes, and despite this article you will still make mistakes. But hopefully you’ve now got a better idea as to what goes into a startup launch!