Filipino Startups are like planktons. They’re at the very bottom of the food chain and they wouldn’t be able to scare off their much bigger counterparts. Sometimes, while they’re trying to learn about their established competitors, they’d be sent flying back to their own stores. Yup, you’ve seen that before, especially in Nickelodeon.
Kidding aside, entrepreneurs who are just beginning to discover the moneymaking potential of Philippine cyberspace really have a lot on their plate.
So, if you’re among those business owners, you should think about one question: what techniques are other startups carrying out to compete without directly going against corporate giants? To answer that question, it’s necessary to study four new web-based firms – Zaka.ph, Gamers.ph, iGrab.ph, and FourEyes.com.ph. Simply put, if you’d like to make your company much sturdier against the greatest business challenges, then there’s no turning back – you need to continue reading.
Are you up for the Challenge?
Since we’re trying to gain insights by analyzing those four firms, let’s pay attention to the problems that they’re currently facing. After all, it’s likely that you’d have to tackle those same issues sooner or later. So, here they are:
- Lack of Consumer Awareness – it’s obvious that new businesses don’t have many fans, which in turn means that they’re suffering from limited reach. If they fail to grab the attention of other netizens and likewise barely manage to widen their customer base in a sufficiently fast way, then they might end up closing before Filipinos start noticing.
- Lowered Willingness to Spend – aside from facing consumer-awareness issues, startups also suffer from the reduced purchasing power of most Pinoy netizens. To be a bit more specific, you might have a tough time making a sale unless you’re willing to slash the prices of your offerings to insane lows.
- On Brand-Loyalty Dilemmas – if you’re trying to grow a business that’s in a not-so-obscure niche, then you’d have to think of ways to convince consumers to make the jump. For example, given that iGrab.ph is a daily-deals site, then it goes head to head with two other firms that have thousands of followers – LivingSocial and MetroDeal.
- A Challenge of Building Trust – with those three companies in mind, think about this question: which one would you trust with your money? If you’re an experienced coupon hunter, then you’d know that getting vouchers from lesser-known sites sometimes leads to headaches. The newcomer always has to prove itself.
6 Simple Strategies for Filipino Startups
So far, you’ve discovered some of the biggest dilemmas associated with startups. That’s why you’re now eager to do one thing – to pinpoint some of the best strategies used by new companies to stay afloat and even remain competitive. Well, here are the techniques that you’re looking for:
- Work on Social Media – while this might sound cliché, it’s always a must to spend enough time building a social media presence. While that might seem difficult – especially if you could only tap into your own list of friends – it’s actually something that could be done much easier now that Facebook graph search is around. After all, you could finally look for people who are interested in your niche. You’d have to remember though, that getting fans and followers isn’t enough. Engaging your audience is also necessary.
- Exert Effort on Search – doing SEO is another business-boosting method that’s a bit “gasgas”. It’s true though, that it’s also one of the most misunderstood techniques. Some business people think that having a website that’s filled with the right keywords is already enough to befriend Google. Truth be told, that’s only one part of the equation. The quality of links, the site’s speed, and the level of indexability should also be considered. If you don’t know anything about those, then better ask someone to help you out.
- More Tempting Deals – as you’ve read a while ago, price wars among online businesses also exist. That doesn’t mean that your company needs to operate at a loss just to survive. Instead of lowering your products’ prices significantly, you should merely position them a bit lower than those of your competitors’ offerings. Zaka.ph did that strategy quite well. To make things even more tempting for consumers though, it’s best to give out (limited) discount coupons – sufficient to make an impact, but not enough to ruin your profits.
- Connecting with Blogs – many entrepreneurs fail to realize that blogs are becoming more and more powerful in terms of influencing netizens. In a way, bloggers have become the online world’s celebrity endorsers. With that in mind, you should try to connect with those who run such information-filled websites and try to come up with a promotion deal. FourEyes.com.ph has done this business-boosting technique to an extent, as some fashion bloggers have already hosted giveaway events for the new eyewear firm.
- The Power of Referrals – there’s a strategy that could surely make your startup much more competitive while also hastening its growth. Simply put, you should come up with an interesting referral system. If you’re having doubts about the need to do that since you might lose money in the process, then think about this – even your business’ biggest fans might not be that eager to peddle your offerings to their friends. As you would’ve guessed, giving out referral rewards is one of the best ways to encourage them.
- Mix Unique with Usual – to stand out from the rest, Gamers.ph provides a fascinating mix of the familiar and the unique. In particular, the online gaming resource functions much like any other game-supply shop local and abroad, except that it has an auction feature. Given the sheer number of bidders on the site even though it’s new, it’s safe to say that it managed to garner amount the attention that it needs. Coming up with a unique feature for your business isn’t difficult – just find out what’s lacking among your competitors.
Paul’s Last Words: Starting Up to Success
Filipino Startups doesn’t have to be synonymous with financial disasters. It’s undeniable though, that building (and promoting) a new company from scratch isn’t a walk in the park.
To survive, you’d have to carry out all sorts of strategies – ranging from the mandatory to the never-before-seen. If you’ve already started your business, then you have to make the most out of those techniques that you’ve just read. On the other hand, if you haven’t established your firm yet, here’s a question for you: do you have what it takes to move up the food chain?