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Run Into the Light!

Tue, 21 January 2014

Contributed by Rajeev Nayyar, founder of Fixflo and Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Winner
Starting a business can feel like getting on a busy train at rush hour.  You struggle to get on at all and when you eventually do, all the best spaces are taken. 
What hope is there for a new company to get established?
When starting Fixflo, one of our key concerns was how to get noticed by our target customers (letting agents/property managers) and then how to get them to see the value that we add to their business. Through trial and error we have learned a few things that we wish we had known at the start and hopefully they can help you too.
Keep it Simple
Building your business is a journey and your destination is a solution to your customers’ pain. Your job is to find the easiest and quickest route to that destination. This sounds easy, but in practice it can often take more time, effort and discipline to deliver a narrowly focused solution than a less targeted and seemingly feature-rich solution.
Periodically check your progress to make sure that you haven’t veered off course and if you have, remove those non-essential features. Remember, the narrower your product or service, the easier it is to get the attention of prospective customers and to show the value that you add for them.
Play Your Own Game
Never start a game unless you can win it.  
If you go head to head with an established competitor, you will need a significantly better product and/or lower costs to overcome switching costs.  You are also likely to need a large marketing budget to raise awareness in your target customers.
To stand a chance, change the game.
Narrow the definition of your target market until you are the clear leader in that market. For example, a new company that makes long-lasting ballpoint pens should create and lead the ‘lifetime ballpoint pen’ market rather than being part of the wider ballpoint pen market.  By taking this approach, they can own a market in the minds of their target customers and shape that market as it grows. 
Continuously Improve
Where others see ‘small’, you should see ‘agile’.
Build strong feedback loops with your customers so that you are armed with the key information you need to improve and grow. Without the decision-making processes that hamper larger companies, by speaking with your customers you are in a great position not only to anticipate change within your sector, but to lead it.

About Rajeev Nayyar (Founder of Fixflo)

Rajeev Nayyar is a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award winner, a 2013 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist and the founder of Fixflo.
Fixflo is the leading smart repair reporting system for rented properties.  By using Fixflo, tenants get repairs carried out more quickly and property managers, landlords, and contractors save time and money.
You can follow Rajeev on Twitter @Fixflo
To find out more about Fixflo visit:

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