Bredin Report: Why now is a good time to focus on startups

Last month, 90,000 new business applications were filed in one week –thirty-eight percent more than this time last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In the third quarter of 2020, business applications were up almost 75% over the second quarter of 2020.

Challenging economic times and startups are often connected. For example, as the country was struggling with the Great Recession, 2009 saw a boom in startups – including NerdWallet, Slack, Square, Uber, Venmo and WhatsApp.

Startups represent a tremendous marketing opportunity since they are hungry for resources, in need of advice, and potential long-term customers who will grow with you. To understand the opportunity and what’s top of mind among this high-potential SMB prospect, Bredin polled a small group of startups about their purchase plans.

SMB 2020/21 purchase priorities, startup vs. established

How to engage the startup buyer

Define your target
In working with clients, we’ve seen a wide range of definitions of “startup.” To some clients, it’s their age; that can vary from a year to as much as five years. To others, it’s their funding, company size or industry. There isn’t a right answer, except to be sure it’s clear so that you can avoid conflict with other teams within your organization focused on the SMB market.

It’s also important to understand the mindset, aptitude, growth aspirations and resource of your target market. About half of startups are first-time entrepreneurs, but the more you can understand whether your audience consists, for example, of first-timers or serial entrepreneurs, or former corporate employees or artisans, the better you’ll be able to define everything from your messaging and media to the content you create to engage them.

Use the right tools

We’ve seen substantial success with content as a tactic to connect with active startup buyers and engage startup businesses not yet ready to purchase. In both cases content keeps you at the top of a business’s consideration list and helps prospective buyers to:

  • Understand the imperative for a purchase
  • Gather information to make the case to other stakeholders
  • Solidify their needs to make an informed decision
  • Learn why you are the best purchase choice

The following types of content can help you connect with and educate the startup prospect.

Buyers Guide
Explains how businesses currently using a product or service are succeeding and showcases the important features to consider when making a purchase.

Educates a reader about a topic, establishes you as a knowledgeable source of information, helps prospect make an informed buying decision.

Case study
Provides important peer confirmation that a product or service has helped to solve a business problem and emphasizes important features to look for in a product or service.

Uses data to tell a story that reinforces that startup peers are purchasing and can help to highlight features that are important to success.

Educates readers about how to solve pressing problems and how certain product features can address startup business challenges.

Reinforces your expertise and positions you as a trusted source of information about solutions to problems.

Our SMB-focused editors, writers and researchers can help you develop a high-impact content strategy and high-value content to capture the startup market. Learn how.

About Bredin

Bredin was founded in 1991 by America's foremost small business expert, author and syndicated columnist Alice Bredin. From its beginning, Bredin was designed to be a breed apart: 50% research consultancy, 50% creative agency, 100% focused on SMB. Based in Somerville, Mass., Bredin helps Fortune 500 companies understand, reach and retain SMB customers through timely, targeted research and award-winning marketing programs.