- 7 Ways Online Hubs Can Help Your Startup - June 18, 2015
- The Challenges and Rewards of Creating a Startup in East Africa - March 2, 2015
How Online Business Hubs Can Help Your Startup
As a new startup standing among titans in the business arena, it can be a challenge to establish a strong initial presence both online and offline. There are a number of tools to boost your web presence, but many of them come at a considerable cost, and when startup funds are limited, this can be a risky additional expenditure. One way to boost your presence among both consumers and partners is by joining a specialized online business hub where companies, information, and advice are rounded up in one cohesive platform.
Here are some of the benefits they provide to startups:
1. Enhancing your online profile
By joining an online business hub, you will expand the reach of your brand. Through the hub’s various digital output streams – which could range from paid content, social media campaigns, and a blog to specific marketing and PR campaigns – your own website will be showcased to an increasing number of users, thus quickly raising your online profile among a targeted and engaged audience. There is power in numbers, and nowhere is this truer than online.
2. Improving your SEO
With more website hits and users exploring your site via the online hub, this in turn will improve your SEO and make you more Google-friendly when users search for keywords associated with your business. Furthermore, your site will be associated with a wide variety of keywords used across the business hub, widening the scope of search terms that link users back to your site. This cross-pollination will help your SEO to keep growing, fast.
3. Raising your credibility
Sitting alongside fellow respected businesses within your sector will naturally raise your profile and give your brand credibility. Choose the collective hub carefully, and make sure you really identify with your potential peers; the power of association can completely alter the way consumers see your business or product, and aligning yourselves with the right ones is vital, both online and offline. Positioning yourself in good company also opens the door for potential collaborations and partnerships, an effective and diverse way of reaching new audiences and demographics, while enriching and varying your output.
4. Combined data
In any business, whatever the domain or product, gathering consumer data is an essential way to expand your presence and outreach. By joining an online collective, you can share information and create a growing combined online audience very quickly. From email addresses for newsletter mailing lists to more focused information on which demographics you are attracting, the world of data gathering and sharing has never been so useful or focused for startups across all sectors as it is now within online business hubs.
5. Networking potential
When it comes to pushing your business forward, the old adage that “it’s who you know, not what you know” can often ring true. Networking is key in this busy digital age where many markets are saturated, and new products can pass both consumers and potential partners by all too easily. By becoming part of an online hub, you will be able to connect with a business community of likeminded entrepreneurs and get to know them and their product on a personal level. The shared interest in achieving success gives everyone a mutual anchor: from there, once you put your heads together, the possibilities and potential for mutual benefits are endless – and very exciting.
6. Attracting investors
As any startup team knows, getting investment is not always a straightforward process. Online hubs are the perfect platform from which to showcase your brand, concept, and growth opportunities to potential investors without having to reach out to them individually. Here, they can see your brand, product, and who you are aligned with within your specific market at a glance and from the consumer’s perspective: the potential to attract financial interest is huge within a business hub.
7. Better knowledge of your sector
What all this SEO, data, and collaborative potential boil down to is a far deeper and broader knowledge of your sector. Being exposed to so many leaders, influencers, products, and consumers gives you a macro view of the market, what fits well where, and why. It also allows you to keep an eye on your competitors: a little healthy rivalry spurs everyone on, keeping you on top of your game and up to speed on the latest developments, trends, and bright ideas.
Getting any new business off the ground is never an easy task, especially in developing markets where not many have come before you. But with the digital age progressing as fast as it is, online communities are an easy and effective way to tap into a wealth of data and ideas and to grow your startup quickly and cost-effectively. Laying strong digital foundations is key for developing a meaningful brand, and joining an online hub is a brilliant first step: the rewards are too great to pass up, and you never know who you will connect with along the way.