Office Hours: Marketing For Startups

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Two weeks ago, I spoke to the moderators of a local business community, Pune Open Coffee Club, and as a result of that discussion, Better Marketing started a new initiative:

Office Hours: Marketing For Startups

We’re offering free consulting services to start-ups in Pune. Every Thursday, we sit at a local cafe and meet at least one entrepreneur. We talk for a couple of hours about their business and help them map out a marketing strategy or suggest things they could improve.

We started last week and met two businesses – and we received so many inquiries that we’re booked up through December!

This is the process we are following:

  • We send you a questionnaire to collect initial information about your business, challenges, and goals.
  • Once you fill up the questionnaire, we offer available slots and then confirm the meeting date/time. We also encourage you to send us in advance any supporting material you want our feedback on — email newsletter, brochure, etc.
  • We review your responses and other marketing materials (if any) and prepare for the meeting.
  • During the face-to-face meeting, we discuss your challenges and objectives in more detail, offer our suggestions on what you should do to get better marketing results, and try and answer any other questions you may have related to marketing or business strategy.
  • After the meeting, we send you our notes and you can send us follow-up questions, if any.

This is something we want to continue doing for as long as we can. We are glad to be working with these small businesses, because that was the primary reason we started Better Marketing.

So if we are not charging anything for this service, what’s in it for us? Here are our reasons:

  • It’s good experience for us: we’re working with businesses we otherwise might not have met.
  • We are building goodwill and good references: if you like our work, you might recommend us to others or might come back to us in future for more.
  • Even if you can’t pay us in cash, you might be able to help us with your skills or services or your network if we need help in the future.
  • So many people have helped us in our work, both with Better Marketing and earlier, for no apparent benefit of theirs — this is our way of passing it forward.
  • Pune has an active startup community, and this is a way for us to get more involved.
  • Maybe most importantly, talking to driven entrepreneurs gives us a high that’s unlike anything else!

So if you want a free consulting session with us, drop me a line at nilesh (at) bettermarketing (dot) in.

About Nilesh

Nilesh has worked in the IT industry for nine years, and is both a PMP and an MBA in marketing. He has worked in and with small businesses, managing projects, leading teams, and improving business processes.At Markitty, Nilesh translates requirements into tasks and timelines. He jumps into whatever is needed, whether it’s marketing, design, or technical architecture. He also keeps the others sane with his intermittent wisecracking.

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