How Not To Hub: Selling to startups

Flurin Capaul · 2 min · 14.08.2017

Photos by
Pascal Claivaz

Every now and then I stumble across somebody who’s actively looking for
customers at the Hub. From health coaching to tax consulting, from employer
branding to spiritual enlightenment, there’s no lack of consumer choice. But I cringe
every time someone tells me they’re targeting startups or founders. It seems a
difficult market.

 

Recently the Hub was plastered with adverts for a fitness subscription plan. While
I’m sure it’s a great service, I’m not sure that the approach was a good one. Firstly,
it felt like any old ad and not something that adds value to the community. So if
selling to the hub community is similar to other markets, you need to fine-tune your
message. If you balance the effort against the market size of 900+ consumers (hub
members) it seems doubtful if that’s time well spent.

 

Secondly with all the early-stage startups, founders and self-employed people, the
affluence of the group is below average. People just don’t have as much free
cashflow, since they’re mostly banking on their business for the time being. This
means it’s a hard sell since willingness to spend money on eg. a fitness plan is low.

 

B2B is a bit different. There is a market for business services since every business
needs to take care of taxes or marketing. But even here, willingness to spend is
lower than with an established business and most founders will rather invest a bit of
elbow grease then spend cash out of their pocket. So again you need to have a
compelling value proposition and a great price point to be enticing.

 

There’s a few other factors, but at the end of the day if you’re looking for customers
at the hub, my view is that you’re going after picky and price sensitive customers.
Which means high efforts and low returns. On the bright side if you do find
customers here, your service / product seems to be compelling!

 

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2 Responses

Flurin is the Founder of Boonea AG, a software startup which boosts the B2B sales of corporation by unlocking their hidden networks and analyzing their relationships. Creating new insights in sales, supplier & account management with technology and AI. Boonea AG was founded by Flurin after 15 years in the tech and finance indus...

Flurin Capaul, Technology & Future

2 responses to “How Not To Hub: Selling to startups”

  1. Prat says:

    Very well said, completely agree about finding paying customers at Hub. Hub offers a very high social capital which one has to use to find customers from elsewhere. For example if a service or product is endorsed by Hub and promoted by Hub members, you can use that social influence to find potential external customers.

  2. Summer says:

    Marvelous, what a weblog it is! This website provide valuable information to us, keep it up.

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