It is great when a start-up gets mentioned in the media – more so in the national media. CreditMantri was featured in the ‘Small Biz’ section of the Economic Times today and it set me thinking about the constraints and advantages that start-ups face when marketing, advertising and raising general awareness about the company.

Every start-up wants to widen its customer base in order to increase revenues. Unfortunately, every startup faces the problem of budgeting for advertising and marketing to reach those new customers! There are so many areas that we need to spend on – hiring people, upgrading technology, office infrastructure, etc. that brand building tends to get relegated lower down on the list. We like to focus our spending on improving our existing customers’ experience with us so that they can get the best possible service. However, this often means that little is left over for the big-budget brand building that is often required.

That is why any acknowledgement of our company and our work is always welcome as it reaches thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of readers across the country and lets them know about what we do. Being featured in a leading national business daily is good news for any company, but especially so, for a revenue-constrained start-up.

Social media has been a huge bonus for start-ups. It is possible to spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and so on. Social media is a double –edged sword. If you have an excellent product and service (I like to think we do at CreditMantri), the word of mouth spread on social media can be better at getting in customers than paid-advertising. However, a poor product can lead to equally rapid spread of criticism and negative publicity.

So whether your brand-building budget is huge or non-existent, your visibility and reputation is only as good as your product.