Robert Ochtel’s Blog

An Experienced Approach to Venture Funding

Entrepreneurs, a Properly Developed White Paper will Help Your Start-up Company Secure Traction in the Market

Entrepreneurs need to focus on a lot of things to help make their start-up companies become successful.  When it comes to securing customers and traction in the market, this is often one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish.  With a lack of funding, limited credibility, and an unproven technology, product or service offering, start-up companies need all the help they can get to secure the attention of potential customers and gain traction in the market.  After an initial successful corporate overview presentation, start-up companies are often asked for more information so that interested individuals, within their targeted customer base, can go back and share what they have learned with their colleagues.  More information is also often  a key and necessary component for these same targeted customers to make an informed decision as to whether to move forward to the next steps for considering your start-up company’s technology product or service offering.   Providing this necessary information is often best accomplished with the development of a white paper.  A white paper is a document that provides an overview of your start-up company’s technology, product or service offering and at the same time provides the necessary details regarding how this product offering is used in the targeted end application it is intended to serve.  In addition, a white paper also provides an overview of the benefits, both technical and financial, so the end customer can better understand the overall utility of using your start-up company’s technology, product or service offering in their end market application. This article focuses on the need to develop a white paper to help your start-up company secure traction in the market.

Provide an Overview of Your Technology, Product or Service Offering

A white paper should provide your targeted customers with an overview of your start-up company’s technology product or service offering.  Here, as an entrepreneur, you need to describe in detail what your product offering is and how it is differentiated from other competitor product offerings on the market. Potential customers that have heard an overview presentation regarding your start-up company are often interested in discovering more regarding your technology, product or service offering and a white paper can be that vehicle to provide the necessary details. Remember, as a start-up company, it is often very difficult to get a targeted customer to change from their current competitor’s “solution” to a new start-up company’s “solution”.  So, as an entrepreneur, you need to provide the necessary details that give them a reason to consider your start-up company’s product offering.  If you are successful, you will more than likely secure an internal advocate or “champion” for your start-up company’s product offering for consideration in their end market application.   This will go a long way, as securing the proper internal corporate “champion” can often provide the necessary credibility to move your start-up company’s product offering to the next level of consideration within your targeted customer’s company. 

Outline How Your Product Offering is Used in the Targeted End Market Application

One of the key aspects and purposes of developing a white paper is to provide a description on how your start-up company’s technology, product or service offering is used in the targeted end market application.  This detailed description will provide your targeted customer with the ability to properly understand the full utility of your product offering and how it is differentiated from your competitors’ product offerings.  More often than not, and depending on your start-up company’s product offering, you will need to provide a full technical description of your start-up company’s product offering and how it will be used in the end market application.  This description should provide the necessary detail so that the technical individuals (e.g., system engineers, application engineers, etc.) within the targeted customer will have a full appreciation of how your product offering works and how it is differentiated from other product offerings available in the market.  Remember, as an entrepreneur of a start-up company, you have a lot of people to convince within your targeted customer’s company, that you offer a new product offering that is truly differentiated in the market and a proper detailed description of your technology, product or service offering within the end application will help with this task.

Provide an Overview of the Technical and Financial Benefits

A white paper also needs to describe both the technical and financial benefits of your start-up company’s technology, product or service offering.  Here, you need to properly delineate not only how your product offering is technically superior to your competitors’ product offerings, but you also need to outline the financial benefits of using your start-up company’s technology, product or service offering.  As an entrepreneur, you need to remember that all of your targeted customer’s decisions as to whether to use a new technology, product or service offering come down to a business decision.  As such, unless there is a substantial financial benefit to using your start-up company’s product offering, you will not be seriously considered by your targeted customers.  Therefore, after providing an overview of the technical benefits of your product offering, you need to properly delineate the financial benefits.  This will provide your targeted customers with the necessary information to make an informed decision when considering your start-up company product offering and enhance your ability to gain traction in the market.

Developing a well thought through white paper that properly describes your start-up company’s technology, product or service offering is often necessary to secure traction in the market. After a successful corporate overview presentation, a properly developed white paper can be used as a tool to promote your start-up company to your targeted customer base. By providing an overview of your start-up company’s technology, product or service offering, a detailed description of how this same product offering is used in the end market application, and an overview of the technical as well as the financial benefits, your white paper provides the necessary vehicle for your targeted customers to make an informed decision to move forward with your start-up company’s product offering.  Remember, gaining market traction is often very difficult, but with a properly developed white paper you can provide your targeted customers with the necessary information to make an informed and expedient decision regarding your start-up up company and its technology, product or service offering.

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December 29, 2009 - Posted by | Venture Capital

1 Comment »

  1. Great article (as always) Robert – really strong ideas to help start-ups and new ventures. I find myself picking at bits and pieces of your journal from time to time and going back to reference when time alots – time is the commodity rarist to would be entrepreneurs trying to cover all the bases. Happy New Year and looking forward to 2010!

    Comment by navcap | December 30, 2009 | Reply


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