Starting a business involves finding clients to sustain your business, nurturing grandiose dreams into reality, and managing a thousand ideas amongst a plethora of other factors! However, if you are working on a shoestring budget out of the mice infested basement of your parent’s house, fret not. Who needs a fancy, glass walled office with white collar employees in stiffly starched shirts, when you have great ideas and a will to realize them! In fact, the world is replete with garage-to-fortune 500 firm stories.
Your beloved behemoth Amazon didn’t just pop up into existence by a genie in a bottle. Jeff Bezoz kick-started the global giant from his basement in Bellevue. Susan Wojcicki’s garage became the birthplace of Google, while the invoicing company FreshBooks lodged in the basement of Mike McDerments’ parents for many years! Mark Zuckerberg worked on Facebook from his dorm room. Compared to that, consider your basement a luxury! Hewlett-Packard, Disney, Microsoft, and Apple were also headquartered in the basements of their founders, in case you needed inspiration from more multi-billion dollar corporations!
When capital runs low, it is often prudent to launch your business from home, so that you save up on overheads costs! However, if the thought of contending with the bigger fish in the sea is making you bite your nails in apprehension, here is everything you need to know about making it big as an entrepreneur and making sure your intended audience finds you just in time:
Start off With a Great Idea
Whether you are planning to launch a cyber security business or sell handcrafted jewelry from home, you will need to come up with a viable plan for what your business will do, how you are going to turn it in to a lucrative venture, and how it will run. Running a business from your basement doesn’t exactly put you in a spot to acquire a huge team, so you’ll probably be doing the major chunk of work yourself. No matter the plan you conjure up, it should incorporate a long-term growth plan, since your ultimate ambition should be to reach a point where you can boost your work volume and hire more employees. In addition to a great plan, your products/services should have the propensity to create quite a stir. Unless you can solve a real-life problem better than your competitors, your start-up won’t have much chances of surfacing from the underworld!
For instance, the founders of Bear Naked Granola, Kelly Flatley and Brendan Synnott, took the health industry by storm when they came up with their all-natural scrumptious treat, revolutionizing the way we see granola bars. Broke and fresh out of college, the duo bunked in with their parents, ran on coffee for a gazillion sleepless nights, and worked day in and day out to prepare their granola bars. Their efforts paid off when their brand was acquired by Kellogg for $60 Million.
One of the most proficient strategies to build a viable branding strategy for yourself is to first look at what the others are doing within a business niche. Commonly known as competitor analysis, it lets you know the trends others are following or the advancements in technology that are expected to revolutionize your business industry. The more you learn about your pertinent industry, the better equipped you will be to deal with whatever comes your way. For instance, Alyssa Smith, the owner of Alyssa Smith Jewelry excels in designing handmade jewelry. Since she kick-started her business an year after graduating with a major in Applied Arts and Marketing, she had next to no knowledge about the jewelry industry. She started working in a jewelry store to research the ins and outs of the industry, and drilled herself in all that needed to be learned about the trade.
Regardless of how compelling your services or products claim to be, they will forever be stuck in your basement if no one knows about them. First things first, you need to serve as an evangelist for your venture. Bring your business in the limelight by connecting and networking with the right people in-person and online. Even if you are already striving to get out of your pajamas for once and go out to meet the right people, you need to double down. Send out mailers to licensed professionals, print up flyers to hand out, send out complementary samples to the right influencers, and spread the word about your business at every opportunity. Not only would it help you establish your venture as a key industry resource, you can hone in on your entrepreneurial skills and overcome start up fears.
Even if you think you are acquiring enough customers, don’t give in to the temptation to take a respite. Especially if your business is seasonal, offering products/services that clients may not need constantly, there is a good chance that even your happiest clients will disappear overnight. Alexander Acker, president of the creative agency Adventure House, has developed a habit of continually luring in new business. According to Acker, “Clients eventually move on; things change, economies tank, so the road to success is to always paved with potholes and sinkhole. To pull yourself out of it, you always need to have a channel available where you can connect with potential customers. To stay successful, I regularly attend conferences, to give my company exposure to new opportunities. It helps you arm yourself with a plan and dream big.”
Scale with Integrity
When you are desperate for some cash, it isn’t unheard of for budding businesses to deliver a subpar service or product, compromise their values, and cut corners. Businesses that stick to their guns and weather their growing pains are the ones that shine the brightest and last longest. For instance, Luke Holden, the CEO of the seafood chain Luke’s Lobster, says about integrity, “A commitment to being an entrepreneur is a commitment to change and evolution. I don’t think you ever really know you’re going the right way, but you must also be prepared to find, and build, a new way.”
As your business starts to bear fruit, you will inevitably be faced with the dilemma of scaling with integrity. When Luke Holden faced the same challenge due to the fact that his supplier couldn’t meet the growing demands of his patrons, he still held fast on the commitment he had made to his audience. He took all his profits and built his own seafood company to ensure transparency. He took a huge risk on his patrons, and it more than paid off. Even today, he industriously tried to push his own boundaries by nurturing relationships at the source.
Alternatively, there are branding agencies in USA that are working for the benefit of entrepreneurs across the globe. If you have a business idea that you want to be turned into a branding marvel, get in touch with them and they will be happy to share some branding insights with you.