You Have To Stay The Course: Building Anything Isn’t Easy.


In this life, you must stay the course if you plan to achieve any form of success. If you have owned a business of any sort, you know that running a start-up is never easy and somedays can be quite frustrating. You must, however, do what is required to keep fighting the good fight. We started our shop with society 6 back in late Fall 2016 with the hope we would provide high quality photo products to the masses in the central Mississippi area. I have to admit that selling art in this highly competitive technological world is rough. However, with persistence and much follow through, we have had our successes. Giving up isn’t an option for us and it shouldn’t be an option for you if your goal is to develop a profitable enterprise. Be aware though: Success, for the common man, doesn’t occur overnight. If you are eager to start your own side business, be ready to spend long hours working on a wide variety of tasks associated with the firm, ranging from producing, cataloging, budgeting and promoting the business. It won’t be easy, I guarantee you. Why?  Because friends don’t buy, strangers don’t know you and resist buying anything from you at first. If you are new to an area, good luck infiltrating local markets. In such environments, people tend to work with their long time buddies and friends rather than working with you. So, what do entrepreneurs need to do in order to gain access and start selling their products in a new market. There are a number of solutions to this problem. In this article, I will share with you three proven ways to increase your business.

  1. Partner with locals. One of the most successful strategies you can use is to parter with an influential local buddy. By abdicating part of your business in exchange for access and q-ratio, you can launch your business much quicker than your competitors and start competing for real dollars much sooner than having to build the business through traditional means of advertising. I can guarantee you that will take more capital to advertise a start-up than negotiating a 2-3% partnership with a local resident. As soon as you work with a local, he/she will (at least in theory) do some of this work for you. Even though friends don’t buy, friends refer business clients to their friends first. Sure, you need to be very careful not to partner with whatever person from your community. You need to interview him/her and make sure that they are well known and connected in their neighborhood.
  2. Create a publicity campaign. Don’t waste your money in advertising at least not at first. Ads are expensive and often don’t pay off the way that they should. The reason for the former is because ads don’t influence already established client perceptions about a similar product in any region. Let me explain: There is no advertising campaign, regardless of price, that will change people’s minds about sending their kids to another gymnastics facility. Madison County Gymnastics dominates the market, period. Sure, one way to break into their gig is to partner with them but what if they aren’t interested in partnering? I bet they won’t be interested in partnering with anyone because they don’t have to. So, what could you do then? The answer is publicity. You need to convince folks overtime that what you have to offer is worth them having. This, of course, takes a lot of time and effort. Who said that working for yourself is easy?
  3. Sell outstanding products. The market is flooded with great products. You have the duty to produce/create products that will challenge your customer’s perceptions of what outstanding means. There is zero room for mediocrity and a lot of room for improvement, every time we offer a new product. Back in 2016, we used to manipulate our photographs using my 5 point editing process to ensure the highest possible photo quality one can find in the market. In 2017, we have added two steps in the editing process. Is it more time consuming on my part? Yes. But hey… Are you in business to gain market share or to be seen as just one more guy out there trying to sell a few prints a year? Be ready. In 2018, we shall add one more editing step!

In this life, you must stay the course if you plan to achieve any form of success. If you have owned a business of any sort, you know that running a start-up is never easy and somedays can be quite frustrating. Your role as an entrepreneur is to strategize locally, create publicity campaigns and master your craft. In contemporary USA, competition is fierce and expected. You need to be a starter if you want to “make it” in today’s global economy. In order to be a successful small business owner today, you must know how to compete and know how to win and lose. Remember: Building anything isn’t easy.  Are you ready for the challenge?