Let’s admit this: Entrepreneurship is not easy.
The road to success is full of obstacles and challenges. But the true entrepreneur never bothers about these issues, and continues to cruise along the super highway of adventure, experiment and achievement. But somewhere in between, the person who risks his luck needs a bit of inspiration to stay afloat.
No, this inspiration will not help him to achieve his goal of becoming the millionaire or bringing in ROI of 100%; but the motivation will fuel his ambitions and make him stronger.
If anyone can hack into my super-secret Google Docs account, he will find small chunks of inspirational ideas and hyperlinks related to the liberating world of Entrepreneurship, all scattered around. And from this archive, I hereby present before you, some small ideas of entrepreneurship which has certainly inspired me. I hope you find it inspiring too!
One: Email Marketing with a Difference
Quicken is a financial software which can be managed by non-financial person as well. When Intuit introduced this product, they blasted an email campaign to let everyone know about it. In that email campaign, they used a very simple and short message:
“Order the product and pay nothing. If you aren’t productive within eight minutes of opening the box, tear up the invoice.”
This short message propelled the company to capture 70% of the market share, within a month.
A perfect example of Viral Marketing.
Inspiration: 90% of entrepreneurs do try email marketing. But how many actually gets success? Be different, be creative and you will certainly hit the jackpot.
Two: Innovative Branding
Häagen-Dazs is a billion dollar enterprise, which sells ice-cream all over the world. Analysts claim that a part of the success can be attributed to the fact that it has a unique name, sounding like Danish. But, how did they come up with this name?
As per their Wikipedia page, Reuben Mattus in the year 1959 started this new company to sell ice creams. At the same time, he wanted to pay tribute to Denmark as citizens of this country had protected the Jews from Germans during the World War II.
In a TV interview, his daughter Doris Hurley said that before the launch of this company, his father would sit at the kitchen table for hours, saying utterly non-sense Danish words till he came up with a combination he liked! As a matter of fact, Häagen-Dazs has no meaning.
Inspiration: Have a vision for the company and be totally innovative with your brand name. Let people think twice after they hear your brand. Let them guess what exactly it’s all about.
Three: Finding Truly Passionate Fans of your Product
With more than 50 million passionate users and millions of images at its disposal, Pinterest is not an overnight success story. Its primary success came because of their dedicated, passionate and incredibly loyal fan base. The first true 1000 fans.
The website was first launched in 2010, and after three months of its launch, the site only managed some 3000 fans. The founders were dejected and were planning to scrap the project. But suddenly, they observed one thing: out of these 3000 fans, some were really active on the site. They shared hundreds of pictures and invited their friends and relatives to join the site. Their founder Ben Silbermann was one of them.
In a speech about the success of Pinterest, he shared that, “Instead of changing the product, I thought maybe I could just find people like me.”
And the rest is history.
Inspiration: Be absolutely passionate about your product. Find the first 1000 true fans that are passionate and spreading the word. Never lose hope!
Four: Customer Enchantment
CD Baby delivers CDs. It is one of the most successful online music store ever created. And they have become so famous only because of their passionate customer service. Here is a sample of their order confirmation mail, which they sent to their customers.
No wonder they get more repeat orders compared to new orders.
Inspiration: David Ogilvy famously said, “Customer is not a moron. She is your wife”. Make your customer enchanted, delighted and she will make you successful.
Five: Start Small. Think Big.
Here is a Reddit comment and the first visiting card of Larry Page:
“I met both Carl Page and Larry Page at a party hosted by a Stanford friend of mine in 1998. Carl gave me his card for eGroups and said “we’re hiring”. Larry gave me his card for Google—a flimsy bit of paper obviously printed by bubble jet—and said “we’re hiring”.
I said, “Nah, who needs another search engine?” and went to graduate school. I still have the card.”
Inspiration: Never think small. And never disrespect a geek; who knows he may become a billionaire few years down the line!
Do you have any inspirational entrepreneur story to share? I would love to hear them out in the comments.