With more competition than ever, it’s important to stay on top of market trends and be aware of the latest nuances in developing a strong business. Below, we have compiled a list of advice from some of our favorite entrepreneurs to help you strategize.
“If your purpose is deep, your success will be meaningful. If your purpose is shallow, your success will be hollow,” says Michelle Tunno Buelow, founder of infant product retailer Bella Tunno. “Customers will feel gratitude from supporting you.” Her business provides one meal to a child in America for every product sold.
When you can connect your business with non-profit initiatives or social causes, you can build another layer of transparency, trust and reputation among your customers. However, you should not force your business to take on a cause or mission that doesn’t relate to you. Consumers can smell inauthentic businesses using social causes to sell their goods from miles away, and it can lead to a lot of online backlash.
“When you’re starting a business in your kitchen, you don’t think far ahead,” says Jaime Schmidt, founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, a deodorant, soap, and toothpaste brand acquired by Unilever for an undisclosed amount in 2017. She advises business owners to keep audited financial records from the start. “The more history you have, the more sellable the company will be.”
“A founder’s instinct is usually correct because they’re passionate,” says Scott, who bootstrapped her eponymous billion-dollar jewelry empire on credit cards and now boasts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway as a major investor.
“Start small and get in the game,” says Alex Rodriguez, the former New York Yankee, 14-time Major League Baseball All-Star, and partner to superstar Jennifer Lopez. A-Rod has helped bring the TruFusion fitness concept to the East Coast by opening two studios in South Florida. “Go narrow and deep on one or two things,” he advises.
“You need a great culture to have a great brand,” says Scott. “Fiercely protect it with ‘glass overflowing’ people who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves.”
Keep in mind that the consumer landscape is always growing and evolving. “In 2010, 1.2 billion people were online. By 2015, it was 2.8 billion. By 2022, it will exceed 8 billion,” says Salim Ismail, founder of ExO Foundation, an online donation system. “Are your products and services set up for that market?”
United LLC’s team of experts is dedicated to helping you find long-term solutions for your business. Reach out and learn about our working capital solutions that can help your business grow.