Launching a brand
Everyone wants to start their own brand and be their own boss, but their brilliant idea out there and work at their own pace, all while guiding a well-curated team through victory. Sounds amazing – and it is! – but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Starting a company from the ground up demands heavy planning and management skills, paying close attention to details like niche audiences, communication tone, time management, and many other skills that are not learned in a classroom.
From a CEO’s point of view, building a company comes with multiple challenges and risks never faced before, and some beginner mistakes can be easy to make while balancing multiple tasks at the same time. In order to be prepared for anything and not make beginner mistakes when starting a business, you need to learn from other experienced business people and case studies and make a checklist to assure everything is going according to plan.
Using social media and influencers in your favor
We are in the era of digital natives, with 84% of adults from ages 18 to 29 being active on social media, and most of them being online daily, it can also be used as a searching tool to discover new trends and private label brands, and 55% of customers learn about new private-label brands on the internet, via ads, influencers, social media profiles or just organic engine searching.
Social media marketing has also given brands the opportunity to be closer to customers, and to have two-way-street communication with them. Now, customers can give feedback and share their opinions online, while receiving help directly from the brand’s customer support team. This promotes engagement on the customer’s side and allows word-of-mouth advertising, helping your brand to grow organically.
Finally, one of the biggest advantages of social media is its very low cost. Compared to other platforms or traditional ways of advertising, social media and influencer marketing are some of the cheapest tools on the market, being, many times, completely free.
Influencer Marketing happens when a private label brand uses a public personality as a way of promoting its products and services. Brand collaborations (or as it’s called, “collabs”) can appear in many ways, some more long-lasting and tangible than others.
More than anything, influencer marketing is a strategic way of getting closer to the audience through a trustworthy personality, in order to build a close relationship with their customers and create an image for themselves. The brand must carefully choose the influencers that most represent their values and use them as tools inside their marketing strategy.
Private label, white label, or contract manufacturing?
White-label production is the cheapest kind of production, but also the easiest. In this process, all the necessary machinery is already set for production, and no customizations need to be made, making it so that the production is a lot faster than a private label or contract manufacturing. If you are a beginner and don’t have a huge budget, search into white-labeling production for a generic packaging that is only missing the branding.
A private label corresponds to a manufacturer who creates customized products for third parties to sell under their brand. In other words, the manufacturer gives you the freedom to choose the formula, customization, or design of the product they manufacture for your brand. This personalized product will then be sold exclusively by this one retailer/re-seller who ordered the product. You get the ease in the production while being able to do small customizations in your packaging and formula.
Private label production is the best of both worlds. You get the ease of producing a “generic” product, with the option to make customizations and to make your product unique. In other words, the machinery for the production is already set, making it easier and faster to produce, and giving also lower minimum order quantities, while giving you the opportunity to personalize some aspects of the product.
Contract manufacturing has the highest cost of them all, as well as a longer production-phase time since all the production line is completely individualized for that one product. The time of the production depends on the kind of product and can take up to a year in total. This is the most expensive option, and most of the time the product that you want to launch doesn’t need that much customization and can be made cheaper through another kind of production.
The top mistakes to avoid when launching a company
To help you keep track of your company and not take beginner missteps, these are the top 8 mistakes to avoid when launching a company:
1. Not knowing the market and audience you’re getting yourself into
Not everyone will like and buy your product, and that’s okay! To try to please every single person in the market is to set yourself to fail. In order to be successful, it’s important to set your priorities straight and understand who’s necessities your product is attending, to and who is not being benefited by it. In other words, find your target audience, the people who actually need your business, and pay attention to their needs. It’s important for your brand to really understand their behavior.
2. Launching a product you know nothing about just because it’s trendy
You are very skilled and knowledged in a field, but decided to launch something completely different from what you know, just because it’s trending? This might not be such a good idea. Your competitors, who are already established in this market, have a lot more knowledge than you, and that might be an implication for failing. Instead, why not stick with something you’re good at, studied for years, and know like the palms of your hands?
3. Not having a business plan
Way too many businesses are born every day out of such great ideas, only to fail to succeed in a competitive market because of the lack of a well-established business plan. Your business plan does not need to be intricate with multiple levels and a 10-year plan. It can start simple, all a startup needs to do is to map out a business plan with essential information, even if it’s just a few pages long or a bunch of post-its on the office’s wall.
The business plan has a clear purpose: not only does it make it clear for you, the CEO, what your business really is made of, but also illustrates, for investors and other stakeholders – who are not inside of your head -, how you plan and what you will need to achieve a goal.
4. Fear of failure
Everyone makes mistakes, especially when entering a market as a startup, with minimal experience as a CEO or a team manager. No matter the outcome, it’s important to pick yourself up, understand what went wrong, and try again. You have to accept that not everything will go as planned and sometimes you won’t achieve your goals or the competition will win. Get yourself together, analyze where it went wrong, and learn from your mistakes.
5. Not setting good priorities
Setting your goals and making everything possible to achieve them is the starting point for any business that wants to establish itself in the competitive market. Goal setting is a crucial step since it will guide all the other decisions you make for the company. When making a decision, ask yourself: is this getting me closer to my goal? Is this helping the company go forward?
6. Failing to monitor and analyze the results
Having set and relevant goals, and having a plan on how to achieve them is one of the most important parts of a business, but none of it matters if you can’t understand if your decisions are bringing you closer to these goals or not. It’s easy to get lost in the middle of numbers and stakeholder feedback, and all this data can be too much information, and it can be difficult to understand and make statements. Because of this, it’s important to always analyze the information correctly, and here are steps you can follow to analyze your collected data:
- Write down the goal
- Set your standards: what would another person need to do for you to be satisfied?
- Review and revise the things you listed, are they realistic?
- Once you think you reached the goal, go back to the things you listed, did you check all the boxes?
7. Poor time management and organization
After setting your goals and making sure your investors are aware of your business plan, be aware of your own time management skills, and organize yourself with daily/weekly/monthly goals, to track your progress so you don’t waste time. Good time management is one of the most valuable skills for those who want to become business owners and team leaders.