Entrepreneur's Startups Summer 2019

Entrepreneur's Startups is for anyone dreaming of launching a business. Entrepreneur's Startups is the must-have resource for hands-on insights and information on how to get your business off the ground and running in no time. Published three times a year, with each issue you'll discover countless business ideas, see how others got their start and how you can too

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7 мин.
finding customers

You’ve come up with a great idea for a business—nice job! But you’re Y not ready to roll yet. Before you go any further, take the time needed to figure out who, where, and what your market is. There are two basic markets you can sell to: consumer and business. These divisions are fairly obvious. If you are selling women’s clothing from a retail store, your target market is consumers; if you are selling office supplies, your target market is businesses. (This is referred to as B2B sales.) In some cases—for example, if you run a printing business—you may be marketing to both businesses and individuals. No business—particularly a small one—can be all things to all people. The more narrowly you can define your target market at the start, the better. Creating…

2 мин.
don’t think big. think small!

Once upon a time, business owners thought it was enough to market their products or services to 18-to-49-year-olds. Those days are over. The consumer marketplace has become so differentiated, it’s a misconception to talk about it in any kind of general, grand way. You can market to socioeconomic status, gender, region, lifestyle, or technological sophistication. You can market to millennials, a generation that shops and buys goods and services in vastly different ways than their older siblings and parents. You can market to online-first consumers, to those who are under 30 and spend most of their free time on social media—and so much more. There’s no end to the number of different ways you can slice the pie. Further complicating matters, age no longer means what it used to. Fifty-five-year-old baby…

5 мин.
state your mission

Once you have designed a niche for your business, you’re ready to create a mission statement. A key tool that can be as important as your business plan, a mission statement captures, in a few succinct sentences, the essence of your business’s goals and the philosophies underlying them. Equally important, the mission statement signals what your business is all about to your customers, employees, suppliers, and the community. The mission statement reflects every facet of your business: the range and nature of the products you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology, and your relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, and the community. “Mission statements help clarify what business you are in, your goals, and your objectives,” says Rhonda Abrams, author of The Successful Business Plan: Secrets…

7 мин.
the reinvention of minted

When Mariam Naficy launched Minted in 2008, she wanted to create a niche business, one that would crowdsource stationery designs from independent artists, ask consumers to vote for their favorites, produce and sell the best-performing creations, and share a portion of revenue with the original designers. But Naficy underestimated consumers’ interest in what she was building, and she soon found herself at the helm of a massive venture-backed design platform that was growing far beyond her original vision. So she rolled with it—adapting right alongside her company. Now Minted’s team is 400 strong and the company is generating revenue in the “hundreds of millions of dollars.” Naficy talked with Entrepreneur about letting the business lead the way, carefully selecting strategic partners, and building a team that doesn’t require hand-holding. Minted has been…

6 мин.
a total reboot

Remember Slice? Not the pizza. Not the Grandmaster Slice hip-hop guy. The soft drink. Even an answer of “kinda sorta” could mean money in the can for the people bringing back Slice, the ’90s PepsiCo pop. The twist: It won’t (sorry, diehards) deliver that sinfully sweet blast of sugary, citrusy nostalgia—nor will it be made by PepsiCo. The Slice hitting the shelves in 2019 is a 25-calorie sparkling water made purely with organic juice, and it’s based on a bet by two eagle-eyed entrepreneurs who wrested the trademark away from its original owner: Given how important branding has become, their theory goes, a startup can gain an instant advantage in the marketplace if it’s using a brand name that consumers are already familiar with…even if the product is different from what they remember. There’s…

3 мин.
finding the right customer

Chad Laurans was convinced he’d made the perfect product for the perfect customer. He’d done his research, refined his marketing, launched a home security company called SimpliSafe with high expectations—and then was promptly disappointed. “Things were going pretty slowly,” he says. “It felt like we were headed toward this middling outcome where we could spend years and maybe decades and not have much to show for it.” To save his business, Laurans began asking himself a difficult question: Did I build the wrong product, or target the wrong customer? It’s a puzzle many entrepreneurs face as their businesses evolve, and as they seek what investor Marc Andreessen famously calls “product-market fit”—that is, the right product for a good market. Entrepreneurs may think they know the answer, but until they launch, they really…