Best ways to ensure success:
Modeling success means identifying what a business is doing that is special and applying it to your own business. As I scrolled through the Facebook pages of Miss Cupcakes and Oh Jess! , I realized that they all had one thing my business was lacking:
If I want my business to grow, I can't simply sit down and expect to watch it grow, I need to be the force that drives that growth. And with the power of the internet, marketing means growth. Yes, The Cupcake Factory has a Facebook page and a webpage, but unlike the other cupcake businesses, it's not active. If I want my business to expand, I must be willing to immerse it in social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. You name it!
A second thing I learned through the "Launch a No Fail Business Model" class is that there are millions of ways of having good customer service. The trick is to identify those businesses with the best customer service and model them. Instead of looking at your competition as competition, look at them as a learning experience. Get in behind the enemy line, and see how each business is managed. Once you've done so, find the model that best works for you, and apply that model to your own business.
As I thought about customer service, the business that kept popping into my mind was Starbucks. I think it's the combination of the welcoming employees and the fact that they write your name on cups that makes each trip so personal. Although I don't have a store, I'd like my business to offer a personal experience to my customers. How? I still have to figure that out.
The last thing I learned from today's class was that "there's less competition at the top". We
often times believe that because our business is not recognized or prestigious, receiving help from those prestigious companies is a lot harder. On the one hand that is completely true, but on the other, it's not. If you think about it, companies like Nike or Apple are so prestigious that they have less competition, and so they are willing to offer their help to smaller start-up companies who stand no chance next to them.
When you're a start-up business, becoming known is extremely hard because you're one little fish in an ocean of ideas. Once you become recognized, however, your no longer a fish competing with hundreds of smaller fish, your a shark competing with a few sharks. Thus, as a shark, you're more willing to offer your help to other fish than you are to sharks who are competing against you.
Up until today, I had viewed other Peruvian cupcake shops as a COMPETITION. Today, I view them as an inspiration. If I want my business to be a shark in the ocean, I must look at the sharks that already exist in the ocean and learn from them.