Starting a business from scratch is no mean feat, as many of you entrepreneurs will know. However, in a fierce economic climate like this, it's truly survival of the fittest, and sometimes, by no fault of their own, the most skilled entrepreneurs will not survive.
I myself launched Egg and Chips Clothing in 2008 and since then it has grown from strength to strength.
On top of being an entrepreneur, I am a singer, songwriter and recording artist who is constantly on the radio and at the top of the most viewed musician charts on YouTube. Yet despite my success, like Michael Crawford, Esther Rantzen's daughter and the athlete Anna Lucina Hemmings MBE, I suffer with M.E.
I was 21 when I started Egg and Chips Clothing, I am now 25, despite the obvious difficulties of suffering with M.E. I have got this far because I am a get up and do it kinda guy.
To quote the great American educator Marva Collins: "Determination and perseverance move the world; thinking that others will do it for you, is a sure way to fail."
I hear you asking me, was it easy? No, it's never easy to start a business; especially when you do it alone and when you're on this journey you are destined to make mistakes. I've made several mistakes, particularly back in 2008 but I'll admit to a few recent ones too if your patient.
The biggest mistake of all is advertising. You can spend a lot of money on advertising, which I did, and sorry if it blows your world apart (advertising agents take cover) it just does not work. If it works for your business then that's great, but I'd hazard a guess that advertising actually brings little to no return on investment and can you really afford to spend that much on simple brand awareness? Which is all advertising really does, unless you have a very clear call to action. Let's face it, only corporations can afford to blanket the media in a sufficient enough way to make a difference. It took me a while to realize that but once I did, it opened my mind to many more lucrative forms of marketing.
Since then I have literally been a sponge for all the marketing knowledge I can get my hands on, especially online marketing, which is handy considering my business is an online business. This has allowed me to use my creativity to come up with many forms of marketing which I'm yet to see done successfully by anyone else within my market. Do I have plans to open a physical shop? Well that would be telling wouldn't it….
As time went on I just went with the flow and allowed the business to grow with customers coming back for more and of course telling all their friends. Egg and Chips Clothing became a power seller on eBay in 2009 and is now a Top Rated Seller; Amazon was obviously next on the list as a sales avenue, with a shop at Play.com coming soon. I kept adding more and more brands to the shop, building a team and things grew exponentially, your waiting for me to inform you of another mistake aren't you?
Ok, your wish is my command.
With the massive growth of the business, particularly on eBay, I was neglecting the most important and fundamentally vital parts of having a website, back links, back links and more back links. That's it, you can do the whole web 2.0 thing, you can do all the blogging and PR you want, but if your competition have more back links than you, well my friend, you're dead in the water. So I quickly got into action to rectify my mistake.
There's something else I want to bring up as I come to a close here, and no it's not a hairball, It's the myth that people who are successful in business are "lucky". I've heard this time and time again, people telling me that I'm "lucky." Sorry, but people who are successful in business are not "lucky". People who are successful in business have a key ingredient that other people haven't. What is it?
Well on top of determination as I mentioned earlier, those who are successful in business have the ability to see something through to the end and work hard at it. The key to success in life is hard work and determination.
Luck doesn't exist. A successful business is a science.
To find out more about Jack you can visit his website www.misterjack.co.uk
To find out more about Egg and Chip Clothing you can visit www.eggnchipsclothing.co.uk