You know that saying ‘If you build it they will come’? That’s not true. Not true at all.
Serial entrepreneur Andrew Casey and Olaf O’Moore, his best friend since the age of 12, have a string of businesses under their belts including bicycle-powered taxi service EcoCabs, online bespoke bike brand Funked Up.com, and HeadCase, an experiential marketing company. Their “last proper job” was in their teens when they were in a band.
What have I learned so far, what would I do differently? Well, you know that saying ‘If you build it they will come’? That’s not true. Not true at all. One thing we learned very early on is that no matter how brilliant, how much better or how much cheaper than the competition your product or service is, the operational side of things is only a given. What’s even more important is knowing how to make people aware of your presence.
We had to learn to shout about what we were doing to get noticed, and that takes resources. So if you’re planning on starting up a business but don’t have those skills, you’d want to think about getting them.
We had so many potential partners come to us offering to set up EcoCabs in cities around the world. They’d tell us all about their plans, which were great, but when we asked them about their sales plan, they were stumped.
The one thing I wouldn’t do differently is start up in business without a partner. I’m lucky in that Olaf and I, as well as getting on great, have completely different skill-sets. I think you need that.
People setting up in business always tend to float their ideas past people they know are like them, and then, of course, they only get positive feedback. In fact, what you need to do is run it by people who think differently to you. What you learn that way will be of more value to the business ultimately.
Main image from Shutterstock.com.