For me, as a young entrepreneur in college, I set actionable deadlines that push myself forward. I knew summer would fly by fast but I had three solid ideas that I wanted to turn into realities. The first was our new line of watches at Yes Man, called the Shot Caller. The second was a new watch company called Azula that would create the first ever fabric-faced watch, handmade with fabrics from around the world. Last but not least, I had the idea for Corked, a lifestyle brand crafting premium accessories made from high quality cork.
When planning my route of action, it was important for me to realize that all three of these projects had some overlap. They all needed manufacturers, designers, photographers, web developers, lawyers, and more. I realized I could use the same photographer for all three projects as well as the same web developer. This streamlined the creative process as they already were familiar with my goals and vision.
Through this process of starting three companies in one summer, I have come to realize the keys of creating a company lie within four steps. As a founder, you have to make the most of what you have, yet also need to realize the value of your time. Here are the four steps I took to creating three companies this summer:
Software is out there to help you streamline your work. If you aren't making the most of what's available then you're missing out. I automated my social media growth, hacking Instagram and Twitter. On Instagram, I used a platform called Instagress that automatically likes and follows images/accounts. For Twitter growth, I utilized Narrow, a platform that automatically favorites and follows tweets/accounts. Both this platforms enabled my companies' social media accounts to grow substantially without much work on my part.
If you haven't heard of a virtual assistant, it's time you look into one. A virtual assistant is like a personal assistant who works remotely and can do monotonous tasks for you while you focus on other work. When preparing for the launch of Yes Man, Azula, and Corked, I had a virtual assistant research relevant media outlets that would be interested in covering us. This work was considered data entry and within a day I had a hundred contacts to writers and bloggers who had covered similar companies.
One of the keys to becoming a successful entrepreneur is making the most of what you have. I've found the best way to do this is to be resourceful through a community that has similar goals. As an example, I am part of a group on Slack that focuses around marketing. Through this group we can share insight on how to drive traffic, cross promote our products, and learn what works. These people aren't direct competitors but rather compliments to my companies. By creating a community around what you're doing, you can not only learn a lot but make the most of what's available through them.
Just as you would track your weight when dieting, you need to track your goals by breaking them down into small steps. For example, if you plan to create a cool website, your first step would be picking a theme, finding a host, and then finding a developer to work with. Another aspect of tracking comes down to sales. Though there are a ton of CRM systems out there, one of my favorite ways to track sales is through SideKick by Hubspot. This is a neat Gmail plugin that enable you to track opens and clicks on an email. Through this app, I can see if the recipient read my email, how many times they read it, where they opened it from, and more. Tracking our progress is what motivates us to push forward.
As you look to become an entrepreneur or launch new companies, be sure to use these four keys to progress your plans in a smooth way. An unorganized entrepreneur rarely finds success. Getting initial traction is key and understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you move forward faster.
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