Every good story, every great business, every great product, every great brand starts out as just a thought. The magic is taking that thought from something that only exists inside your mind and making it real.
In my observation, the great Australian dream is moving from owning your own home to owning your own business. Entrepreneurship is on the rise, but for every entrepreneurial success story there is a ton of ambitious minded wantreprenuers with ideas that are either not yet started or not yet working.
So, what’s the difference? Why are some people stuck desperately wanting to break out, get going and make their entrepreneurial mark?
What’s the difference between a wantrepreneur and an entrepreneur?
The obvious difference is an entrepreneur just gets going. He jumps off the cliff and works out how to fly on the way down. He doesn’t let perfect get in the way of progress. At some point, every entrepreneur threw out their excuse book and got cracking. If you haven’t yet started, stop reading and do something; now, take some action. Make some mistakes, throw out your excuse book. The good news is once you’ve started, you’re ahead of the pack, Michael Jordan said he missed 100% of the shots he didn’t take. So take a shot. I challenge you.
Once we start, there are a few entrepreneurial ideas that will change the game—that will drive you from a wantrepreneur to a successful entrepreneur. Well, at least, they did for me. I believe the most common wantrepreneurial mistake begins with the wantrepreneur falling in love with their product. Your success is directly proportional to the amount of value the market place believes your product, brand or service adds. In my opinion, one of the greatest challenges we have as growth people is falling in love with our product.
When we first started braaap we would build motorcycles we liked, bikes that got us excited and then we would go and work out how to make the market place like our bikes too. It was hard work, it was expensive. We believed one eyed in our product and we made great motorcycles that we liked. Then we grew up (as an organization we got smarter). Our decision on what motorcycles to introduce into our line up went from starting with what we liked and moved to starting with what the market place liked (what was the market place already purchasing).
We started our product design with sales statistics from other manufacturers. We wanted to know what was already selling. We found a niche in the market place that was so hot and prices were going through the roof in line with demand. We decided to move into that market “niche” and build a product we loved inside that category, and a product that we believed would add significant value to this specific genre. We launched the product and with a significantly smaller marketing budget than usual we had our most successful pre-sale ever, we sold out of bikes in the first week and had the second order 80% sold out before it arrived. We signed up new dealers across the country and we grew exponentially. We revolutionized our sales process by creating a product the market loved and we fell in love with the product too. The next thing that changed our game was defining what business we are really in. Our mission once was to build motorcycles that could be affordable at the same time as competitive and reliable. We shifted our mission to something that people could feel.
Our mission became to make a positive impact on people, one person at a time by creating experiences and products that make people feel alive. Our platform to fulfill this mission is our motorcycle. We see ourselves as a world-class niche motorcycle manufacturer. Different Mission, Different purpose = Different organization and different results.
So my question is, what’s the purpose of your organization? How do you make people feel?
The moment we understood no one buys metal, engines, tyres and plastics, and that the reason they buy a motorcycle is to feel something, is the moment our sales went through the roof. We sold an emotion.
To dealerships, we sold hope. We found out the pain points of our dealers. We realized in recent history that more motorcycle dealers have gone broke even though their sales volume is strong thanks to a huge squeeze on margins. So we created great margins for them and put in place a “100% price integrity agreement” which meant that we wouldn’t under cut each other, if you call a dealer in Cairns the bike will be the same price as the dealer in Kalgoorlie, as will Brisbane be the same as Melbourne etc etc. Dealers loved it.
We found out that many dealers were struggling to inovate their product line up thanks to cash flow chokeholds. So we created our “cash-flow positive guarantee”. We partnered with a floor plan company and financed all dealers in which meant that rather than having to outlay $30,000 cash they could pay the bikes off at $144 a week, we then wrote a promise to say if you follow our system and do what works for us and for some reason it doesn’t generate you a profit we will pay your weekly payment for you, so you have no cash flow risk. Dealers loved it. We found out that the dealers had a challenge building confidence in consumers to choose us over the well-known brands as they worried about reliability of a new brand, so we created “Lifetime Warranty”. Our sales rocketed.
We went through each “core” consumer that we targeted and worked out what emotion we were selling them.