“We hate it when our friends become successful,’ sang Morrissey. And while the quiff-wearing eighties singer makes a good point, there’s no denying that a success story can inspire creativity within even the slovenliest of people.
In business, there’s no doubt that hearing about a company thriving on the pathway to profit is heartening. If you’re the owner of a struggling SME, the right rags to riches tale could even motivate you out of your fiscal rut.
This is in part because failure is so common in the world of startups. Although thousands of businesses are established every year, an average of 90 per cent of them will fail within their first six months.
According to Fund Squire, approximately 42 per cent of those businesses will fail because there was no market need for their services or products.
But many others will stumble and fall at the first hurdle because of a lack of direction and an indistinct USP.
It doesn’t have to be that way. So, take a look at these success stories to see a few companies that made it beyond the starting line and into the profit margins.
1. SM London
Whether there’s a recession on or not, luxury never goes out of fashion. This is a lesson that upholstery and furniture company SM London has learned since opening its doors in 2009.
Offering a range of upholstery, furniture and lighting products from its store, SM London has cornered the market in exceptional design.
However, the real money lies in its offer of bespoke products which are made to order for clients.
The lesson: don’t be frightened to charge what your products are worth. Those who can afford it will be drawn in; those who can’t weren’t your customer base anyway.
Since its inception in 2007, BrewDog has gone from a small time craft beer company to one of the largest brewers in the world.
The secret? Shrewd marketing sense and high-quality products.
Look through marketing blogs like the Drum and the Marketing Strategy and you’ll find countless admiring articles on BrewDog’s various PR antics.
Over the years the craft brewing geniuses have dropped stuffed animals out of helicopters, opened a pub on the US-Mexican border, and dropped more f-bombs than an episode of The Wire.
But its real marketing prowess has existed in its ability to make its customers feel as though they’re part of a community. With schemes like Equity for Punks, BrewDog’s founders let customers be a substantial part of their business.
The lesson: make your customers feel special. They’ll thank you by parting with even more of their cash.
3. West Coast Alpacas
Trekking through the west coast of Scotland with alpacas might seem like a niche business proposition, but West Coast Alpacashas made it a profitable venture.
Situated in the Ardgowan Estate in Greenock, West Coast Alpacas offer customers the chance to go on off-road treks with a pack of loveable alpacas.
The lesson: make your company truly unique and it’s bound to draw in an audience.
That’s our list! What businesses inspire you? Let us know in the comments below.
Interesting Related Article: “The 15 Most Successful Promotional Gifts for SMEs“