I’ve been extremely inspired by a series of posts written by the founder/CEO of Fine Art America and Pixels.com, Sean Broihier about his company’ success competing against Sillicon Valley tech giants.
Here are his lean and mean formula for success, which I can relate to.
- Lean. 100% independant and operated by a minimal amount of people. Check.
- Fully automated. The manufacturing is automatically outsourced to the very best third-party fulfilment centers across the globe. Doing so, my beloved clients will receive my Artworks optimally printed on premium products custom-made for them. So the scaling is unlimited without any additional costs. And I don’t have to worry about the manufacturing, shipping, handling, collecting receivables, etc. So I can dedicate my time creating new and exciting Artworks instead of anything else.
- Highly diversified. I’m not enough diversified to my taste.
- Private and profitable. Both goes hand in glove. 100% self-funded with zero debt. Instead of spending all your time begging for outside money you build your business while staying profitable / debt-free, independant, and answering to no one but your clients. No investors, no board of direction, no shareholders. Be your own boss and keep control of your baby (business). That’s all me!
The above formula to success can be applied to any kind of eCommerce. But like everything else in life, there is no guaranteed. At the end of the day, that’s the market, the people that decide to buy your product or not.
The Missing link and main challenge. Driving traffic to your website. That’s the name of the game. Like Gary Vee would say: Become a media company first, then sell your product. That’s what this website is all about. INFLUENCE. Growing your audience by creating interesting content.
INFLUENCE = Traffic = eyeballs = sales
This is the reason why I think that a Brand Owner is first and foremost an influencer before anything else.
To be continued…
Here is a post underlying the major points of FAA’s way to do business against the conventional wisdom of Sillicon Valley.
Here is the series of posts written by FAA boss himself. Proving that you don’t need to be well-funded and well-connected to be on top of the world.
Lessons From a Decade in E-Commerce – Bootstrapping the World’s Largest Art Site
Part 1: Launching the Business
Part 2: Competitors Arrive
Part 3: Bizarro World and the Benefits of Privacy
Part 4: Why Raise Money?
Part 5: Don’t Believe Everything That You Read
Part 6: The Finale (Lessons Learned and the Future of E-Commerce)
Two posts comparing licensing vs. manufacturing