In my startup blog, the thing I find the most interesting is the interaction I get to have with other startup entrepreneurs. I get to meet with many other business people (both face to face and online) and discuss how things are going, what challenges they face and to share best practice and knowledge.
This week I have got in touch with an entrepreneur that is going through the startup process. He is a little further down the road than me and I was thrilled to get the chance to ask him a few questions, learn about his business and share the experience with you.
His name is Bryan and he owns and runs http://rustyfrets.com/ which is a great online guitar shop. It is essentially a small town guitar shop but taken online. The focus is on the customer rather than the equipment and the store is clearly run by someone who knows everything about the stuff they are selling. And I would say that this is the first thing that we can learn about the startup business. Start your business in something you know and something you have a passion about. That passion and knowledge will shine through in everything you do. Take a look at the http://rustyfrets.com/ website now and you will see knowledge and passion on every page.
Bryan tells me that the biggest hurdle he has faced is generating traffic for the website. Once customers are there then they will browse, enjoy and probably buy. It has been getting them there that has been the biggest hurdle. He quotes using different angles and perseverance as the two main characteristics that have helped here. Lesson number two for startup entrepreneurs. You must remain positive and keep trying. By this I don’t mean keep trying the same things, but trying different ways of making it work. Check out the headline on the website-
“Rusty Frets is an online guitar shop for the working class guitarist. Great gear without the huge price tag.”
It is simply effective. It resonates with the target audience and ensures that the connection is made.
Bryan tells me that he is proud of his success in generating other sales channels. This is another important lesson for the budding startup owner. The traditional methods of selling your product or service may not necessarily be the only way to get to market. Social media, online forums and blogging sites are often a great way to meet potential clients, woo them and make the sale.
In terms of http://rustyfrets.com/ there is definitely a market out there for the service they offer. A guitar shop that really understands guitar players is a wonderful thing. If the seller truly understand the buyers (because they are one of them) the game changes.
This is a great website and looks like a great business, so I urge you to go through their website and look at how they connect with customers, explain what they offer and make that connection. And while you are there, you can get yourself a guitar as well!