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An interesting article about the benefits of "starting small" instead of "launching big":

http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/embrace_obscurity.php

Here's a happy snippet from the post:

sVn at 37signals.com/svn said:
It’s hard to point to a business that launched huge and has been successful. Most of the big winners in our industry started really small and grew big over time. eBay, Craigslist, Yahoo, Google — these were all started on the side. They weren’t funded up, hyped up, and launched huge. They started really small and grew organically.
So all of you out there that are reading, researching, planning. There's something to be said for just "starting" :)
 

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Another timely tip! I know sometimes for me it's hard to slow down and pace myself. I have all of these ideas that I think are great, but it means being bigger, faster. And, honestly, part of me wants that. But I know that it's not necessarily what's good for my business. I get the urge to "Come Out Swingin'", but luckily my wife brings me back down to Earth.

It's good to see that these other companies started small, and were still able to achieve some "pretty good" success!

Thanks for the quick lesson.
 

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How true it is! Also, don’t overlook the fact that the “first” seldom winds up being the best or biggest. It’s often people who tweak an original idea that come out on top. Take what’s already out there and improve on it… type of deal.
 

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It’s often people who tweak an original idea that come out on top. Take what’s already out there and improve on it… type of deal.
That's a good point (and one of the things that helped me understand how to create successful websites way back in the day).

I read some article somewhere (I think it was at jimtools.com) that said basically, if you want to be noticed, get your website seen/talked about/linked to, you need to be original. Be the first to do something funny, original, cool.

If you can't be the first, be the best. Be the authority somehow.

If your website is about North Samoan Tweedlebugs, make it the BEST North Samoan Tweedlebug website EVER made. Put everything about that darn tweedlebug on your site so people say, "you wanna know about tweedlebugs, just go to..."
 

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I dunno how you could reasonably start big in the t-shirt business before you've even developed your abilities to consistently design good selling t-shirts and learned how to market them well.
 

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It's not that hard at all! If you've already got plenty of money to invest in designs, marketing, etc., all you have to do is put it all together and have a great big launch!

Some people already have the funds from other ventures, people investing in their business, etc.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
It's not that hard at all! If you've already got plenty of money to invest in designs, marketing, etc., all you have to do is put it all together and have a great big launch!

Some people already have the funds from other ventures, people investing in their business, etc.

Very True, but even for myself, with the funding... I rather start small because its like this, you cause Demand and Buzz. I want to start small and put clothes on the right people because it causes exposure and other people who look up at these certain individuals ask themselves, HOW DO I GET THAT SHIRT or STYLE? and you just create a demand for your company/small business. Doing that will allow you to create major sales later... People buy into your idea, as long as you have a good brand name/philosophy/marketing scheme/designs... I dont think you can go wrong unless you get an order for alot of shirts and take the first paycheck to buy yourself a nice new car.. haha for me, any income or profit i make from this line will be taken back into the company a small portion for leisure expenses but for the most part its going back in the bizzzz.

MUCH LOVE, 1LIFE
LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST AND DON'T SETTLE FOR LESS!

CHEERS :)
 

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BelHeirClothing said:
I rather start small because its like this, you cause Demand and Buzz. I want to start small and put clothes on the right people because it causes exposure and other people who look up at these certain individuals ask themselves, HOW DO I GET THAT SHIRT or STYLE? and you just create a demand for your company/small business.
Really depends how you define small though. If you're getting enough visibility to create a buzz straight away, and getting your shirts worn on "the right people", a lot of people wouldn't consider that starting small. The end goal is to get shirts seen on the right people, so if you can do that from the start... chances are you either already are the right people (and therefore know the right people), or had enough money to force yourself on them. Not small time either way.

I guess it's the difference between small business and small for a clothing label.
 

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Solmu said:
Really depends how you define small though. If you're getting enough visibility to create a buzz straight away, and getting your shirts worn on "the right people", a lot of people wouldn't consider that starting small. The end goal is to get shirts seen on the right people, so if you can do that from the start... chances are you either already are the right people (and therefore know the right people), or had enough money to force yourself on them. Not small time either way.

I guess it's the difference between small business and small for a clothing label.
true true... point taken.
 

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Solmu said:
I guess it's the difference between small business and small for a clothing label.
I think the legal definition of small business is less than 25 employees or is it less than 50 so that means that most would fall into the small business category.


If your talking about a small operation, it really depends on what you think is small. I have over $30,000.00 in equipment, computers and software and I consider that small while other may think of it as big.
 

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Preston said:
I think the legal definition of small business is less than 25 employees or is it less than 50 so that means that most would fall into the small business category.
Yeah, it definitely depends on who is considering the size, and I guess why. I can certainly agree that relatively speaking a business with twenty employees is small - I would guess the average supermarket employs more people than that for example.

On the other hand when you consider how many businesses (corner stores, lawnmowers, hairdressers... even screenprinters) would be humming along on 3-6 employees, 25 suddenly seems quite large.

Personally I tend to define it based more on turnover/profit and brand recognition. I'd have a hard time thinking of a (hypothetical) company that earns a clear $1,000,000 for each of its two operators as small for example. Likewise a company that was a household name despite being run out of someone's garage wouldn't seem small.

It's a pretty arbitary adjective in a lot of ways.

Preston said:
If your talking about a small operation, it really depends on what you think is small. I have over $30,000.00 in equipment, computers and software and I consider that small while other may think of it as big.
Yeah, I'd probably think of it as both. Compared to the kind of equipment investment the majority of people on this forum would have for example that is huge. On the other hand, compared to the cost of starting a thriving bricks-and-mortar business it really doesn't seem that bad. It's all about the perspective.
 

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Definitely all about perspective, particularly these days when you can put together a virtual business operating on freelance networks and then go out to compete with the big boys in their suits. I think the legal definition is out-dated due to the cumulative effects of outsourcing, the drop in hardware/software costs, and the internet.

Up with the small people!
 
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