A business launches in America every 60 seconds, according to the Brookings Institution. Every 80 seconds, one fails. Only about half of newly established companies last five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
The statistics are daunting, but don’t be discouraged by them, Daymond John says. Instead, put your time and energy into digging in and fighting for your startup’s survival right out of the gate.
“It’s OK to have a healthy sense of paranoia,” the FUBU founder told Entrepreneur, “but only enough to fuel the fire to keep going, get better and survive.”
We recently caught up with the multi-millionaire marketing mogul on the set of Shark Tank in Culver City, Calif., where he shared the top three basic steps you can take to help your business succeed in the sink-or-swim startup game.
1. Tap your network to your advantage -- for free.
“People have many individuals around them who they can barter and trade with at the beginning of their business that they don’t leverage to their advantage. We’re talking tapping into other people’s marketing, mind power and momentum, even other people’s manpower. Cross-promote with others’ in the industry you operate in. It goes both ways. You promote them and they promote you. It’s mutually beneficial and it doesn’t cost a thing.”
2. Crush your social media marketing.
“Absolutely study and dominate social media. Make social media 99 percent of your priority. There are about 15 social platforms that you can go onto to acquire customers and/or see what they like and don’t like, or, more importantly, to know what your competition is doing and learn off of them. That’s an education that’s yours for the taking, for free. Social media marketing is really, really important. I even do it myself today, every single day. Be all over Twitter and Snapchat. Make it happen to build up your business.”
3. Build infectious brand ambassadors.
“All you need are one or two infectious advocates of your brand to take your startup over the top. Get your brand’s fans excited to be part of a movement and they’ll spread the word about you for free. Feed them. Give them information and even free product, if you can. Give them a special moment with you that they can snap a pic of and share all over social media. Once they’re part of your brand tribe, believe me, they’ll do the promoting for you. It’s amazing.”
For more of John’s startup success advice, check out the Shark Tank’s season eight premiere this September on your local ABC station. The exact time and date is yet to be determined.