Will Post, Founder & CEO, Hound & Gatos Pet Foods
According to the Small Business Administration, over 90 percent of all businesses are considered small, which is having less than 500 employees. While there is a lot of information readily available to explain to would-be entrepreneurs about how to go through the steps to open one of these small businesses, that’s only half the equation. Nearly as many businesses close each year that open. Having a Marine mentality is one way to approach entrepreneurship and help the business become successful in any industry.
Using what I learned as a former Marine, I have the right mix of what it takes to compete and do well in a well-established and highly competitive industry. Here is some of what it takes:
- Find a niche. Finding a new angle in an old market is a good way to be able to make a name. Then, employ marketing skills. It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is if nobody knows about it. Entrepreneurs have to engage in various ways to get the word out about the business and what they have to offer. They either need to have these skills to do the work on their own, or hire the right people to do it without them. A business that doesn’t do any type of marketing will have a difficult time surviving in the long term.
- Raise awareness. Having an idea for a great product or service is not enough, especially if you are competing with multimillion-dollar advertising budgets. You have to get the word out there and let people know not only that you are around, but what sets you apart from what’s already there. You must have good communication skills. The business world is filled with communication, whether it is business to consumer, business to business, or the business owner to employees. Being able to effectively communicate and have good interpersonal skills with others is important for all entrepreneurs.
- Have integrity. Being an entrepreneur that is honest and fair is going to get you noticed. Stand behind what you believe in.
- Focus on service. One of the big advantages that small companies have over large ones is that they can often provide better, more individualized customer service. Being able to meet customers, answer questions, and directly get involved is going to go a long way toward providing great service.
- Have a passion. A small company that is being pushed by someone with a passion is going to be hard to stop. Having a passion for what you do is often the difference between what makes and breaks an idea or company. If you are going to compete with the large corporations, have a passion for what it is that you are offering. If you do, people will be more eager to purchase from you.
- Discipline. The military teaches discipline and if your business is to survive and thrive, you have to be disciplined. Commit to the hard work that it will take to grow the business.
Camaraderie, loyalty, and devotion to others is also a priority, and with those traits I have been able to build a global brand. Just as in the Marine Corps, it has taken an extra amount of discipline, leadership, camaraderie, and the ability to initiate and handle a wide variety of situations to establish my business. Being a Marine teaches you to have integrity, passion, dedication, and so much more. Applying those skills to growing my business has proven beneficial. The good news is that even for those who haven’t been in the military, they can work at having those skills and using them to grow their own successful business!
About the Author
Will Post is the founder and CEO of Hound & Gatos Pet Foods, a Paleolithic pet food aimed at keeping pets happy and healthy. Will’s career began in the United States Marine Corps where he served our country. Will started Hound & Gatos in 2010 with a mission to feed pets quality ingredients, reverting back to what dogs and cats would eat in the wild, such as rabbit, lamb, and venison so pets are happier, healthier, and live longer. For more information, visit www.HoundGatos.com.