WHAT CAN THESE BUSINESSES TEACH ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS ABOUT SUCCESS?
Connecticut, the constitution state, nutmeg state, and provisions state. While you may associate the third smallest state in the United States with all those things, it’s time add another to the list: Connecticut, the business state.
These five Connecticut-based may provide the inspiration for entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
That’s right, the sports TV behemoth that 8/10 Americans have in their home began in Connecticut.
Founded by father and son Bill (father) son Scott (son) Rasmussen, after Bill was fired from his job at World Hockey Association’s New England Whalers, ESPN’s first base was Bristol, CT. (Learn more: CT Legends of Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Bill Rasmussen, Founder ESPN).
The station launched with a live broadcast of their flagship show SportsCenter on September 7, 1979, which was viewed by more than a million Americans.
Nearly 40 years on, ESPN is a billion-dollar company that screens all manner of sports and has become firmly entrenched in American culture.
So what lessons does ESPN offer for budding Connecticut entrepreneurs?
The Rasmussens quickly sought investment and sponsorship for their business: Getty Oil bought 85% of the company and Anheuser-Busch signed a million-dollar advertising contract before ESPN has screened its first show.
While you may not want to relinquish control of your business, seeking financial assistance from outside sources could give you the security to make your vision a reality.
2. AIRSHIP MANAGEMENT SERVICES
When you think about flying, the first thing that comes into your head is probably a plane. But not all flight involves sitting on a Boeing aisle seat. For some, flight means airships and that’s the case with Airship Management Services (AMS).
In operation since the start of the 1990s, the Greenwich, CT-based AMS has sold its services across the globe. The company has operated its airships in Argentina, Australia, Canada, the Dominican Republic, throughout Europe, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, and extensively in the United States.
What inspiration can you draw from AMS when setting up your business?
We’re living in a global world and globalization has received a lot of airtime. While it’s not a new concept, it’s one you should keep in mind when getting your business up and running.
Start local, but think global, that’s the inspiration you can take from AMS.
Duracell was founded by scientist Samuel Ruben and businessman Philip Mallory in the 1920s. The two began by producing batteries for military equipment. Their innovative mercury design set them apart from their carbon-zinc based peers and helped Duracell assume control of the market.
Headquartered in Bethel, CT, the company’s revenue registers more than $2 billion, making Duracell one of the success stories of the business state.
First, bringing a new technology to your industry can see you gobble up the market. If you can move the goalposts then you can dictate the terms of the game being played in your industry.
Second, brilliant marketing can take you into the stratosphere—the Duracell bunny is one of the most iconic advertising vehicles of its time.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the fastest growing industries, with the market expected to reach more than $116 billion in 2018, up from $5.56 billion in 2008.
Based in Norwalk, CT, etouches has been running since 1998 and is one of the 100 fastest growing SaaS companies in the world. Its 11.59% six-month growth rate places the company at number 93.
etouches provides an event management and meetings platform, which data-driven organizations use to optimize events, and counts Coca-Cola, and Dell among the major corporations that uses its software.
First, think about whether your own business is able to offer a registration service that can be integrated into the model of other companies. If you can do this, then your company can secure customers that use your business on an ongoing, rather than one-off, basis.
Second, if you have built your business website using Shopify, you can add etouches to your website by using Blendr.io’s data integration platform. This can help you further optimize events for your business, meaning you can extract every ounce of value from them.
Completing the quintet of successful Connecticut businesses is the “largest single-brand restaurant chain and restaurant operator in the world.” And it’s not McDonald’s. It’s also not Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, or Pizza Hut.
It’s Subway. That says a lot about a company that Fred DeLuca started in 1965 with a $1,000 loan from a friend.
What can you learn from Subway’s business model?
Milford, CT-based Subway owes its success to franchising its brand. Unlike McDonald’s, which owns and operates every store that bears its name, Subway let individuals set up their own business under the Subway brand.
This is a low-risk model that means when a restaurant fails it is the restaurant owner who feels the cost. However, when they succeed, Subway takes a slice of the profits.
If you can create a franchise then you can reduce the risk financial of failure, while retaining the benefits that come from success. Find out how you can set up a franchise business.
These five Connecticut-based businesses created a success story, each of which can help you become a mover and a shaker within the entrepreneurial community and a part of the business state.
About the Author
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips about how new business owners can get their brand off the ground. Victoris is passionate about using her experience to help fellow entrepreneurs succeed.