10 Nov Alejandro Votteler & Entrepreneurship
On Thursday, November 10th, Alejandro “Alex” Votteler, co-founder of the Cape Cod sunglass company “Cape Codders” took time out of his schedule to speak with Bryant CEO members. On top of managing his business on the side, he is currently working at Yesware, a company which helps businesses handle their professional emails from forming templates to send better and faster emails, to providing their clients with analytics which helps to track, optimize, and repeat the process.
In this day and age consumers bypass sales associates because they have already done their research online and know exactly what they want. This is where social media, one of the largest outlets where customers do their research, comes into play by helping businesses engage customers, before they even meet you face-to-face. Social media is the place to establish the foundation for any start-up you may have. If you are interested in starting your own business, social media is great because it not only reduces start-up costs, but it allows you to test your idea.
In addition to building your business on social media, it is crucial to do all of your research; perfect your product/service before you launch it. Take Cape Codders for example, when people would break the sunglasses and expect a full refund back, Alex explained how he and his partners invested in a lawyer, to come up with the “fine print,” like you see on advertisements. You must know your customer demographic (who you are going to sell to), know how you are going to have an advantage in the market you are competing in (your niche), or the market you are starting. Another big talking point was how, in the beginning, try to be as cheap as possible with spending, saving more expensive investments for the future, once your idea is up and running. If that was a big talking point, then this must have been Alex’s most important point: failure is not fatal, nor final; always have a backup plan and be ready to handle the ever changing world we live in.
Before Alex spoke at the meeting, general members were assigned to teams, where they would drafted a social media page (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) to help “re-brand” the companies that were selected. There were many creative and well thought out pages that were put together and great presentations by the team members all around.
The Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization here at Bryant is constantly coming up with new innovative ways of approaching business. You do not need to have the desire to start a business to be a part of this organization (I know the name is counter-intuitive), but rather the desire to think differently and be unique, no matter what you find yourself doing.
If this is something that seems at all interesting, give it a shot, come to one of our meetings; we meet at 5:00 PM every Thursday (unless told otherwise) in the AIC Forum, we look forward to seeing you there!