Size 10 Startup Secrets you can Learn from +Size Model & CEO Ashley Alexiss – about how to have Success with your Startups
Topics: Mission possible, a Great Idea, set Goals, Partner-up, be Social – Media wise, but don’t Saturate, Timing, Limits, Learning & Success.
Filling a Need. Ashley Alexiss had one prevailing problem she wanted to solve when she decided to launch her own swim-wear line. “For a lot of women, trying on new swim-wear before the summer, almost makes you want to hit the beach in a snowsuit,” she says.”So I want to try to change that for women.” Enter Alexiss Swim-wear, a line that “embraces curves, big or small, helping women find confidence with a touch of style and flare as one of the newest startups.”
Success. Since the startups launch a year ago, this new CEO has found success in her supportive and stylish line, but only after some initials bumps in the road. She shares what she’s learned, what keeps her inspired & how she’s learned to use Social Media as the ultimate “megaphone” for a startups success.
1. Recognize that Great Idea right in front of you. “I am a plus-size model and do a lot of swim & lingerie shoots for clients. Many times I’ll have people who follow me on social media ask, ‘Where did you find that bathing suit? I can never find one that fits my chest properly.’ So that was the original idea for my startups. If I make this swim-wear for me, why not make it for everyone who has the same problem that I do?”
2. Set Goals. Goal #1: “In five years, I want it to be a known & recognized brand. I want women to see an Alexiss Swim-Wear store front, then go in and be excited about trying on new swim-suit.”
3. Have a Mission = possible. “I want to truly make women feel better about themselves and I want them to know that ‘Beauty is not a size.’ That’s our tag line. Alexiss Swim-wear caters to all sizes. A lot of times you will find swim-wear that either caters to smaller women or larger women, but not both. And more times than not, the swim-wear that caters to larger women is not very flattering or stylish. It doesn’t really bring out the confidence that women deserve to have. So I chose to create a line that is USA-made and would make women feel proud to wear, no matter what size they are.”
4. Partner-up. “I’ve had to learn that not everyone who says they can help me will actually help me. My original partner sold himself as fully understanding my Vision, but he really didn’t. We didn’t agree on many things, including price point. I wanted to make sure my line was high-end, but still afford-able. My new partner and I met through a business venture five years ago. He owns his own business separate from mine, so I’ve been able to see how he operates & manages things. He’s smart savvy & trustworthy. It is really going great now. It’s smooth sailing as compared to the craziness of the first year in the startups world.”
5. Be Social – Media wise. “I have a fairly big following on social media: 3.1 million on Facebook, 189,000 on Twitter, 651,000 on Instagram. My secret is to just put everything out there — good & bad. I find that a lot of people relate to problems I write about on Social Media — whether it is a breakup or just being in a bad mood. People relate to it, & share it, + their friends see it & share it. It is a domino effect.
6. Timing is everything on Social. “The times that you post are so important. Peak times in the U.S. are around noon & after work, 5-6. If you want to be international, you have to remember that when you are sleeping, a lot of your audience is wide awake and looking to know what’s going on with you. So the great thing about Facebook is that you can schedule the posts. There are also third-party scheduling tools for Twitter & Instagram, but I like to do things directly on the platforms to make it easier to respond to customers”.
7. Know your Limits. “I’m a public figure on Facebook, so on one photo I can get 4,000 comments. If I tried to respond to every one of them, my fingers would fall off. So I will respond to some comments, like if a young girl writes something nice about me being an inspiration. For my business – Alexiss swim-wear page – I check the comments & messages every hour. They’re there to buy swim-wear, not to support my modeling career. It is very important to respond to comments if you are a business. You want to convey to your customers that “You care”.
9. Don’t over Socialize, saturate, just sufficient. “How much you post is important. Facebook’s algorithm prevents your posts from stacking up in people’s news feeds, but not Instagram. If you post 10 times in a row, you’re going to start annoying people. I say two or three times a day maximum. It’s a good way to break up 24 hours. I believe “quality over quantity” is more effective.”
10. Success is all up to you. “Like any human being, I have moments where I think, ‘Oh my God, did I bite off more than I can chew?’ And I get really stressed out. But you go through it, and you learn + you become more realistic about your goals. You can’t live in a Fantasy Land (except in Disney), when you own a business. You can’t just say, “I want this to happen” and sit back and wait. The only way it is going to happen is if you do it and do it right and if you are willing to learn through that process. In fact, I’ve learned more from my mistakes (as a Bill Gates would say)”.
Never stop Learning. “I’ve learned a lot about the manufacturing side of the business and I have a lot to learn still. I’m going to graduate school for this, but I do believe that there are some aspects that school just can’t teach you. School can’t teach you to have the little actions that make a difference. You only get that from experience”.
Comments: Is there anything else you can think of that would help you startup?
from Entrepreneur.com 09 May 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz