My Step-By-Step Process To Building a $1M+ Business

My Step-By-Step Process To Building a $1M+ Business

Intro - A radically transparent look inside Hampton launch. (00:00:00)

  • Sam Wilkinson launched a successful business called Hampton.
  • Andrew Wilkinson expresses admiration for Hampton's name, brand, website, and idea.
  • Andrew asks Sam about the decision-making process behind Hampton, including alternative names and target market choices.
  • Sam appreciates the positive feedback and mentions that there were challenges during the process.
  • Sam intentionally involved guests who ran similar companies and followed their advice openly.

The beginning of the idea just after Sam sells The Hustle, starts tinkering with buying AirBnBs. (00:02:22)

  • After selling The Hustle, Sam had some free time and explored different business ideas.
  • One idea involved buying and managing AirBnBs, which he tried but found it unenjoyable and not within his zone of genius.
  • Sam created a Facebook group called "Str Str crew" or "Short-term rental crew" to connect with others interested in short-term rentals.

Fail #1: Short-term rental crew. Fail #2: Community of truckers. (00:03:00)

  • Considered starting a short-term rental business after hearing about its profitability from others.
  • Thought about creating a YouTube channel and building a product for truckers due to his passion for blue-collar workers.

The Hampton idea and what the business is. (00:04:30)

  • Hampton is a peer group, also referred to as a community.
  • Consists of three parts:
    • An eight-person group where members share their portfolios, net worth, and company strategies for feedback and advice.
    • A digital community where members can post questions, advice, and personal or non-personal topics.
    • Events, including retreats, are hosted throughout the year.
  • Inspired by large companies in the same space, such as Chief YPO and Vistage.

Fail #3: V1, V2, V3 of Hampton - no one wanted it (00:05:45)

  • Initially targeted Marketing Executives and Executives but no one was interested.
  • Tried to charge $10,000 per year but no one was willing to pay more than $500.
  • Attempted to pivot to doctors and Fortune 500 CEOs but faced challenges in reaching them.
  • Considered targeting minorities but realized it wouldn't be authentic coming from a white person.
  • Partner suggested targeting CEOs again despite skepticism.
  • The speaker's partner had been suggesting targeting CEOs all along.
  • Some people had heard rumors about the speaker's business and asked for his services.

Accepted where the demand was and found the hook for Hampton. Research begins. (00:08:00)

  • Interviewed members of different groups to identify their pain points and needs.
  • Identified a better founder fit for Hampton - tech guys who own apartment buildings in South Florida.
  • Knew the relatable pain points and where to reach the target audience.
  • Created a landing page using HubSpot's landing page tool to collect emails from founders interested in a survey.
  • Tracked the source of the traffic to the landing page (social media, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).
  • Monitored how many people signed up for Hampton membership after taking the survey.
  • Calculated the revenue generated from the survey and each traffic source.

Where the name came from. (00:10:08)

  • The company's name, Hampton, is derived from street names in the founder's neighborhood in St. Louis.
  • Some potential names considered but not chosen were Macklin, Sablet, Simpson, and King's Highway.
  • The founder usually only consults two people, his wife and business partner, when deciding on a name.
  • The domain name is owned by Marriott.
  • Choose a niche that you are passionate about and have expertise in.
  • Consider the size of the niche and the potential for growth.
  • Research the competition and identify gaps in the market.
  • Make sure there is a demand for your product or service.
  • Create a strong online presence through social media, a blog, and email marketing.
  • Provide valuable content that resonates with your target audience.
  • Engage with your audience and build relationships.
  • Use paid advertising to reach a wider audience.
  • Develop a product or service that solves a problem or meets a need in your niche.
  • Make sure your product or service is high-quality and unique.
  • Set competitive prices and offer discounts or promotions.
  • Provide excellent customer service.
  • Choose a legal structure for your business and register your company.
  • Obtain the necessary licenses and permits.
  • Set up your financial systems and processes.
  • Develop a marketing plan and launch your business.

Step 5: Scale your business (00:26:00)

  • Identify opportunities for growth and expansion.
  • Develop systems and processes to streamline your operations.
  • Hire employees or contractors to help you manage your workload.
  • Invest in marketing and advertising to reach a wider audience.
  • Continuously monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed.

Hired a branding agency (This was a hack that helped build the brand) (00:12:05)

  • Spent $155,000 on a branding agency.
  • Created a branding document that included the business description, target audience, and a list of ads that he liked.
  • Took inspiration from 70s ads, particularly from brands like Porsche, Rolex, and GQ.
  • Chose British racing green as the brand color because it reminded him of Land Rover and Range Rover.
  • Wrote sentences that he wanted to include on the website.
  • Branding is crucial for building a successful business.
  • A strong brand can help attract customers, build trust, and increase sales.
  • Hiring a branding agency can be a valuable investment for businesses looking to establish a strong brand identity.

Things Sam said no to (00:14:12)

  • Sam and his partner Joe watch 100% of the interviews and are the only ones who approve or deny applicants for Hampton.
  • They turn down a lot of people and revenue by not delegating the interview process or allowing 100% of applicants in like Chief.
  • Sam compares Hampton to Kingsford Charcoal, which was created from Ford's excess wood, and wonders what they could create from the people they reject.
  • They have chosen to focus only on CEOs of a specific demographic and business type for the time being.
  • Make it more obvious on the website that they are highly selective and curate the community carefully.
  • Display a counter on the website showing how many people they have rejected or how much revenue they have turned down to maintain the community's quality.

Leverage the founder story (00:17:00)

  • Use the founder's story to make the business more appealing.
  • The founder can be the face of the company for a period of time and then phase out.
  • The founder's story can be used to build trust with potential customers.
  • The founder's story can be used to attract investors.
  • The founder should not be the only person delivering the service.
  • The founder's story can be used to explain the origin of the business and how it has helped the founder achieve their goals.
  • The founder's story can be used to show potential customers and investors that the founder is genuine and has firsthand experience in the industry.

Shaan's branding agency experience (00:20:18)

  • Used a branding agency for Milk Road.
  • The branding process felt indulgent and unnecessary for a business with zero revenue.
  • Rewarded themselves with branding when they reached 100,000 subscribers.
  • Considers branding agencies a luxury, not a necessity, except for e-commerce brands.
  • Used a naming agency once and found it valuable.

Shaan’s $25K Mistake: Hiring a naming agency (00:21:40)

  • Hiring a naming agency can be expensive and may not always lead to satisfactory results, as the author paid $225,000 for a disappointing outcome.
  • Instead of hiring an agency, the author suggests recruiting a talented individual from a branding or naming agency and bringing them in-house to manage the branding process.
  • The author describes the unique process of a creative individual from a naming agency, who used a stream-of-consciousness writing style to capture the essence of the problem and solution.
  • Despite the high cost of $25,000, the author found value in learning this process, which proved useful as a copywriter in capturing the essence of what a business is trying to achieve.
  • The naming agency's exercises, such as selecting personality traits and luxury brands, were not well-received by the author, who found them irrelevant and frustrating.
  • The name ultimately chosen by the agency was not memorable, and the app project was abandoned before the name was even implemented.
  • The author also spent $15,000 on a branding agency, highlighting the difficulty in deciding between investing in a high-quality brand or a mediocre one.
  • The author found it challenging to resist additional branding expenses.

Takeaways (00:26:00)

  • The first takeaway is that it took five false starts to figure out the customer. The process involved having an idea, contacting potential customers, and receiving negative feedback. Eventually, the founder settled on an obvious idea.
  • The second takeaway is that the name of the business is important. The founder's business name is awesome, but it may not be suitable for everyone. Other cities like San Francisco have great names that can be used for startups.
  • The third takeaway is the importance of providing clear instructions and prompts when working with a branding agency. "Garbage in, garbage out" - if you give bad instructions, you'll get a bad result. The founder's deck for the branding agency is a good example of how to provide clear instructions.
  • The fourth takeaway is the power of using a founder story. The founder believes that a founder story is very powerful and should be used to connect with potential customers.

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