So, you just started your business about seven months ago and you are already worn-out because there are no hopes yet of breaking even? No…wait! Did you start your business a year ago and you already want to throw in the towel since there are no returns?
Relax! No successful business has ever been build overnight.
I took the liberty to do some small research on some of the world’s successful brands, and to my astonishment they all started from somewhere, they all have a story, some of them were in worst situation than your business is in at the moment.
Coca-Cola history began in 1886 when the curiosity of an Atlanta pharmacist, Dr. John S. Pemberton, led him to create a distinctive tasting soft drink that could be sold at soda fountains. He created a flavored syrup, took it to his neighborhood pharmacy, where it was mixed with carbonated water and deemed “excellent” by those who sampled it. Dr. Pemberton’s partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, is credited with naming the beverage “Coca Cola” as well as designing the trademarked, distinct script, still used today.
The 1980s featured such memorable slogans as “Coke is It!”, “Catch the Wave” and “Can’t Beat the Feeling”. In 1993, Coca Cola experimented with computer animation, and the popular “Always Coca Cola” campaign was launched in a series of ads featuring animated polar bears. Each animated ad in the “Always Coca Cola” series took 12 weeks to produce from beginning to end. The bears were, and still are, a huge hit with consumers because of their embodiment of characteristics like innocence, mischief and fun. A favorite feature at the World of Coca Cola is the ability to have your photo taken with the beloved 7′ tall Coca Cola Polar Bear.
Did you know?
The first servings of Coca Cola were sold for 5 cents per glass. During the first year, sales averaged a modest nine servings per day in Atlanta. Today, daily servings of Coca Cola beverages are estimated at 1.9 billion globally.
In the 1890s, William Hesketh Lever, founder of Lever Bros, wrote down his ideas for Sunlight Soap – his revolutionary new product that helped popularise cleanliness and hygiene in Victorian England.It was ‘to make cleanliness commonplace; to lessen work for women; to foster health and contribute to personal attractiveness, that life may be more enjoyable and rewarding for the people who use our products’.
The Darling brand in Kenya was started in the early 90s in a small Godown at the Industrial Area in Nairobi with only 25 staff and five braid machines. The brand was limited to only six braids and one weave, known as Perm Calypso.
The company started with little capital to operate on. Everything was done on a shoe string budget. There was no means of transport and hair was transported using a hand drawn cart by one of their delivery personnel who doubled up as marketing executive to prospective buyers.
After years of monopolisation and barriers to entry by competitors, the company, in 2007, partnered with Japanese suppliers of raw materials to carry out market research on quality of their products. Their recommendations and subsequent changes saw the brand quality improve overnight and the market open tremendously.
After a year, the Japanese suppliers certified Darling as the top hair manufacturer in the region and, in the last few years, Kenya has been rated among the top three African countries in hair manufacturing in both quality and styles.
Safaricom, Ltd is a leading mobile network operator in Kenya. It was formed in 1997 as a fully owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya. In May 2000, Vodafone Group Plc of the United Kingdom acquired a 40% stake and management responsibility for the company.
“GSK didn’t start overnight – like many well-known companies, it took many years, a lot of hard work and a number of different name changes…”
The story starts in 1830, when a man called John K Smith opened his first drugstore in Philadelphia, USA, and sold drugs, paint, varnish and window glass. Eleven years later, John retired and his son George took on the company, which then became John K Smith &, Co.
Mahlon Kline joined Smith and Shoemaker (as it had become by 1865) as a bookkeeper, after studying business at college. Throughout the next ten years, Mahlon took on additional responsibilities within the company and was rewarded when the company was renamed as Smith, Kline and Company.
There we go! If you have observed most of the companies I have enumerated above were either initiated in the late 80s or 90s.
Do you have confidence in your business? Are you sure it has potential? Continue to do your best and with time you will start enjoying the fruits!