5 Things Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Coca-Cola
Sometimes we forget that even the biggest companies started out as small ideas. Today, The Coca-Cola Company earns over $15 million of pure profit every day – but it actually lost money in its first year.
#1 Profits Don’t Come Right Away
Since young companies need time to develop, they often require hours of labor with little monetary reward. Time is just like any other investment: if it’s well-spent, it will pay off.
In the case of Coca-Cola, John Pemberton lost $20 in his first year selling the syrup. He wasn’t making any money then, but he was laying the foundation for the next year’s profits (and the 100+ years after that).
#2 Failures are Stepping Stones
Every time you make a mistake, that means there’s one fewer mistake between you and success. The best way to learn how to do something is to totally fail at it – and then reflect on what you could have done differently.
There’s no point in feeling discouraged. Simply learn and change.
#3 Don’t Resist Change
Pemberton’s brain tonic was supposedly a cure for horrible-sounding ailments like, “Neuralgia,” “Hysteria…” and “Melancholia.” But there’s no way that Coca-Cola would be the huge corporation it is today if they hadn’t started marketing their beverage as a soft drink.
As an entrepreneur, don’t let carefully-laid plans blind your eyes to better opportunities.
#4 It’s Never Too Early to Start Branding
By sticking with a tasteful, timeless image, Coca-Cola has turned their logo into an icon. Your brand starts on the same day as your business – so be deliberate and consistent from the get-go.
Even if your business doesn’t have a logo or color scheme, you still have a brand to maintain. You’re building your brand every time you talk with a client or type out a tweet.
#5 Brand Big
Brands like Nike, Apple, and Coca-Cola have permeated the collective subconscious by embodying big feelings and ideas.
Of course, those companies also have multi-million dollar marketing budgets and you probably don’t. But if you have a firmly set vision for what feelings and ideas you want people to associate with your business, it will show through.
The Biggest Brand in the World
Today, Coca-Cola is widely considered the biggest brand in the world – but it has something in common with even the smallest start-up: it began with just an entrepreneur and an idea. How will you apply the story of Coca-Cola to your own business?
Do you agree with Interbrand that Coca-Cola is the biggest brand in the world — or have tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple surpassed the Coke brand? Sound off in the comment section below.