EP.17: 8 Lessons from the Trenches of Entrepreneurship

When Would You Want to Know
Posted by: Pierre Gallant
episode 17 joe bisacca

From beer drinker to business owner, Elysian Brewing Co-founder, Joe Bisacca, is back with the lessons he has learned from 24 years in the trenches of entrepreneurship. When would you want to know 8 tips for building a successful business.

1. Find your white space

Bisacca [1:55]: “Make sure that there’s enough white space in whatever you want to do. Trying something different or try a different version of what’s already out there.  You have to do that assessment first. It’s not just what you’re personally passionate in, but it’s what actually can get some traction and make some sense.”

2. Study the competition and find your critical mass

Bisacca [2:45]: “Check out every competition that you may have out there and try to figure out how you can be better at that version of the thing. Are there customers in your area? Is this something economically viable? You have all these different layers, make sure that it’s profitable at the end of the day and you can actually make money at it. Nobody likes everything, you just have to have a critical mass.”

3. Understand the online environment and changing buying habits 

Bisacca [9:00]: “It’s that dissociative society that we’ve become where you interact with people on your phone, you interact with people on your computer, you’re not doing the face-to-face thing anymore.  You buy things online.  You don’t go to the stores.  Retail stores were an experience. People aren’t willing to pay for that experience as much.  They want the immediate gratification of buying it online.  They want to just press a button and have it show up to their house.”

4. Position yourself accordingly

Bisacca [13:15]: “I look at it as it’s kind of like playing the brand like an instrument.  It’s never the same thing twice.  It’s never the same set of answers. It is that piece of really watching your customers’ behaviors, observing how your thing is placed in relation to the competition out there. Then you process that and you organically make the decision about how you position your brand for the next step.  What I did in this last round is not what I’m going to do in the next round because the situation’s going to subtly change.”

Related Episode 11: Marketing is one epic house party with Joe Bisacca. How do you best engage your audience in 2019?

5. Define your brand

Bisacca [13:57]: “Brand is not the product, brand is the personal relationship that my product has with my customer.  It’s the conduit that my customer interacts with my product. We’ve produced what’s called a brand book, which has the imagery, what the look and feel of the brand is, everything down to the fonts that we use and colors that we use, and that kind of stuff. It’s also what do we believe in, what do we stand for, how do we talk, what does the brand sound like. Define all those things so you have some ideal that everything is referential to.”

Related Episode 15: Building a brand that performs in a digital world with Ross Patrick.

6. Communicate with your staff

Bisacca [16:00]: “You have to know [what your brand is] ahead of time, detailed, and then you have to communicate to your staff. Keep in mind, the biggest issue with communication is the expectation that it actually took place. I may think I communicated brilliantly.  Nobody knows what the hell I’m talking about. Make sure that everybody’s one the same page.”

7. Keep your employees motivated

Bisacca [16:46]: “You know, you’re talking about people.  You’re talking about trying to motivate people and keep them focused, and keep them happy.  That goes back to that social interaction thing. If you’re a leader, if you’re a true leader, you inspire people to follow you, you don’t kick them in the ass to do their job. Rule number one, don’t be a dick.”

8. Take the first step

Bisacca [19:00]: “There’s one more big thing. Don’t wait until something’s 100% polished and perfect before you take action on it. When it’s 80% start doing it, start putting it in place and finish the polish as it’s out there because you’re going to wind up, moving it round a little bit. You just start doing the next thing.” 

From getting acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev to working with the legendary Def Leppard, this episode is chock full of lessons on growing your passion into a profitable business. Listen to the full episode above or on iTunes.