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How to Launch a High-End Small Business

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Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Building a new high-end brand is a nuanced art that luxury brands have achieved over the centuries. Think about the French crystal manufacturer St. Louis, over 250 old, the leather goods Maison Hermes, 180 years old and fashion house Gucci, only 100 years old.

All luxury companies have one thing in common: They have key features that give them the allure and mysticism required to command respect, attention — and pricing power.

But how can you build something iconic given the exclusive position occupied by these companies in the market? How can you achieve higher brand value and pricing power if you are a startup?

Forget conventional wisdom, marketing strategy and management practices

Conforming to standard business practices doesn’t work if you aim at launching a high-end brand. The reason lies in the purchasing mindset of the luxury consumer. Affiliate marketing, deep discounts and other sales tactics don’t convince the affluent.

The value you create and the delivery needs to be tailored to this niche clientele. Analyze how your ideal customers live, work, entertain and vacation to conduct a study similar to how an anthropologist studies a culture.

Your message at a brand level must resonate with their lifestyle. Only this way, the brand connects on a deeper level with the luxury consumer.

Most importantly, you want to offer them a new universe that enables a transformation in their lives. Do not aim at solving problems. Create a dream instead: A new space to discover and experiment.

Embrace your weirdness and secure your brand identity

If an iconic brand inspires emotions, then the inspiration behind your business idea might incite wonder if unique to you as a person.

Think about the impact of the combination “weird + wow”. Everyone has quirks and insights unique to themselves. Do not hide these things. They are what makes you interesting and can make a niche in business.

Identify your story, create it and sell it. The story of you as a founder or something that makes it unique. Luxury consumers value authenticity above all.

Get ready to lose sales

Launching a high-end brand and being successful is not everybody’s cup of tea. Creating exclusivity means resisting the urge to discount and respond to rising demands. In other words, what matters the most is what you leave out.

Are you willing to build a gate that only a selected elite can access? Are you ready to say no to some clients requesting a break on the price?

My experience in the luxury industry taught me that some are tempted to be ok with discounts to secure the sale. They do not realize that earning the respect of high-net-worth individuals means to say no to them. A luxury brand has the power to say no to customers.

As a startup, emphasize exclusivity from the beginning: Most luxury consumers want high-end brands precisely because they are not easily accessible. They value the thrill and delight that we associate with luxury purchases.

Consistent delivery on the superior brand promise

Among the challenges high-end startups face is delivering on the brand’s promises consistently. Luxury customers buy the product and everything the brand represents. Superior quality must permeate all aspects of your business: Think about your product experts on the sales floor, the team of brand curators in the marketing office, your suppliers, your collaborations and your partnerships.

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How to Start a Business This Weekend: AppSumo CEO Noah Kagan

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How to Start a Business This Weekend: AppSumo CEO Noah Kagan

Noah Kagan shared how he started AppSumo, a “Groupon for software,” in one weekend in a new podcast episode. The startup cost was $60; AppSumo earned $80 million last year and Kagan is still its CEO.

In 2010, Kagan was 28 years old and had already experienced what it was like to be the 30th employee at Facebook and the fourth employee at personal finance app Mint.

“I think I just felt insecure at some of these places,” Kagan told fellow entrepreneur Jeff Berman in a June episode of the “Masters of Scale” podcast.

Kagan was fired after nine months at Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg and later fired from Mint, too. He realized that dedicating his time to his day job carried a risk — another person could decide to let him go at any time.

Related: The Author of ‘Million Dollar Weekend’ Says This Is the Only Difference Between You and the Many ‘Very, Very Dumb People’ Making a Lot of Money

“I think I wanted to prove that I’m smart or prove that I’m successful or prove that Facebook when they fired me, and then when Mint fired me, [that] I can do it,” Kagan said.

The idea for AppSumo, a marketplace of software deals for small business owners or solopreneurs, was born when Kagan thought there was a way to promote software tools and also get paid for it. He saw that the site MacHeist gave Apple users discounts on software bundles and wanted to try making the same type of discounts available to a broader audience.

“My interest was letting the geniuses create software, and my skill and my excitement is promotion,” Kagain said.

The business came together in about 60 hours. First, Kagan found software he wanted to sell: the image-sharing service Imgur. He cold-emailed Imgur’s founder on Reddit and got approval to sell a discounted version in exchange for a cut of sales.

Related: Here’s Why Reddit Turned Down an Acquisition Offer From Google in Its Early Days, According to Cofounder Alexis Ohanian

The next piece was meeting with Reddit’s founding engineer to ask for free advertising. He got that too.

The final part was paying a developer to create a website with a PayPal button and purchasing the AppSumo.com domain name.

What was the total cost to launch the business? $60 and one weekend of his time.

AppSumo made $300,000 in the first year, and $3 million in the second, Kagan said in the podcast. It brought in $80 million in revenue last year.

Kagan now has a net worth of $36 million.

Kagan said that the crucial part of business was being invested in the problem and getting excited about it.

Related: This Flexible Side Hustle Is Helping Millions Earn Extra Cash — and Might Be ‘More Attractive’ Than an Office Job

“I think that’s the thing in business people are kind of missing out,” Kagan said. “They’re chasing AI now or chasing being an influencer. I think find areas [where] you’re like, I don’t know if I’m going to ever get tired of this.”

Starting a side hustle or finding an extra source of income has an upside — according to Kagan, you have more control over your future.

“If you can just give up 30 minutes a week, if you can just give up one Netflix show a week, if you can give up one thing a week, and you keep doing it weekly, eventually you can have that business,” he said.

Related: This Is the Winning Formula for Starting a Successful Podcast, According to a New Analysis

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Fully Promoted Franchises are the Worlds Largest Providers of Promotional Products!

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Fully Promoted Franchises are the Worlds Largest Providers of Promotional Products!

3 Benefits of Owning a Fully Promoted Franchise:

  1. Access to a proven business model with a global network and mass purchasing benefits.
  2. Comprehensive training and ongoing support, including demographic studies and marketing strategies.
  3. Diversified revenue streams from a variety of marketing tools and branded products.

Fully Promoted is a franchise specializing in branded products and marketing services, renowned as the largest company in its niche and recognized repeatedly in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 rankings. Click Here to learn more about Fully Promoted.

Key Facts:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: $103,257 – $353,186
  • Initial Franchise Fee: $49,500
  • Liquid Capital Required: $49,500
  • Veteran Incentives: 20% off franchise fee

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Mirage Casino Giving Away $1.6 Million Before It Closes

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Mirage Casino Giving Away $1.6 Million Before It Closes

The famed Las Vegas Mirage Hotel and Casino is set to close for good on July 17, but gambling fans have one last chance to score big before the shiny doors shutter forever.

Since July 9, the Mirage has been giving out over $1.6 million in cash through a giveaway called the “Progressive Finale Cash Giveaway” for the casino to pay out its jackpots before closing as required by Nevada gambling regulations.

Related: An Iconic Las Vegas Casino Is Shuttering This Summer After 34 Years

Patrons can win up to $1.2 million through slot machine prizes and $400,000 in table games through July 16.

But videos across social media show that the giveaway is going about as well as you’d expect. Excited gamers have flocked to the casino to score a slice of the pie, leading to chaos and several fights on the casino floor.

@vegasstarfish Chaos and fights break out at Mirage Hotel & Resort Prepares to close permanently. All progressive jackpots must be paid prior to July 17th and random cash drawings are being given to any guest playing. This has caused huge lines, unhappy patrons, physical fights & exhausted employees. All animals at Mirage have been rehomed in anticipation of the Hard Rock renovation, Beatles Love by Cirque Du Soleil has shuttered and now all that remains are some additional funds to distribute. Add this to your list of places to avoid when visiting Las Vegas. #vegas #lasvegas #vegasstarfish #jackpot #giveawayalert #vegasnews #miragelasvegas #vegashotels #vegaslocal #vegasexperience #thingstodoinvegas #creatorsearchinsights #vegasonabudget #vegasvacation #vegasplanning #vegaswins ♬ Epic News – DM Production

According to Vital Vegas, the Mirage was only operating 400 machines as of Friday afternoon and shut all other machines to “end the progressive meters calculating and audit the numbers in order to properly give all the money away.”

The Mirage, part of the Wynn brand, opened in 1989 and was one of the first luxury resorts to open on the Strip. It was also the original home of the Siegfried & Roy show.

Related: Lisa Vanderpump Is Not Leaving Las Vegas, Opening New Venues

The hotel announced in May that it would be shuttering this summer. It’s set to rebrand to the Hard Rock Las Vegas, and the company will pay $80 million in severance packages to laid-off Mirage employees.

“Over the next two months we will bid farewell to this iconic and historic property and then we will commence an incredible transformation,” a notice posted to the Mirage’s official Facebook page read at the time. “We would like to thank all team members at The Mirage for their incredible commitment and helping us provide memorable experiences for our guests.”



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