Brewing Up A Business

…the more time and effort you spend as a company helping groups of people who do not directly influence your monetary success, the more monetary success you will have.

I spent a good portion of March with my nose buried in Sam Calagione’s book titled Brewing Up A Business: Adventures in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery [amazon_link id=”0470942312″ target=”_blank” ]affiliate link[/amazon_link].

What separated Brewing Up A Business from the majority of the business books out there was Sam’s first hand accounts of how he is or has put into practice exactly what he recounts or instructs you to do in his book.

For example, one of my favorite illustrations of the book, is when Sam, the author, talks about some of his attempts at generating publicity. Rather than sending out boring copy in the form of a press release, he put together a package with the press release (written in a edgy style that flows with the Dogfish Head brand) along with an actual bottle of their newest beer they had brewed.

And guess what? They cut through all of the norm, status quo, and typical “this is how you send a press release” mumbo jumbo…and they received publicity.

I think this is an important lesson for any business small or large.

Marketing is less about what your product is or does than what it stands for.

If you can convey what your business stands for in how you talk, write, mail out press packages, interact with your customers, employees, prospects, then you have truly embodied the essence of what marketing should be.

What does your company stand for?

This whole book is the chronicling of the start-up microbrewery Dogfish Head. If you are apart of a start-up or deal with start-up business regularly, the mindset adopted here is critical to your venture’s success:

Look at your biggest competitors. What are their strengths? Is there an opportunity to create a strength for your company that is diametrically opposed to that of your biggest competitor?

Sam’s brewery, Dogfish Head is going up against some major competition as far as the business models and marketing/advertising budgets are even concerned. Yet his company has successfully found a way to differentiate themselves by being the complete opposite of the giant competition.

Brewing Up A Business is a solid foundational book if you are a new entrepreneur looking to make a foothold in your industry. And if you’re an experienced businessperson, this read will reinforce many of your experiences and give you a re-energized call back toward bring passion into your daily work.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Brewing Up A Business:

Honing the good inefficiencies and culling the bad is the ultimate craft of the successful entrepreneur.

People will trust the opinion of a friend about a product’s virtues more than they’ll trust the company line touted in a paid commercial.

The entrepreneur should concentrate not on fixing what’s broken but creating what isn’t there.