Photo: Eight Bitters
Competing in a cutthroat culture focused on climbing the social/economic ladder, the public has ample access to step-by-step articles from the Internet or print magazines dishing out the Do’s and Don’ts of moving ahead in the business.
Moreover, in a June 2013 post, the Business Insider reviews thirty-three startups that perished and reveals the common reasons why these business failures occur.
Yet, we hold out hope for the American dreamers who have packed only their passion and a few ideas to succeed in the business.
Anthony Huang attends the College of Staten Island as a full-time undergraduate student majoring in computer science. He does not participate in extracurricular activities nor is he active in clubs that the college has to offer. Instead, Huang spends his time managing a start-up business that he and his brother founded in March of 2013. The small business called ‘Eight Bitters’ sells printed shirts based off of comic and video game avatars.
Huang began Eight Bitters as a tribute to his nonathletic, indoorsy childhood. Brimming with possible ideas for a clothing line but lacking the artistic ability to do so, Huang enlisted the help of his younger brother, Jason, a graphic designer who tends to the drawing process. Huang handles getting the shirts printed, running the website and dealing with sponsors.
The founders hope that Eight Bitters can become a unique clothing company with a customizable avatar creator that which a consumer can customize his or her character and have it printed on the shirt. His vision is that customers can proudly wear an Eight Bitters shirt that they can identify with, instead of owning one that everybody else has.
When asked how he balances managing a business and excelling in school, Huang confesses that he has more serious concerns.
“The question should be: How can I support a clothing business that requires so much money as a start-up that will yield zero profit in the beginning?”
As a starting online business, Eight Bitters initially utilized social media as a multi-medium platform, spreading word in acceleration to a global population. In addition to the official business website, Eight Bitters provides links to their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest page. However, to the owner’s dismay, in the four months after launching the brand, the shop did not sell a single t-shirt. In a resigned tone, Huang explains, “Mainly because our SEO was non-existent, no one could find us on the search engines especially since we didn’t have big name video game brands due to copyright issues. Most of our shirts were unique [merchandise] that no one had.”
Reinforcing his drive to succeed in alternative measures, Huang decided to apply for a booth at the New York Comic Con in October of 2013. Considered to be the “largest pop culture event on the East Coast,” Comic Con seemed to be a promising venue for the Eight Bitters team to invest in a booth for the four-day event. Huang described their business as an “unknown brand hoping to sell at least one shirt.”
“The first 2 days we barely sold anything. With the lack of experience we had, we thought we made a huge mistake spending almost 10k in this clothing line,” says Huang. “However, on the last 2 days we realized that the people were simply scouting the places until the last 2 days to buy goods.”
“We got over 1.5k in revenue,” smiles Huang.
With due patience, the Eight Bitters booth received quite a bit of recognition and the business has gained a number of steady followers from the event to this day.
Important facts about the business industry that Huang learned over the past year are to learn your niche and to learn when to call quits on an idea. He emphasizes, “A business is a business—do not expect special treatment just because you are young.”
As the budget for the company increases, Eight Bitters continues to produce more designs, now in different themes than the “usual 8-bit artwork.” In addition, Huang is programming on a game engine called Unity3D, which is used by developers to create simple games in two-dimensional to three-dimensional space. He plans to make these apps for the Android market.
According to a piece called, “The Seven Pitfalls of Business Failure, and How To Avoid Them” on Business Know-How, a successful business owner does not lose heart or throw in the towel after any setback. The article states, “What sets [self-made millionaires] apart is their openness to new knowledge and their willingness to learn whatever it takes to succeed.”
Therefore, although Eight Bitters may not have read the previous article but have realized that their progression has currently halted, the creators continue to work towards their goal in relentless fashion.
Source: Business Insider Business Know How