Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and business owner. He is the founder and CEO of Urban GrowLab, a business that provides businesses with fresh, organic produce, much of which is grown in urban containers.
Vaynerchuk’s entrepreneurial journey began in earnest when he founded Urban GrowLab in 2013. The company provided businesses with organic produce that they otherwise would not have been able to afford. In 2015, Vaynerchuk invested in excess of $500,000 in equipment and supplies for Urban GrowLab.
Vaynerchuk’s investment paid off when Urban GrowLab landed its first major customer, the Chicago-based wellness company, Juice Generation. Juice Generation buys organic produce from Urban GrowLab on a regular basis and resells it to juice bar customers and others who drink fresh-squeezed organic juice.
In addition to Juice Generation, Urban GrowLab now supplies businesses in the fashion, tech, and food sectors.
Why Organic Produce?
Organic produce is popular because it is seen as good for the environment and the consumers who purchase it. It takes more time to grow an organic garden than it does to run a conventional one, so the produce in your garden will be of a higher quality. You will not need to rely on chemical fertilizers or pesticides to keep your plants healthy and the soil free of harmful toxins. When you grow your own organic produce, you know exactly what goes into it and where it comes from. There is also evidence that organic produce is more nutritious than conventional produce.
The Growth Of The Organic Produce Market
According to a report published in December of 2017 by Global Market Insights, the organic produce market was valued at US$16.9 billion in 2017 and is expected to increase to US$23.1 billion by 2023.
What is interesting is that the organic produce market grew at a CAGR of 7% between 2016 and 2017 and is expected to increase by a similar rate in the next four years.
The Rise Of The ‘Midget Farmer’
Another factor driving the growth of the organic produce market is that more and more people are choosing to grow a small farm with only a few healthy plants and animals instead of going the conventional route and buying expensive and poorly designed packages of fruit and vegetables from a large-scale farm.
Small scale organic farming allows the farmer to have a greater degree of control over the product that is manufactured and sold, as well as the environment in which it is grown. The products are more expensive, due to the costs associated with the manufacture of the product, but there is a much greater appreciation for quality and individuality.
The Changing Retail Landscape
It is well documented that shopping habits are changing. According to the Future of Retail report published by the Global Market Insights, online and offline retail will not be separate entities in the future, but rather, a reflection of one unified experience.
Consumers will have access to a greater range of products and information, without having to leave the comfort of their homes. Traditional retailers will have to change how they do business if they want to stay competitive.
Vaynerchuk is one of the few entrepreneurs who were able to succeed in the modern world of business, where technology reigns and information is accessible via the internet. For those seeking guidance on how to follow in his footsteps, here are some lessons from his journey:
1. Create a digital footprint
In the eyes of customers and potential customers, you will never have pristine branding, marketing material, or a wonderful website if you don’t have a digital footprint. The first step to creating a digital footprint is registering a domain name for your company. If you are running a business website, this should be done as soon as possible, as you will need a web host to do so. A digital footprint does not have to be perfect; it just needs to be there.
The next step is to establish your company as a brand. This entails creating content that is designed to be accessible to the general public, using keywords, and establishing links to and from other websites. In addition to this, you should build out a social media strategy, to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry. The more you put in place, the easier it will be to succeed online.
2. Become a better communicator
Vaynerchuk is a master of communicating ideas and getting his point across via video. Before you enter into any sort of video content creation, you should consider your audience. Who is most likely to feel that you can provide them with valuable information and why?
The ideal candidate for video content is someone who is active on social media and has an interest in your industry. In addition to this, they should be willing to subscribe to your channel, like your content, and share it with their followers. Through inbound marketing and effective storytelling, you can encourage engagement and gain valuable insights into your target audience’s needs, wants, and interests. This information will prove to be invaluable as you establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry.
3. Build a personal brand
You cannot hide from your personal brand. When you establish yourself as an expert in your industry, you will instantly be perceived as an authoritative voice in the field, able to provide valuable information to others. Your personal brand will serve as the foundation of your professional identity. For those seeking guidance on how to succeed in business, this is one vital step to take.
4. Position yourself as a thought leader
Words have a tendency to lose their meaning over time, regardless of whether this is intentional or not. For this reason, you should always strive to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This does not mean that you need to be the best or even the favorite person in your industry, but it does mean that you need to be recognised as someone who is an expert in your field. In order to do this, you should create and distribute valuable content that is designed to educate and entertain your target audience. Think of reputable bloggers, vloggers, and journalists in your industry, to get an idea of the sort of content you should be creating.
5. Evaluate your finances
In most industries, a good portion of the cost of doing business is either paid for by the customer or carried as expense. In the case of a vendor, they would typically charge you for the parts and equipment along with the salaries of the people who work there. All of this adds up and needs to be considered.
If you are looking for an inexpensive route to success, you should consider starting a blog. The cost of maintaining a blog is minimal and the potential for earning revenue is great. Consider the case of Gary Vaynerchuk. He started off by creating a blog and then used the income from this to further establish his company. Had he not been so purposeful about establishing himself as a thought leader in his industry, he may never have been able to make this progress.
One of the things that makes Vaynerchuk such an incredible entrepreneur is that he carefully evaluates all of his options and chooses the one that appears to be the most profitable. This sort of approach can serve as a blueprint for other businesses seeking to follow in his footsteps.