Tag Archives: FedEx

3 Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs Who Failed

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A wise little green man named Yoda once said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

While that’s great advice it’s sometimes easier said than done. Every new entrepreneur needs an education on how to start a small business. With a business administration degree or small business training, you could soon be running your own successful venture. But starting up your own business is both thrilling and terrifying. Before these three business owners earned their millions, failure was a stepping stone to success.

Gambling Saved FedEx

As an undergrad at Yale, Fred Smith’s idea for FedEx earned him a ‘C’ on his paper because it wasn’t “practical”. But Smith didn’t give up and founded Federal Express in the early 1970s. The business struggled. In 1973, FedEx handled a whopping total of (wait for it) 186 packages. Close to bankruptcy, Smith took the remainder of FedEx’s money ($5,000), boarded a plane and flew to sin city Las Vegas. By playing blackjack, Smith made $27,000 which was just enough to pay a fuel bill and operate for another week. Smith was able to acquire more investor money and last year, FedEx made over $400 million.

Steve Jobs Got Fired from Apple and Then Rescued It

College dropout Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 and was fired from Apple in 1985. A power struggle between Jobs and then-CEO John Sculley resulted in a failed boardroom coup and Jobs’ forced resignation from the company. He moved on to work with NeXT and Pixar while Apple released a wave of new products. While the product line was initially popular, consumers were still buying PC computers. Apple’s response of launching too many computer models and its poor marketing strategy failed miserably. Sales dropped and the company blew through two more CEOs. Jobs returned in 1997 and refocused Apple, leading to the global launch of the first iPod.

Mickey Mouse Was a Bad Idea (Or So People Thought)

Once upon a time, someone fired Walt Disney because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”. Disney started his own animation company and went bankrupt a few years later. He and his brother took their talents to Hollywood where Disney was told Mickey Mouse was a terrible idea as the image of a mouse onscreen would frighten women. To add to his troubles, he lost his popular character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit when Universal Studios snatched up the rights and secretly hired his animation staff. Ironically, Mickey Mouse surpassed Oswald in popularity and legacy. But the 1939 release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs pulled the Walt Disney Company out of bankruptcy and ushered in Disney’s golden age of animation.

Knowing how to start and run a business successfully requires education, such as small business training or a business degree. But the important thing to remember is never let the fear of failure keep you from reaching your dreams.

Kyla Ross is an aspiring entrepreneur and a career training and education blogger for Ashworth College. To learn more about business careers, visit



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What’s Your USP? Discover How to Set Your Business Apart


Businesses must determine their unique selling proposition (USP) to develop a brand image and competitive advantage through effective  web design. The USP helps to drive sales and through other channels of a business. The USP should be apparent on the business’s website to meet the criteria for unique and compelling content. Set your business apart from the competition by establishing your USP through effective business web design.

Successful Businesses with Compelling USPs

Many major companies developed a compelling USP that customers recognise. For instance, FedEx guarantees packages will reach their destinations within 24 hours. This is an excellent USP that delineates the company from most of its competition. While there are some other companies also promise the same services, FedEx has woven this unique selling proposition into their brand image. Now, customers recognise their company for this service.

Domino’s Pizza promised to deliver hot pizza in 30 minutes or less. Customers came to appreciate and expect this type of service. Now, numerous companies offer this service. Domino’s continually reinvents itself to attract customers. As it stands, when customers view the Domino’s Pizza logo or read the name, one of the first things they think of is hot pizza delivery in 30 minutes or less.

Burger King differentiates itself from McDonald’s by letting its customers build their burger or sandwich their way. While McDonald’s discourages special orders, Burger King relies on fresh ingredients that customers can pick and choose. “Have it you way” is Burger King’s unique selling point.

What is Your Business’s Unique Selling Point?

After reviewing the aforementioned business’s USPs, what is your business’s USP. How do you lure customers from your competition? Aside from price, what attracts your customers to your business? All business owners should identify this point to remain competitive.

For instance, some dentists have added numerous additions to their offices to relax and calm patients during what may be an unpleasant experience. Some dentists have their dental chairs facing floor to ceiling windows facing a wooded area or another view to provide a more relaxing experience. The dentist may offer sugar free treats and refreshments to help alleviate the stress of the event.

How to Establish Your USP

Perform a Competitive Analysis

Determine what your competition does well and what they do poorly. Then, determine how you can improve upon your competition’s processes to differentiate your company when compared to the competition. Define your niche market and focus on streamlining your business practices.

Examine what you currently do to set yourself apart from the competition. If you are a consultant that works with Fortune 100 companies exclusively, this would be a point of delineation. Perhaps you are a jeweller with a designer on the premises.

Perform a Consumer Needs Analysis

Identify the frustrations of the consumers that you serve. Social networking tools are excellent starting points to begin forums to discuss consumer frustrations. Use the comments to improve business practices and develop products that address the frustrations.

Guarantee Your Products

Businesses that offer a guarantee will attract more customers, because they have less to lose. If you offer a guarantee, the customers would be more likely to buy.

Use Specific Instead of Generalities

For instance, Baskin-Robbins may include that they offer 31 flavours instead of saying that they offer multiple flavours. Specific flavours offer a distinguishing factor from the competition.

Under Promise. Over Perform

Offer less than you can actually deliver. When your company delivers more, your customers will be pleasantly surprised. Your company undermines its USP when it cannot deliver what the company promises to offer.

Effective business websites can help promote those involved in a variety of different business fields, from a racehorse trainer, exhibition stand provider, manufacturer right through to a therapist or tradesman.


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