Tom Seery is the CEO & founder of RealSelf.com, a social networking community focused on building understanding of cosmetic procedures, beauty products and treatments offered by doctors, medical spas, clinics and dental offices.
Three things on Mr. Seery's mind:
1. Skip the business plan. Business plans tend to be too static, and they are irrelevant the moment an assumption you’ve made turns out to be wrong (which will likely be during the first week in business). Instead, spend time understanding your target customer better than anyone else and prototyping on a product or service that brings them a ton of value.
2. Think disruptive. Develop a business model that makes competitors fall back on their heels and go immediately to the drawing board, like giving away something that they've built their business on. We decided to provide our doctor community, now making up 2,500 active members, an entirely free social media presence, which gave them exposure to a community who were engaged and interested in the services they offered. This disruptive model undermined our pay-to-play competitors who charged doctors (a lot) to have a presence on a website.
3. Hypertarget. Going wide and trying to get mass adoption is a form of torture for you and your team. Narrow down to a very specific customer that you know you can win over. Even better, find a niche customer-base that is completely underserved and is already looking for a new solution.
Special to The Globe and Mail