In 1997, Joanne Rowling was like many fledgling entrepreneurs: financially strapped but with a brilliant idea. Today, she is celebrating 20 years of becoming one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in history.
Those looking for inspiration in direct sales or business ownership can learn a great deal from J.K. Rowling.
Appco UK looks at some of the key factors that helped her create Harry Potter and go on to sell more than 450million books worldwide.
Knowing your customers
Anticipating that the target audience of young boys might not want to read a book written by a woman, Joanne Rowling used two initials rather than her full name. By taking the time to think about and understand her potential customers, she was able to appeal to a wider audience from the beginning. Taking the time to listen to customers and clients is essential to professional face-to-face marketing – and a key element of Appco UK’s Human CommercialTM.
Understanding the true value of her product
Rowling not only signed a deal that let her be intimately involved in the making of the Potter films, she also negotiated a special percentage of the profits, meaning that her product couldn’t be distributed or changed without her approval. As a successful entrepreneur, she fully understood the value of her product and used that knowledge to ensure that she had full control over any changes. The result: Harry and his friends have remained authentic and true to her vision for two decades.
J.K. Rowling had received many rejection letters over the course of two years before finally being published by Bloomsbury. If you’ve experienced setbacks in your career, rest assured you’re in good company. Many successful businesspeople have had to fight through difficulties and disappointments before achieving their goals.
Never staying still
After her initial success with Harry Potter, Rowling has since gone onto write adult fiction novels and producing content for film and TV. For many, the safety of what is already successful prevents them from moving forward. Business owners can quickly find themselves stuck in a routine, or lacking clear strategic plans or ideas for the future. To help combat this, you should take a step back, re-evaluate your business and develop a realistic plan that will help push your business to the next level.
Appco UK has always supported budding entrepreneurs and those who are keen to ‘be their own boss’, so we’re inspired and motivated by J.K’s story and 20-year milestone.