When Robert Herjavec wanted to start his own company, people discouraged him. They said he couldn’t do it. He had zero experience, he didn’t have a business degree and he knew nothing about running a business.
The headstrong Shark Tank star investor steamrolled ahead anyway. In 1990, he launched his first company, BRAK Systems, which he later sold to AT&T.
“I only knew that I loved what I do and how to work hard,” Herjavec told Entrepreneur. Today, Herjavec Group, his Toronto-based Internet security firm, has grown from three workers in 2003 to 220 employees strong, and it’s on pace to bank $150 million in revenue this year, according to the company.
Herjavec’s commitment to taking the risky entrepreneurial leap -- despite the naysayers, and he had plenty of them -- has more than paid off. So what if he didn’t have formal training? He also didn’t possess the needed marketing know-how, at least not at first and not all on his own. But that was fine by him.
“Like many entrepreneurs, we didn’t really know what to do at first,” he says. “As a startup, it’s almost overwhelming. I learned that’s where a third party comes in to help you. They take the marketing pressure off so you can do more of what you love to do -- your business.”
Countless marketing agencies the world over aim to do just that. One such company is Deluxe Corporation. Herjavec announced a new partnership with the Shoreview, Minn.-based firm last week. Together, they unveiled a series of small-business marketing videos. The short “Behind the Business” vignettes feature the multi-millionaire celebrity entrepreneur alongside a few of the companies he’s invested in on Shark Tank.
The videos share tips on how to best market your startup. We picked Herjavec’s brain for a few, too. Here are his top five: