I’ve talked before about how, sometimes, (a lot of the time) it’s better to focus on a practical niche market than it is to try to run a “sexy” startup. By “sexy” I don’t even mean anything sex-related but rather whatever the current startup flavor of the month is. You know, the next Vine or Twitter or whatever everyone is convinced is the 8 quadrillion dollar market right now.
One great example of that philosophy being lived in real life is Red Nova Labs. Based out of Kansas City, Kansas, Red Nova Labs creates mobile, web, and marketing solutions for the self storage industry.
Not especially sexy, is it?
Nope, not so much. Say “self storage” and most people are simply reminded of the fact that they still haven’t cleaned out their hoarder single aunt’s unit down South, despite the fact that she passed almost a year ago. (Oh, wait, is that just me? Awkward…)
“Unlike most other businesses, there’s pretty much always a demand for storage,” Jake Smith (my high school friend and the only person I know who works in the self storage industry) told me. “If the economy is great, people have too much crap and need to put it somewhere. If it’s in the hole, people are downgrading or getting evicted or moving and therefore still need a place to put all their crap. Finding clients shouldn’t be tricky.”
He pointed out, however, that any self storage company that isn’t the only one in town will be facing competition and where do people find self storage companies? Google, obviously. And what do you need to rank well on Google? A good website and great SEO, duh.
Which is why it makes sense for companies to hire Red Nova Labs.
Red Nova Labs’ website makes it clear that they’re aware of the fact that, a) they’re not in a sexy industry and, b) they’re not in Silicon Valley or New York City or anywhere that many people who want to work for a startup are looking. They’ve clearly thought long and hard about their own brand in order to attract what they need most: high quality talent for their team.
For example, their site not only has the requisite cute photos of their whole team but also specifically mentions how many happy hour hours have been spent and the fact that they’re excited about helping their employees move forward in their chosen careers. The total effect is a fun, lighthearted site – which is clearly meant to reflect a fun, lighthearted work environment.
My take? If the company has managed to make working in a fairly uninteresting but profitable market look like this much fun, they can definitely handle any self storage company’s needs.