10 lesson I learnt from Carl Casper a.k.a. El Jefe
Identifying what you love and how to share it
For Carl, he knows what he’s good at, what his passion is and why he does it. Cooking is his life and he is placed in a restraining environment where he cannot be happy. A life changing scenario leads him to go freestyle.
For many of us, however, we do not know all of these things about ourselves. What is important is that we identify a passion project and analyse how we can get it to market successfully.
Lesson 1: Find out what you love and how you are going to execute it successfully aka the business plan.
The power of social media
From a bad blog review, an outrageous viral video to Twitter insults, it’s pretty clear that El Jefe became known because of his disastrous internet history.
However, his son essentially puts a social media campaign together across various platforms that promote the food truck venture with fun photos, vines and status updates as well as using various features such as geo-tags.
Lesson 2: Bad reviews can go viral. React in an appropriate manner to avoid potential investors rejecting and questioning your liability
Lesson 3: What goes up on the internet, stays on the internet, but it also blows over… Eventually
Lesson 4: A strong brand identity, good content (both promotional and otherwise) and brilliant use of social media platforms will take you a long way
The importance of networking
Carl only manages to get his food truck through his ex-wife’s ex-husband, Marvin, who is based in Miami. Although they have their differences, it is a key connection to starting his food truck business. Moreover, Martin’s cousin does the truck up giving it an inviting, fresh and professional look.
Another important connection is the food critique that sent Carl’s life into temporary ruin. He becomes the financial support to set Carl’s dream into motion.
Lesson 5: Exploit all of your contacts whether they are business, family or friend related
Lesson 6: Make the effort to travel
Lesson 7: Be open. Sometimes the most unexpected people can be your investor and/or partner
Premium customer service
Casper will not sell a burnt Cuban sandwich to his first customers even though they are getting it for free. For him, it’s a question of passion. For me, word of mouth is the most trustworthy form of marketing you can ever have. For you, I hope it’s both.
Lesson 8: Premium customer service creates customer loyalty and user generated content is priceless
The right staff
Martin leaves his job after he gets an important promotion. Staff that you treat right and share your dream will be loyal and hardworking. They will be the ones that will help shoulder the burdens of the startup lifestyle and unconditionally offer their expertise for the love of what they do.
Lesson 9: Employing the right people will guarantee passionate, loyal and skilled individuals that are willing to give your startup a chance
Startup life is hard. It can be stressful and, at times, soul destroying, but you should never forget to have fun and learn from the good and bad times of your venture.
Lesson 10: Work hard and play hard
Ok, now that that’s done, I reckon you should go find yourself a Cuban sandwich, put on some sunny Latin tunes and start exploring your next venture with El Jefe in mind.