Entrepreneurial Insight from Daniel Alarik: CEO of Grunt Style and Alpha Outpost
Credit: Josh Korzan
Grunt Style/Alpha Outpost
Recently, I reached out to Daniel Alarik, CEO of Grunt Style and Alpha Outpost, hoping to gain some powerful insight regarding business development. For those of you who are not familiar with Mr. Alarik, he’s a United States Army veteran who proudly served our great nation as an infantryman and drill sergeant. Upon leaving the Army, he developed his entrepreneurial skills, leading to the successful operation of Grunt Style and Alpha Outpost. Grunt Style is a patriotic clothing line that allows anyone, military and civilian, to show off their American pride. Alpha Outpost is a subscription-based service that delivers packages filled with survivalist tools and training each month. From the moment of creation, Grunt Style and Alpha Outpost have set themselves above the pack, instilling a fierce sense of patriotism throughout the states.
Mr. Alarik generously agreed to set aside some time from his busy day to discuss the key factors in developing and maintaining a successful business. Below are a few questions and answers from the call (answers are paraphrased).
- What should be the key focus in early development of a business?
- Get out there and get your hands dirty. Quickly! You can get bogged down in the planning process, and never actually accomplish anything. General Patton coined the phrase, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.” Move beyond planning and start executing. You can always make adjustments down the road as you determine what is working and what isn’t. Bottom line, get out there and get it done!
- How do you grow your customer base?
- Give people a reason to like you. Be genuine and passionate about what you’re doing. If you can inspire people to get behind your business, the rest will take care of itself. Word of mouth is an invaluable tool for a growing business. Give the customers a uniquely positive experience, and your customer base will grow itself.
- What makes you successful as a business leader?
- I owe my success to the team around me. I have an unbelievable family of employees that make all of this possible. Choose your employees with the utmost care and attention. Start small, with a highly competent and vigorously motivated group, and work your way up from there. A business’s success relies upon those in charge of operations. As a business leader, it’s vital to develop a management strategy that inspires your employees. Most importantly, lead by example.
- What advice do you have for raising capital?
- If you’re looking to acquire investments, it’s imperative to know your numbers. What are the margins for your products or services? How much are your costs? What is your projected revenue? If you can’t answer these simple questions, it’s going to be nearly impossible to secure an investment. Investors are looking for quantifiable evidence that ensures a return on
investment. Failure to display a profound understanding of these numbers will almost certainly turn any investors away, leaving you with nothing to build your business.
- How can aspiring entrepreneurs build working relationships with successful business owners such as yourself?
- Identify ways to add value to their business. Successful business owners are regularly swarmed by aspiring entrepreneurs asking for advice, favors, and investments. Give them something of value, rather than asking for it. Also, if you do seek to add value, don’t put the burden on them. Rather than inquiring how to go about this process, put the burden on yourself. You are an entrepreneur after all. Figure out how you can bring value to the individual or organization, then present it to them. Stick your neck out for them first. If it proves to be worthwhile, they will reciprocate.
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