As an entrepreneur with a business problem, your first instinct may be to try do-it-yourself solutions. After all, that’s what entrepreneurship is all about, right?
Not always. In many cases, building a customized solution from scratch in an attempt to meet the exact specifications of your business can be a setup for failure. That’s because building your own solution can lead you to:
- Reinvent the wheel, making mistakes that others before you have already made and mastered
- Dramatically slow down your time to market, as you try to troubleshoot and increase your learning curve outside your core competency
- Spend too much money developing tools and solutions that already exist in other formats
- Miss out on resources and expertise in the specific space where you need a focused solution
These pitfalls can be easily avoided simply if you opt for a white label solution, rather than building one yourself. “White label” refers to a fully supported product or service that’s made by one company but sold by another. White label products and services are purchased by the latter company without branding. That way, the reseller can customize the product with their own brand, logo and identity, allowing customers to associate the product with the reseller. Meanwhile, the manufacturer can focus on finding cost-effective ways to make the product, without concern for the product’s marketing.
White label solutions work well for everything from cereal to tickets. Grocery stores sell cereal and other products with their own brand name at a discount to other brands. Similarly, ticket resellers can manage their ticket inventory more efficiently through a white label solution. This also increases distribution so that fans have more choice in where they can purchase tickets.
If you’re still not sure whether a white label solution is for you, consider these points:
- It’s quick and easy to brand. White label solutions can offer advantages if you’re trying to think of ways to add new features to your business. White label solutions are generally fully integrated and ready-made, which makes branding very easy. As the reseller, you’ll be free from concerns about needing to spend time and money on research or development. You can add your own branding and identity, and get back to business.
- It keeps your customers happier. Your customers have an end goal, and using a white label solution can give them a clear and simple path to reaching it. The extra months (or even years) that it takes to develop your own solution can force customers elsewhere for solutions. You can avoid this with a prepackaged solution that meets their needs immediately.
- It saves you time and money. Developing a solution from scratch takes a large amount of financial and human capital resources — not to mention time. While a custom solution may seem at the outset to be the best alternative, you may quickly find that the effort derails internal business processes and busts budgets. Even if you think you can build it yourself, it’s important to factor in time for marketing. Remember the time it takes for architecture, design, building, and testing the solution. If you require a fast deployment, cutting corners in any of these steps can leave you even further behind. When time is of the essence and you need to be speedy, investing in an existing solution may be more cost-effective in the end.
- It allows you to focus on your business’s core competency. In many cases, the solutions that companies hope to build themselves fall far outside of their areas of expertise. It’s not smart to stretch your resources to do something that doesn’t fit within your core competencies. Be sure to look closely at the solution you need and compare it to your available resources to help you decide whether a white label solution would help you reach your goals more efficiently. Prepackaged solutions provide an opportunity to trust the experts in the specific space you are focused on, and avoid making the same mistakes that others have made before you.
In short, white label solutions can help you utilize your business’s unique branding to offer a product or service without investing in infrastructure or technology creation around the solution. The result: You can focus on building your brand and selling your services while simplifying the conversion path for your customers.
Drew Gainor is the Co-Founder & Vice President of New York-based Ticket Evolution (TEvo), a software company owned by over 120 Ticket Brokers in the secondary ticket industry. As one of the largest ticket aggregators in the space, the company specializes in cutting edge software applications for ticket resellers including a complete point of sale solution, B2B portal, RESTful API and custom white label ticket web sites enabling popular brands to sell tickets.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.