Awesome post. Having a problem with #4 in my biz but thats because sales are my weakness.
Again, great post.
How to: You have an idea & No Money!
This is the oldest story in the book. There is a formula and it is no secret. Lets pretend your idea is something your passionate about or no formula will ever work for you. Here is a no-non-sense step by step guide:
1. Do market research until you are sore from all of the work. Define your market to as much of niche as possible. This means figure out the segment of your market who will buy your product/service fastest. Now go talk to them and get as much feedback as you can. If you don't talk to at least 100 people in this segment, you have given up and you need to pack it in!
2. Once you get your feedback, create a plan of action how to get this segment what they told you they want. Desire far exceeds need when it comes to human nature. Here is where you plan actions to be taken to get your customers what they want. Make sure each step is an action, not an analysis.
3. Figure out how much your "Action Plan" will cost to get started. You already don't have the money, but you still need to do the figuring. You will not be done with this research until you have figured out your Break Even Point. I'd define this for you, but you need to figure it out for yourself to really get the hang of it. Call it "Tough Love" if you will.
4. Get off your ass and start selling it (talking to your market segment) about your product/service! If you talked to 100 people in your segment, then you have a reason to talk to them, it is called a followup. End each followup with this statement, "If you like this idea, how do I get you to purchase it now?"
I realize you haven't even created it yet, but if they you can't get them to now, then they are not in the right segment. Find another person to replace them. Yes, this is a lot of work, but worth it when you start profiting from your new venture. Of course, if this is too much work, or you think it to be impossible, pack it in, you shouldn't be an Entrepreneur!
5. Calculate the pre-orders you have generated and figure out the support structure necessary to get your product/service to your identified market segment. Yes, I remember, you still have no money. Repeat step 4 if you do not have enough pre-orders to afford your support structure. Note: Your support structure is everything you need in place to provide excellent customer service.
6. Go get the money you need to develop your support structure! Get a bank loan, loan from friend, Investor, whomever. If you have completed all the steps above properly you will have no problem getting the money. If you run into fools, then PM me here and I will invest!
Here's the deal, Angels, VC's Mentors, are all smart experienced people who probably have been there before. We know what works and we all wish we had the time to seek out great startups, but we don't. I personally get pitched 2-3 times per week resulting in acceptance of one project every 4-6 months at best. It is hard work and very time consuming, but very worth it.
Good post, and I think this is the safest way when starting from nothing, although this is also the simplest way, lots of peoples just skip some #'s and make problems for themselves from nothing.
Great post, Speed+
I make Book Covers - simplistic and good-looking.
Great post,Speed++ and maybe even a sticky worthy?
I was aware of this method. However, I'm always open to being reminded of the basics. Kudos.;-) Speed++
Thanks you for this write up and the links they were really helpful. I have a question about talking to a group.
Did you just do the free online class offered by the SBA/SBDC? It seems like all the same information is present there. But this info is only part ONE of hundreds of resources they offer.
Anyone interested, it is well worth your time.
Head over to: Small Business Administration - Free Online Courses
Then click on number 1 under starting your own business, the "small business primer".
You can learn a whole mess of information from the SBA.
We all pay big tax dollars, whether we want to or not (not going to get political, you know who you are! Lol), put them to use.
If what you did yesterday seems big, you have done nothing today.
If you are getting very serious about your business, there is MUCH work to be done before starting; including talking to a good lawyer (not the family attorney!).
If what you did yesterday seems big, you have done nothing today.
Protecting your idea will slow you down and someone else will probably beat you to market. No ideas are original anymore, most are just spin-offs of other ideas. Getting to market 1st helps a long way in establishing your protection.
I know of a man who invented easy to open clamshell packaging used in many products now. The person who made the money from it also invented packaging very similar (almost the exact same thing). The 1st man I speak of brought his packaging to market and began a fairly mid-sized business from it. The 2nd man protected his new invention for a cost of over $100,000 (it's expensive to protect and patent inventions properly). He sued the 1st man for patent infringement; however, the judge dismissed the suit because the 1st man clearly showed his product was in use by the industry before the 2nd man completed his patent. The 2nd man is now an employee for a packaging company.
The moral of the story is to get your product to market 1st, then protect it. If my credibility is not enough, then get the book "The Art of The Start" by Guy Kawasaki and read it. He says the same thing, probably in better words.
Thanks for the link I will go through the site. Yes I still have a lot of work in front of me. I met with a patent attorney a few weeks ago to talk about different options that were out there. Than this post come up and it got me thinking about the marketing side of it. With reading about the marketing research is where my question came up.
This is great information it is exactly what I need to know. No my product is not an original idea it is based off another product which I did not know was out there at the time. Quick story about that, we were cleaning the house one weekend and I came across a need for a product that I did not think was out there because I never see one anywhere. So being the person I am I sat down and designed it out for the needs I had for it. After I finished I did a search for the product and it was already out there. But it is out there for industry and it hads a high cost to it. My design is for the everyday person, it is a fourth in cost and more efficient to what is out there now.
Thanks for the book idea I will look in to that.
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