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How do you KNOW when to go all in?

TreyAllDay

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I am curious to know how you all can tell when you know it's time to go all-in on a product or business? Do you have some sort of a system to determine if you are really meeting a need? How can I be sure? You always have that though knawing at you that maybe you're wasting your time in a needless business.

I have a profitable small software company, two of my products generate upwards of $100k/year in loyalty programs and digital signage. However, only 4 or 5 clients (low scale, high affection) and high pressure, not the business I want to be in. I originally got into business to build a SAAS focused intranet product (internal portal for businesses). There are 20 or so competitors, however I see a hole in the market where complicated and overpriced products are making the solution out of reach for thousands of businesses. I've had about 25 companies sign up for trials and retained about 21% of them (no marketing budget)

So my question is: when do I know it's time to go all in? I've hired a dev at about $20k/year (india, however lots of experience) to rebuild it and am spending a lot of time working on the website and SEO. I just feel like even though I'm PRETTY SURE there is a need - how can I be sure? I am using up time I could be spending on other things (possibly?)
 
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JasonR

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That's the thing with entrepreneurship - you never know 100% if it was the right decision - until you are years past making that decision. No one can tell you, for sure, what you should do.

However, my advice would be: create your Minimum Viable Product (it sounds like you may have already done this) and start selling immediately. Use the customers with the MVP to improve and perfect the product, and then go for scale.

If it was me I would work as hard and as fast as I can - as time, not money, is our most valuable asset.

If you're looking comfort or to minimize uncertainty - you won't be able to find that here. Uncertainty and risk is the heart of entrepreneurship. As entrepreneurs it's our job to decide to pull the trigger.

Good luck and I'm looking forward to your progress!
 

TreyAllDay

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That's the thing with entrepreneurship - you never know 100% if it was the right decision - until you are years past making that decision. No one can tell you, for sure, what you should do.

However, my advice would be: create your Minimum Viable Product (it sounds like you may have already done this) and start selling immediately. Use the customers with the MVP to improve and perfect the product, and then go for scale.

If it was me I would work as hard and as fast as I can - as time, not money, is our most valuable asset.

If you're looking comfort or to minimize uncertainty - you won't be able to find that here. Uncertainty and risk is the heart of entrepreneurship. As entrepreneurs it's our job to decide to pull the trigger.

Good luck and I'm looking forward to your progress!

Thank you. This is absolutely the case - once you start actually making some money, you realize that time is what's limited - not money. Maybe because I'm at a point in my life where I'm almost 28, my girlfriend and I don't have kids and want to buy a house soon and the current business is so unstable (low scale high affection) - my biggest fear is investing in a needless business and wasting time. First 18 months of entrepreneurship just flew by - times go too fast.

I'll keep everyone updated!
 

Jeff InfoPreneur

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I would reach out to the users you have retained...and even a few you didn't to understand better the specifics of what people love and what people see you need to improve. Along the way, as you work closer with these champions you will get a sense for how much they would be willing to pay and the business side of the equation which is critical as well - it all starts with getting close to this initial market entry, not being afraid of hearing the good, bad and ugly
 
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